9 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

    This is an introduction or review worksheet for common phrasal verbs. Students match the phrases to the pictures and answer the questions.  

Common phrasal verbs picture-vocabulary matching exercise

Common phrasal verbs 1 (PDF)

(view as Youtube mp4 video)

Common phrasal verbs

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2 Husband/wife phrasal verb role play and /or listening activity(with audio and answers)

    This is an   English  ESL  role play exercise  for practicing phrasal or  two part verbs.  Students complete the conversations with suitable vocabulary. Then they can listen to the audio, compare answers and carry out the role play.  

Husband/wife phrasal verb role play (PDF)

Husband/wife phrasal verb role play

3 Verb-noun collocations (for life and success)

    This is a verb-noun collocations listening/speaking activity that will help students talk about life and work.  

Verb-noun collocations (PDF)

Verb/noun collocations

4 Common phrasal verbs 2

    This is another listening/speaking worksheet for common phrasal verbs. This exercises focuses on the two ways in which phrasal verbs can be used (Eg. “I pick up the book” and “I pick up the book.”). Students listen and completer phrases  and answer the questions.  

Common phrasal verbs 2 (PDF)

Common phrasal verbs 2

Gerunds and infinitives (PDF)

Phrasal verbs for transport and getting around (PDF)

Have collocations (PDF)

Common business collocations (PDF)

Do or make ? collocations (PDF)

5 Do go play: elementary collocations

  I think the do/go/play collocations exercise is probably the most elementary collocation exercise given to students. It’s ok but usually focuses on sports, just for simplicity, I guess. Most of my students aren’t that interested in sports, so I like to change it a little. I also make it a little more difficult by teaching that “do” and “go” can often be used with the same nouns (eg. do/go shopping). Sometimes they are interchangeable and sometimes they are used for slightly different meanings. This makes it a bit more difficult but more accurately reflects the real world.    

Do/go/play collocations (PDF)

6 Do/make collocations

  The do/make collocation exercise is probably the most useful and important elementary collocation exercise. These are verb-noun combinations that students really need in order to communicate in English.    

Do/make collocations (PDF)

7 Have/take collocations

  There are so many verb-noun combinations that can help students improve their fluency. I’m in the process of creating many more of these. “Have” and “take” are two other basic verbs with many useful collocations.  

Have/take collocations (PDF)

8 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.    

Take/have/break collocations (PDF)

8 Business English vocabulary exercises

5 Cool Advertising & Branding Vocabulary & Language Exercises

 5 Describing Graphs  Language Exercises

5 Intercultural Body Language, Gestures and Etiquette Language Exercises

9  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 for imperatives (PDF)

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