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English Tongue Twisters
(I've got the audio fixed with new html5;
AND, I've got stopwatches that work!
I'm so sorry for the previous audio problems.)
This page and content by Leon of Leon's Planet.  2009 to present

...and Alliterations!



First, we'll start with a few common tongue twisters.
(Leon's original tongue twisters for ESL/EFL are below.)

Go directly to the "Ultimate Tongue Twister of All Time!"  [I challenge you!]


RE:  Alliterations
 (for English Language Arts learners & teachers)
An 'alliteration' is a collection of two or more words with the same beginning sound (in the same sentence or phrase)
There are two alliterations below:  (1) She, shells, shore; (2) sells, sea, sea.

 

1.  She sells sea shells by the sea shore.

 


(click to download audio file).

Time yourself.

See if you can be faster than me!

 

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?
 

(click to download audio file).

Time yourself.

See if you can be faster than me!

 

Alliterations (below):  (1) woodchuck, 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.
 

(click to download audio file).

Time yourself.

See if you can be faster than me!

 

 


 

Here some original tongue twisters
that I (Leon) have invented.
(Have a try!  And improve your pronunciation with practice!)

2009-present

For teaching the and phonemes:


This website's domain used to be thusly.


This website's domain used to be thusly.

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.

- Thomas Dundon drove down town to Dove Drive in the dump truck.

- Thomas Dundon drove down town to Dove Drive in the dump truck. Thomas drove the truck through the town and to the dump then down the driveway.

 


 

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.

 

 

 


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"Love is all there is;  Everything else is entropy." (Leon)