50 Tongue Twisters in English to Improve and Challenge Your Pronunciation Skills [Audio Included]
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Tongue twisters like the one above are a lot of fun to say!
In case you haven’t heard the term, a tongue twister is a phrase or sentence that is difficult to say quickly and accurately, often because it’s repetitive or alliterative (the same sounds repeating), causing speakers to stumble over their words.
They can be great for English learners because they really help you practice and improve your pronunciation of English sounds.
Read on for 50 of my favorite tongue twisters in English. For each tongue twister, I’ll also explain the important vocabulary, and I’ll include audio, too, so you can practice and repeat the words until you get them just right!
- Beginner Tongue Twisters in English
- Intermediate Tongue Twisters in English
- Advanced English Tongue Twisters
- How to Practice Pronunciation with English Tongue Twisters
- And One More Thing...
Beginner Tongue Twisters in English
1. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream
Notice the similar sounds in “I scream” and “ice cream.” This well-known tongue twister will help you practice the s sound and the soft c sound.
- Scream: to say something or make a sound in a very loud voice
- Ice cream: a frozen food that’s sweet and usually made of milk or cream
2. Cooks cook cupcakes quickly
This short tongue twister will help you with the hard k sound, like in “cook,” and the kw sound in “quickly.”
- Cooks: people who cook, usually as a job
- Quickly: fast
3. Seventy-seven benevolent elephants
For all of those having trouble with the v sound, this is the tongue twister for you.
- Benevolent: kind, not selfish
- Elephants: large gray animals with tusks, a trunk and big ears
4. Betty loves the velvet vest best
Here you’ll get some practice with the b and v sounds, which can be challenging for some English learners.
- Velvet: a soft material used for some clothes
- Vest: a shirt without sleeves
5. Truly rural
This is short and sweet, but it can still be a bit tricky! Here, you’re practicing the difference between the r and l sounds.
- Truly: really
- Rural: countryside (as in, not a city)
6. Vivacious Val vacuumed Violet’s very vivid vehicle
Great practice for the v sound! There are also some short i sounds, like in “vivacious” and “vivid.”
- Vivacious: lively and full of energy
- Vacuum: a loud tool used for cleaning the floor
- Vivid: a very deep or bright color
7. To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock in a pestilential prison with a life-ong lock awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock from a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block
This English tongue twister is filled with repeated sounds, including the consonant sounds d, l, s and b. It’s also common for English learners to mistakenly pronounce the sh in “short, sharp shock” and the ch in “cheap and chippy chopper” as the same.
- Dull: not bright or interesting
- Pestilential: causing infections or diseases
- Sensation: feeling
8. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
This one focuses on the p sound and challenges your ability to say a lot of them very quickly.
- Peck: a bunch of something
- Picked: to select or harvest
9. How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?
This tongue twister combines the k and cl sounds, testing your ability to say these two closely related sounds.
- Clam: an animal that lives in a shell in the ocean
- Cram: to stuff something into a small space
10. Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he?
This one plays with repetition and the w sound, which is super hard for some English learners.
- Bear: a large furry animal that lives in the forest
11. Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said this butter’s bitter. If I put it in my batter, it will make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter will make my batter better. So ’twas better Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter
This fun tongue twister challenges your ability to articulate words with similar sounds and improve your pronunciation of b and t sounds.
- Batter: a liquid mixture of flour and water
- Bitter: a taste that is the opposite of sweet
12. I saw Susie sitting in a shoeshine shop. Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits
This tongue twister is all about the s and sh sounds, so you can get them just right.
- Shoeshine: a shop where shoes are cleaned and shined
13. Red lorry, yellow lorry, red lorry, yellow lorry
Short but tricky. This is another English tongue twister for practicing the r and l sounds.
- Red: the same color as blood
- Lorry: a big truck
- Yellow: the same color as lemons
14. Toy boat. Toy boat. Toy boat
This short and simple tongue twister is perfect for practicing the t sound, so you can feel the difference between the closely related b sound.
