How Do You Spell Tongue?

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  • 2024-02-06 00:00:00
  • 11 min read

One word that often confuses people when it comes to spelling is tongue. Despite its pronunciation, the spelling can seem counterintuitive to many. This article aims to demystify the correct spelling of tongue, delve into its definition, transcription, usage, common spelling mistakes, useful memorization techniques, and answer some frequently asked questions related to this tricky word.

Correct Spelling of Tongue

The correct spelling of the word is tongue. It might seem a bit unusual due to the silent 'ue' at the end and the pronunciation that does not quite reflect its spelling. However, tongue is the only correct way to spell this word, representing the muscular organ in the mouth and a language or manner of speaking.

Definition of Tongue

The word tongue has several definitions. Primarily, it refers to the muscular organ in the mouth, essential for tasting, licking, swallowing, and articulating speech. Beyond its literal meaning, tongue can also denote language, speech, or manner of expression. 

Transcription of Tongue

The phonetic transcription of tongue is /tʌŋ/. This transcription helps indicate the pronunciation of the word, which often surprises those learning English due to the silent 'ue' at the end and the unique sound of the 'ng' letter combination.

Examples of Using of Tongue

  • He burned his tongue tasting the hot soup.
  • English is her mother tongue, although she speaks three languages fluently.
  • The cat licked its tongue over its fur to clean itself.
  • The phrase hold your tongue means to remain silent.

Common Spelling Mistakes

  • Tounge - incorrect because the 'u' and 'g' are swapped from the correct order
  • Toung - missing the silent 'e' at the end, which is essential for the correct spelling despite not impacting pronunciation
  • Tung - a highly simplified version that misses out on several letters that are key to both the spelling and meaning of the word

These common mistakes usually arise from misinterpretation of the word's pronunciation and misunderstanding its correct spelling structure.

How Can Remember the Correct Spelling

To remember the correct spelling of tongue, one useful technique is to break down the word into sounds: 'tung' + silent 'ue'. Another method is to create a mnemonic, such as The Unique New Guitar is Quietly Underestimated Everywhere, taking the first letter of each word to spell tongue. Repeatedly writing the word while saying it out loud can also reinforce the correct spelling in your memory.


What does the word mean? 
The word tongue primarily refers to the muscular organ in the mouth or language/speech.

How to spell in Spanish? 
In Spanish, tongue is spelled lengua.

Words Closely Related: Language, speech, dialect.

Synonyms: Language, speech, lingo, dialect.

Differences in American and British Versions

There is no difference in spelling or usage of the word tongue between American and British English. Both varieties of English maintain the same spelling and meanings.

In Which Academic Dictionaries You Can Find This Word

  1. Oxford English Dictionary
  2. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  3. Cambridge Dictionary
  4. Collins Dictionary

#spelling #grammar #language #English #pronunciation