Leon's English Tongue Twisters
Here are a few common tongue twisters
1. She sells sea shells by the sea shore.
Alliteration (below): Peter, piper, picked, peck, pickled, peppers.
2. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Now if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many peppers did Peter Piper pick?
Alliterations (below): (1) wood, would; (2) woodchuck, chuck
3. If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck? A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
Here some original tongue twisters
For teaching the and phonemes:
First start with :
- Three thin thieves thought a thousand thoughts. Now if three thin thieves thought a thousand thoughts, how many thoughts did each thief think?
After the students master that one, move on to :
- That which is theirs is neither more nor less than that which is thine.
After the students master that both those above, start mixing and :
- This thing and that thing are better than those things. (...easy for native speakers, but not so easy for none natives).
- The thin thief went through that thicket over there.
If you really want to get tricky, add /t/ and /d/...
- A thorn adorned a thicket.
- If you buy a ticket to see the thicket, you get a thorn to adorn your thicket ticket.
- Charles Dickens had a thick thicket, which was adorned by a thousand thorns, and those thorns were adorned by a thousand tickets. He called it the "Dickens Ticket Thicket", and the Dickens Ticket Thicket was so thick that in the thick and thin of things I think it was the thickest ticket thicket that I'd ever seen.
Or try these... [Ads; please support Leon's Planet by clicking on the links to see the ads.]
Thomas Dundon drove down
town to Dove Drive.
And if you are an English teacher or English student in China, Japan, Korea, or any Spanish-speaking nation, you can really confuse the heck out of the students by doing a tongue twister with various combinations of /s/ and and and . In Korea, where students are often heard to say things like, "Sank you," and "I sink you should...", I would work on the /s/ and .
I suggest one starts with some easy tongue twisters, then get progressively harder (and longer):
- Theodore sees a door.
- Theodore sees a door and she adores Theodore.
- I sank you and you thanked me.
- I sank you and you thanked me; I think I'll sink you again.
- I thought I shot a dot.
- I thought I sought a shot of something super strong, but what I think I thought, and what I should have thought are surely not things that I like to think about for very long.
ADVANCED TONGUE TWISTERS:
- I thought I sought a shot, but I sought a thought instead. And the thought I sought was not a shot, but a thimble and a thread.
- She sees the three seas, and he sees that she sees what she sees when she sees the three seas.
The ultimate tongue twister of all time:
- I think that a thick, sick, chic chick surely, thoroughly sank its shank into the tank and drank.
How about some /f/ tongue twisters? [In Chinese, there is an /f/ phoneme, but in Korean and Japanese, there is no /f/ phoneme, which makes me wonder why they transliterate Mt. Fuji as "Mt. Fuji", instead of the correct, "Mt. Huji".]
The following tongue twisters is especially for the Japanese students:
- Five funny fairies found five funny frogs on Mount Huji. [NOT FUJI!!!!!]
- Hu had the flu, and when Hu flew the flu flew.
- Fu found four frosty frappuccinos, and who did he find with them? Four fabulous females.
- The foreheads of four heads were fairly hairy for foreheads.
For the Koreans, who have problems with /f/ and /p/...
- The four fleas are poor fleas.
- Let the four poor fleas flee, please.
- The four fathers found that poor fathers had forefathers who were poor fathers, too.
- Puns are fun, so have some fun with five fun puns! [see my Puns Page]
None of the following languages: Korean, Japanese, Chinese, have the phoneme /v/, but the Koreans use /b/ for /v/, and the Chinese use /w/ for /v/. I don't know what the Japanese do.
So, for the Koreans:
- I put some vile bile in a file and labeled it the "Vile Bile" file.
- "Berries vary very much," said the berry fairy very well.
- One should wear one's best vest for the fest. In other words, one should wear one's best fest vest.
And, for the Chinese:
- The best fest in the West is the Vest Fest.
- I'm very wary of very scary films.
- The very vile villain vied very vehemently for his village .
- Valerie values volleyball very much.
And, for the Spanish-speakers:
- She's says she's special since she's especially smart!
- She spies the special school, which is especially special because of the especially special students, who study especially studiously.
Books about Tongue Twisters (coming soon; I hope)!
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