15. I scream, you scream, we all scream for sour cream!
This twist on a classic tongue twister adds a fun element with the addition of “sour cream” and tests your ability to maintain clarity while saying similar sounding words.
16. Black bug’s blood
This short and strange tongue twister is all about the repetition of the b sound.
- Bug: an insect
17. Can you can a can as a canner can can a can?
This tongue twister challenges your ability to repeat similar-sounding words quickly and accurately.
- Canner: a profession or hobby where you put drinks or foods in cans
18. I have got a date at a quarter to eight; I’ll see you at the gate, so don’t be late
This tongue twister features a rhythmic pattern that’s really fun to say!
- A quarter to eight: 15 minutes until 8 o’clock
19. Near an ear, a nearer ear, a nearly eerie ear
This tongue twister is all about the repetition of similar sounds and I personally find this one really hard!
- Eerie: strange or creepy
20. Eddie edited it
This short and simple tongue twister is perfect for practicing the ed and it sounds, which are closely related in English.
- Edited: to shorten and make better a book, film or other project
21. Willie’s really weary
This tongue twister challenges your ability to pronounce words with similar sounds.
- Weary: tired
22. A big black bear sat on a big black rug
This classic tongue twister is great for practicing the b and r sounds and improving your rhythm and flow.
- Rug: a small carpet used on the floor
Intermediate Tongue Twisters in English
23. She sells seashells by the seashore
This tongue twister is very popular. It will help you with the s and sh sounds.
- Seashells: the hard things that some sea animals live in
- Seashore: the beach
24. Frivolously fanciful Franny fried fresh fish furiously
This one covers fr and l, two sounds that are commonly mispronounced by English learners.
- Frivolously: not seriously
- Fanciful: unrealistic
- Furiously: done in a very angry way
25. Betty bought some butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought some better butter to make the bitter butter better
It’s clear that this one is great for practicing the b sound. It’s also perfect for those having trouble with the t and r sounds.
- Butter: a soft, pale yellow food that’s made from milk, usually put on bread or used when cooking
- Bitter: a sharp taste that’s not sweet at all
26. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? He would chuck, he would, as much as he could and chuck as much wood as a woodchuck would if a woodchuck could chuck wood
Here, you get to practice the w sound, as well as that tricky ch sound, as in “woodchuck could chuck.” You also get to practice the vowel sound in “could,” “wood” and “would,” which can be made by different spelling combinations.
- Woodchuck: a groundhog (a type of rodent)
- Chuck: to throw
27. As he gobbled the cakes on his plate, the greedy ape said as he ate, the greener green grapes are, the keener keen apes are to gobble green grape cakes. They’re great!
This one is good for saying the g, gr and n sounds, as well as the ee vowel sound, as in “greener green.”
- Gobbled: ate quickly and noisily
- Greedy: selfish (wanting everything for yourself)
- Keen: eager (wanting something strongly)
28. The two Tibble twins tied tiny twine to twelve teachers’ tipping trek tents
This tongue twister almost exclusively (only) uses the t and tw sounds, so it’s great for learners struggling with those. There are also several instances where the long i sound comes up, like in “tied tiny twine.”
- Twins: two siblings born at the same time
- Twine: a type of strong thread
- Trek tents: a specific brand of tents (portable shelter used for camping)
29. A big black bug bit the big black bear, but the big black bear bit the bug back!
As you can see, there are lots of b sounds here. Go slow at first so you don’t get confused with the short i and short u sounds, as in “big” and “bug.”
- Bite: to use one’s teeth or mouth to cut or chew something
- Back: to do the same thing (That is: The bug bites. The bear bites back.
30. Any noise annoys an oyster
But a noisy noise annoys an oyster most
This sentence is perfect for students who need to practice the strange English oy sound, like in “noise annoys an oyster.”
