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6 Phrasal verb and collocation 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 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)

 

2 Common phrasal verbs 2

 
  This is another worksheet for common phrasal verbs. Students match the phrases to the pictures and  and answer the questions.
  Another common phrasal verbs picture-vocabulary matching exercise

Common phrasal verbs 2 (PDF)

3 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 vocabulary exercise for elementary English

Do/go/play collocations (PDF)

4 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  vocabulary exercise for elementary English

Do/make collocations (PDF)

5 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 vocabulary exercise for elementary English.

Have/take collocations (PDF)

6 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)

7 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

8  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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