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Free SH words lists and 48 picture cards

SH words

Here are some fantastic free resources that you can use to teach and practice the SH sound /ʃ/. There are word lists, SH words with pictures, practice sentences, and some links to further related activities.

It is hoped that these printable PDF pages will be helpful to both English teachers and learners.  The materials assist with pronunciation and encourage students to master new words they are not yet familiar with along with their correct spelling.

Okay, enough of the introduction. Let us shuffle on and see what freebies are on offer!

Initial SH words list

This first list features SH sound words in the initial position. This simply means that the words start with a SH!

You can download the free PDF above so that you always have this handy resource on hand, or you can simply browse the word list below and choose the words that interest you or are useful for you right now.

shabby

shack

shade

shadow

shaft

shaken

shallot

shallow

sham

shaman

shame

shampoo

shamrock

shandy

shank

shanty

shape

shard

share

shark

sharp

sharpen

sharpie

shave

shawl

shazam

she

sheath

shebang

shed

sheen

sheep

sheer

sheet

sheeting

shelf

shell

shelter

shepherd

sherbet

sheriff

sherlock

sherry

shield

shift

shimmer

shin

shine

shingle

shiny

ship

shipwreck

shipyard

shire

shirt

shiitake

shiver

shoal

shock

shoe

shoelace

shogun

shoo

shook

shop

short

shortage

shot

shotgun

should

shoulder

shout

shove

shovel

show

showcase

shower

showoff

shrew

shrewd

shriek

shrill

shrimp

shrine

shrink

shrivel

shroud

shrub

shrug

shuck

shudder

shuffle

shush

shut

shutdown

shuteye

shutoff

shutter

shuttle

shy

Medial SH words list

Next, we have a list of words with the SH sound in the medial position. This means that the sound is in the middle of the word.

SH won’t always appear directly in the middle, it depends on the length of the word and how many syllables it has. It just means that the sound is neither at the beginning nor at the ending, it is somewhere in between. This list has mostly 2 syllable words where SH does appear exactly in the middle.

It should be noted that in medial pairs there are several alternate spellings that make the SH sound. Here are some examples – 

cea – example – ocean

sc – example – conscious

ss – example –  issue

tio – example – education

action

addition

airship

ashen

ashtray

auction

audition

bashful

bedsheet

bookshop

bushed

bushel

bushes

caption

cashew

cashier

caution

conscious

correction

courtship

cushion

cushy

dashboard

dashing

dictionary

dishes

earshot

eggshell

emotion

fashion

fiction

finished

fishbowl

fisher

fishing

flashback

flashcard

flashlight

fraction

freshen

freshman

friendship

geisha

hardship

horseshoe

inshore

kinship

lampshade

lotion

machine

marshal

marshland

milkshake

motion

mushroom

mushy

musician

nation

notion

nutshell

ocean

offshoot

offshore

option

outshine

ovation

potion

pushy

ration

reshape

roadshow

seashell

seashore

section

shipshape

sideshow

slingshot

snapshot

social

spaceship

starship

station

suction

sunshine

suspicion

thresher

tissue

township

trashcan

trashed

tuition

vacation

warship

washer

washout

washy

windshield

wishbone

wishes

worship

Final SH words list

Our last list features words with the SH sound in the final position, it appears at the end of the words.

airbrush

ambush

astonish

awash

backlash

balderdash

banish

bash

blush

boyish

brackish

brainwash

brash

British

brush

bush

cash

cherish

childish

clash

codfish

crash

crayfish

crush

Danish

dash

demolish

dish

establish

extinguish

eyelash

finish

fish

flash

flesh

flourish

flush

foolish

fresh

furnish

garnish

gibberish

gnash

goldfish

gosh

goulash

hairbrush

harsh

hush

inrush

languish

lash

lavish

leash

licorice

lush

marsh

mash

mesh

nourish

parish

perish

plush

Polish

posh

publish

punish

push

quash

radish

rash

ravish

refresh

rehash

relish

rosebush

rubbish

rush

selfish

shush

skirmish

slash

slosh

sluggish

smash

splash

squash

squeamish

squish

starfish

stash

stylish

sunfish

swish

thrash

trash

vanish

varnish

wash

wish

SH words with pictures

Here are some lovely flashcards of SH words with pictures. You can use these not only to make rote learning more interesting but also to play games and do hands-on learning activities.

The words included on these free flashcards are – 

SH in the initial position

Sheet 1 – shadow, shark, shed, sheep, shell, shield, ship, and shirt.

Sheet 2 – shoes, shop, shout, shovel, shower, shrimp, shrine, and shuttle.

SH in the Medial position

Sheet 1 – addition, cashews, eggshell, fishbowl, flashlight, friendship, horseshoe, and lotion.

Sheet 2 – machine, milkshake, mushroom, ocean, potion, slingshot, tissue, and vacation.

SH in the final position

Sheet 1 – brush, cash, crash, dish, eyelash, fish, leash, and licorice.

Sheet 2 – marsh, mash, radish, rash, splash, squash, trash, and wash.

Ideas for using the SH words pictures

We all have our favorite flashcard games that never seem to fail us. Here are a few extra ideas you might like to try with these flashcards.

Sorting – With several or all picture cards printed and cut out you can ask learners to arrange the cards in groups of initial, medial, and final position.

Arranging – The cards can arranged in ways such as by alphabetical order.

Sentence prompts – Ask a student to choose several cards at random and see if they can make a sentence using them.

Practice sentences

Ask your class to read these interesting sentences for some targeted speaking fun!

Shelly smashed the milkshake machine.

Thresher sharks in the shade of a washed-up shipwreck.

She was sluggish to finish her seashells and shrimp.

A geisha shared shiitake mushrooms.

The British found fresh cashew bushes near the seashore.

Related resources

Try these useful materials for further practice and ideas.

There are the S and SH tongue twisters to really get mouths moving.

We also have some minimal pairs pages that have flashcards sentences and lists. These can help learners focus on the SH sound – 

SH and CH minimal pairs

S and SH minimal pairs

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