- Annoy: to bother or irritate someone
- Oyster: a type of shellfish that can often be eaten
31. A flea and a fly flew up in a flue. Said the flea, “Let us fly!” Said the fly, “Let us flee!” So they flew through a flaw in the flue
One of the trickier consonant clusters is fl, making this tongue twister a great one for English learners.
- Flee: to run away
- Flea: a tiny insect that drinks the blood of mammals
- Flaw: an imperfection or weakness
- Flue: the pipe or opening in a chimney
32. Pad kid poured curd pulled cod
Here you can practice the p and k sounds, which are aspirated (followed by a puff of air) when they are at the beginning of words.
Try placing your hand in front of your mouth while you say the tongue twister—you should be able to feel the breath on your hand when you’re making the p and k sounds.
- Curd: a dairy product that’s made from milk
- Cod: a type of fish
33. He threw three free throws
The consonant clusters thr and fr come from the same place in the mouth, so they can be difficult for English learners to master.
- Threw: past tense of “throw,” meaning to push an object out of your hand/s with force so it moves through the air
- Free throw: to shoot the ball without the other team in the way during a basketball game
34. Picky people pick Peter Pan Peanut-Butter, ’tis the peanut-butter picky people pick
Here’s one that helps you practice the differences between the p and b sounds.
- Picky: a quality of being very choosy or opinionated
35. A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk
This tongue twister is quirky and challenges your ability to articulate the st and sk sounds smoothly.
- Skunk: a black and white animal that can spray a smelly odor
- Stump: the part of a cut-down tree that remains in the ground
36. I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch
This tongue twister is particularly challenging due to the combination of similar sounding words and the rapid repetition of the w and sh sounds.
- Irish: someone or something from Ireland
37. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen
This tongue twister is great for practicing the k sound.
- Kitten: a young cat
38. If a dog chews shoes, whose shoes does he choose?
This tongue twister plays with rhyming words.
- Chews: to grind up with your teeth
39. I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you
This tongue twister is a mental workout, with its repetition and play on words.
Advanced English Tongue Twisters
40. Fred fed Ted bread and Ted fed Fred bread
This one can easily trip up native English speakers! You’ll work on the f and t sounds, as well as the consonant clusters fr and br.
- Fed: past tense of “feed,” meaning to give someone food
- Bread: a common type of food that’s made from flour and water
41. Sixth sick Sheikh’s sixth sheep sick
This one is very good for practicing the s sound. You also get the ks sound like in “sixth,” the sh sound like in “sheep” and the th sound like in “sixth.”
- Sheikh: an elderly scholar or leader (originally an Arabic word)
- Sick: not feeling well or not healthy
42. A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk but the stump thunk the skunk stunk
This tongue twister is great for getting used to saying the consonant clusters st and sk.
- Stump: the part of a tree that’s left in the ground after you cut it down
- Thunk: to hit with a dull, flat sound
43. I slit a sheet, a sheet, I slit. Upon a slitted sheet, I sit
This tongue twister teaches you the sl consonant cluster and the difficult sh sound, like in “sheet.”
You also get to practice the vowel sound ee, like in “sheet” and the i sound as in “sit” and “slit.”
- Slit: to make a thin, straight cut in something
- Slitted: describes something that has been slit
Sure, here are some advanced tongue twisters for you:
44. Six slippery snails, slid slowly seaward.
This tongue twister features alliteration and challenges your ability to articulate s and sl sounds smoothly and quickly.
- Snails: slow-moving animals that live in shells
- Seaward: toward the sea or ocean
45. Unique New York, New York’s unique, you know you need unique New York
This one focuses on the repetition of similar sounds and requires precise articulation to avoid tripping over the very similar sounding words
46. Amidst the mists and coldest frosts, with stoutest wrists and loudest boasts, he thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts
This tongue twister is a real workout for your mouth, with its long phrases and challenging consonant clusters.
