Number one for English language teachers

Gaps and guessing: Telephone collocations

Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: Extra

Here is a warmer or filler I've used for telephoning in business English.



  • Tell the students that you are going to read out a list of words that all go with or collocate with a particular noun. The students should guess the noun. When a student guesses the noun they should stand up or put up their hand (but not call out the answer). Continue reading through the list until all students know the answer.
  • Read out as follows: 'You can _____ it.' Filling in the blank with the word below. The answer is given in the brackets.
  1. answer, connect, pick up, speak to somebody on, leave off the hook (telephone) 
  2. get, give, leave, pass on, receive, record, take, write down (message) 
  3. have, make, keep, arrange, miss, cancel, postpone, fail to turn up for (appointment) 
  4. check, get, give, place, lose, receive, delay, compete for, confirm (order) 
  5. have, listen to, take part in, carry on, continue, break off, strike up a (conversation) 
  6. take, make, give somebody, wait for, accept, place, return somebody's, put through (call) 

Hope you like it! 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • great warmer to a telephone conversation lesson

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