5 Kinds of Collocation and Phrasal Verb Exercises

Collocations and phrasal verbs are critical to fluency in the English language. Once students start to get a hold of the ways words are joined together in conversation and in texts they are well on their way to being competent communicators.

1 Common phrasal verbs 1 & 2 (with answers)

  This is an introduction or review worksheet for common phrasal verbs. Students match the phrases to the pictures and try to write sentences describing the action in the pictures.  Click on the image below or the link  to download the PDF file.

Common phrasal verbs picture-vocabulary matching exercise.

Common phrasal verbs 1 (PDF)

Common phrasal verbs 2



3 Take  have  go: basic collocations

The teacher dictates the  collocations on Page 2 of the PDF and tell the students to find the appropriate  picture and to write the appropriate phrase on each picture. Dictate the collocations randomly. Allow the students time to search for the correct picture.This is a fun way to start a class and introduce the some basic collocations for  “have”, “take” and “go”. Alternatively, if the students are quite weak scramble the words on the whiteboard.

Collocations exercise for the verbs take/have/go.

Take/have/go collocations (PDF)

3 Take or have or break ?? collocations exercise (with answers)

  Students match the verbs  “take” or “have” or “break” with the phrases scrambled at the top of the worksheet. Once they have done this they use the collocations and their own ideas to write sentences at the bottom of the page.

Collocations exercise for take/have/break.

Take/have/break collocations (PDF)

4 A collocations or phrasal verbs speaking skills worksheet
(with answers)

Students match the two-part verbs to the correct conversation
and think of other words to complete the conversations where necessary.


Common collocations worksheet for ESL students.

Common collocations 1 (PDF)

Common collocations 2

Common collocations 3

5  Brainstorming collocations with  imperatives

 The exercise below is for exploring students’ knowledge of  imperatives and collocations. Depending on the level and ability of the students, a  teacher  may ask  students to work in groups or work independently. It is often surprising to  learn which expressions students are and are not familiar with.


Brainstorming collocations with imperatives.

Brainstorming collocations for imperatives (PDF)

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