The idea of these games is for you to go over vocabulary you’ve looked at in class, or just to ‘activate’ what you already know, to see what words you can produce.
For example, start with one word, and then see if you can think of another that starts with the last letter of the previous word:
cat -> tan -> necessary -> yard - dream
You can revise categories of vocabulary you’ve studied in class this way too:
Adjectives to describe people: sociable -> elegant -> trusting-> generous
nb If you come to a letter you can’t think of a word for, then you can choose the letter A and continue.
As the English language is full of phrases, idiomatic expressions and collocations, why not try the same thing as above, but with ‘chunks’ of language? ie with words which go together as part of a collocation.
- in and out
- out and about
- about time!
- time will tell
- tell a lie
- lie through your teeth
There aren’t many expressions starting with ‘teeth’ so if you find it hard to create a new collocation here, then you can use the word before the last word in the sentence (eg ‘your’) or you can say another collocation with the word ‘teeth’ or ‘tooth’ in it. eg fight tooth and nail; have a sweet tooth.
You can do the same as above but put the collocations in a complete sentence.
On your own or with a partner
You can do all the above on your own or with a classmate.
You can choose to do it verbally or write down your answers (so you can have a record for later).
Why not give it a go and see how it can activate your vocabulary!
I’ve written in bold eight collocations above. Which one can you use for each of the questions below?
- Someone who loves chocolate, cakes and other desserts has this. -> have a sweet tooth
- To spend a short time at home before going out to do something else, before returning again, etc.
- What is another way of saying ‘to say something which is not true’?
- What do you say to your friend when they finally do something that you were hoping for or expecting for some time?
- Which of the above collocations means to say something which you know is completely not true? Often we use it, for example, when someone tells us a story which has some information in it which is completely false.
- Which of the above means to battle or to put in a lot of effort to achieve something or to oppose something?
- Which means to be really active? ie to go out and work, run errands, and do other activities.
- Which means we need to wait in order to find out something? The result of something will be known after some time.
How did you go?
- have a sweet tooth eg Suzie has a sweet tooth. She loves anything made of chocolate.
- in and out. eg I’ll be in and out all day so don’t worry about closing all the windows.
- tell a lie/tell lies eg Do you really want me to tell lies to him after everything he’s done for you?!
- About time eg You got a new girlfriend – about time!
- Lie through your teeth eg Did you hear what he told the boss? He was lying through his teeth!
- Fight tooth and nail eg I fought tooth and nail for you to get on the team, son.
- Out and about. eg I was out and about the whole day.
- Time will tell eg I’m not sure if Obama will win re-election. I guess time will tell.
Further reading from the archives
Do you know any other word games? Feel free to leave a comment and share which ones you like.
david [at] GetIntoEnglish [dot] com