How to Write Palindrome Sentences

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What if you want to write palindrome sentences?

Palindromes are words, sentences, and poems that read the same forward and backward, but you already knew that. If you need a more thorough review of palindromes, check out our post on Palindromic Sentences.

So how do you write palindrome sentences? Create a list of palindromes, and start your sentences in the middle and work out to the beginning and end. Use frames to practice, and keep syllable patterns in mind. And if you get frustrated, try your hand at a palindromic number.

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1. Start with Palindromic Words.

When creating palindrome sentences, work from the middle to the beginning and end of the sentence. Create a list of reversible words and word pairs.

Civic

Level

Radar

Racecar

Notice that these words follow a consonant-verb pattern (also known as shape): CVCVC, or CVCVCVC. Palindromes are easier to write with words that have this pattern.

But other patterns work as well. Doom/mood has a CVVC shape. Redder‘s shape is CVCCVC, and deified‘s is CVVCVVC.

2. Make a list of Word Pairs

Palindromists keep lists of word pairs and add to them when they see or think of new ones. Here’s a short list to get you started.

edit/tide

doom/mood

time/emit

diva/avid

As you create your list, don’t worry about punctuation: “dab’s bad” counts as a pair.

3. Practice with Palindromic Frames.

If you cannot come up with a palindrome sentence, use a frame. Start with a pair of palindromes, like dew/wed.

A common frame is

“I saw _____; _____ was I.”

So my sentence is:

I saw dew; wed was I.

Here is another frame:

Ma is as __________ as I am.

Since the reverse is “Ma I sa,” ideally you need a palindromic word that begins and ends with -s.

Ma is as selfless as I am.

4. Use Spelling Patterns to help.

Using the CVCVC pattern works well—until you run out of words. Add more words to your list by using letter combinations.

Common clusters like thr (throw), tw (tweet), thr (through), th (though), br (break), or kw (know) occur at the beginning of sentences but not at the end.

The same is true for endings of words: ld (would), rn (born), lf (calf), and lb (bulb) are some examples.

Combinations that have more possibilities include br (brag/drab), fl (flow/wolf), gr (grub/burg), pl (plug/gulp), and pr (prep/perp).

Palindromists often rely on -s and -es suffixes, and use the syllable de- at the beginning of words since verbs in the past tense often end with -ed (devil/lived, decaf/faced).

If you want to show off your palindromic prowess, consider buying a Taco Cat t-shirt or a shirt with 9 palindromes. Kids might enjoy Too Hot to Hoot: Funny Palindrome Riddles. And the video The Palindromists explores the World Palindrome Championship.

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Palindromic Numbers

If you become frustrated in your attempts to write palindrome sentences, palindromic numbers are easier to create.

  1. Start with a two-digit number: 23
  2. Reverse the digits: 32
  3. Add both numbers: 55

There’s your palindromic number.

Larger numbers require additional steps:

68 + 86 = 154

154 + 451 = 605

605 + 506 + 1,111

Warning: Avoid 196. Computers have been unable to turn this Lychrel number into a palindrome, even after a billion iterations (also called steps). More information about the quest to prove such a number exists can be found at the 196 Palindrome site.

Also, use the site Lychrel Solver to test if a number (or sentence) is a Lychrel (it also features a palindrome tester.

I don’t recommend challenging a friend to find the 196 palindrome–unless you want to lose a friendship.

Leave your favorite palindrome sentences in the comments.

And don’t forget to like and share.

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2 Comments on “How to Write Palindrome Sentences”

    1. It blew my mind. I spent almost as much time making palindrome sentences as I did writing the post. And people who do this at competitions. Maybe I should add them to my list of language nerds.

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