- Stoutest: the most thick
- Boasts: to brag or be overly proud of something
- Insists: to make sure something happens
47. I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit
This tongue twister is challenging due to its rapid repetition of similar sounds and the need for precise articulation to maintain clarity.
- Slit: to cut
- Sheet: a thin cotton bed cover
48. The great Greek grape growers grow great Greek grapes
This tongue twister combines alliteration with a challenging sequence of sounds, perfect for advanced learners.
- Greek: a person from the country of Greece
49. Six thick thistle sticks. Six thick thistles stick
This tongue twister features a repetitive pattern of challenging sounds, testing your ability to articulate them clearly and quickly.
- Thistle: a thick type of grass
50. Through three cheese trees three free fleas flew. While these fleas flew, freezy breeze blew. Freezy breeze made these three trees freeze. Freezy trees made these trees’ cheese freeze. That’s what made these three free fleas sneeze
This English tongue twister is particularly hard, even for native speakers.
You get to practice the consonant clusters fl and fr, plus the difficult th sound in “these,” “three,” “that’s” and “through.”
- Breeze: a light wind
- Freeze: when liquid is so cold that it turns into ice
How to Practice Pronunciation with English Tongue Twisters
If you want to focus on a specific sound in English, you can check out this chart to find an appropriate tongue twister:
|The Tongue Twister
|Sounds to Practice
|I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream
|s, soft c
|Seventy-Seven Benevolent Elephants
|Cooks Cook Cupcakes Quickly
|kw, hard k
|Betty Loves the Velvet Vest Best
|Vivacious Val Vacuumed Violet’s Very Vivid Vehicle
|v, short i
|To Sit in Solemn Silence in a Dull, Dark Dock
|d, l, s, b, sh, ch
|She Sells Seashells by the Seashore
|As He Gobbled the Cakes on His Plate
|g, gr, n, ee
|The Two Tibble Twins Tied Tiny Twine
|t, tw, long i
|Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry
|A Big Black Bug
|b, short i, short u
|How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck
|w, ch, ou
|Any Noise Annoys an Oyster
|A Flea and a Fly Flew Up in a Flue
|Frivolously Fanciful Franny Fried Fresh Fish Furiously
|Pad Kid Poured Curd Pulled Cod
|Betty Bought Some Butter
|b, t, r
|He Threw Three Free Throws
|A Skunk Sat on a Stump and Thunk the Stump Stunk
|I Slit a Sheet, A Sheet, I Slit
|sl, sh, ee, short i
|Fred Fed Ted Bread
|f, t, fr, br
|Through Three Cheese Trees Three Free Fleas Flew
|fl, fr, z, th, ee
|Sixth Sick Sheikh’s Sixth Sheep Sick
|s, ks, sh, th
And here are some tips on how to get the most out of these tongue twisters:
- Repeat, repeat, repeat. You probably won’t pronounce everything correctly the first time. When it comes to tongue twisters, repetition is key (very important).
- Focus on articulation. Saying tongue twisters quickly is fun. But if you’re trying to learn the English sounds, forget speed and focus on saying everything clearly and correctly.
- Study mouth positioning. There might be certain English sounds you’ll struggle with because your mouth has never made those shapes before. If you need guidance, check out icSpeech or Pronuncian.com.
- Use tongue twisters as a warm-up. Tongue twisters prepare your mouth to speak clearly and correctly. Say a few before you give an English presentation or participate in a practice conversation to get prepared.
- Identify your weaknesses. Any tongue twister will be great pronunciation practice, but you’ll get the most out of your time by focusing on the English sounds that are most difficult for you.
- Use authentic resources. Anything that you stumble to say can be used as a tongue twister. Look for sentences and expressions in videos that you struggle to say, and repeat them back until you can match the speed of the native English speaker. Use a program like FluentU for this, which has English videos with expert-created subtitles.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
I hope you’ve had a lot of fun trying to master these tongue twisters in English. Keep practicing!
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
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