Time Expressions ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

A Perfect Match

ESL Time Expressions Game - Reading and Matching Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this time expressions game, students match and complete sentences with time expressions. In pairs, students take it in turns to turn over one sentence card and one time expression card. If the time expression can be used to complete the sentence, the student reads the sentence aloud, replacing the missing word with the time expression on the card. The student then keeps the two cards and has another turn. The student with the most pairs of cards at the end of the game is the winner.
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Future Time Expressions Questionnaire

ESL Future Time Expressions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this future time expressions activity, students unscramble, ask and answer questions that contain time expressions about the future. Students begin by reordering words to make questions with future time expressions using the answers shown as a guide. After that, students write their own answers to the questions. In pairs, the students then ask their partner the same questions and record their answers. Finally, students give feedback to the class.
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Last, Yesterday or Ago?

ESL Past Time Expressions Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this past time expressions game, students race to make time-related sentences using the words last, yesterday and ago. Students take it in turns to pick up a word card (last, yesterday or ago) and place it on the table for everyone to see, e.g. yesterday. Each student then picks up the top sentence card from their pile and looks at it to see if their sentence and time can be used with the word. If it can, the student races to say the sentence on their card using the time with the word, e.g. 'Yesterday morning, I brushed my teeth'. The first student to make a complete past simple sentence, incorporating the past time expression wins and discards their card. The first player to get rid of all their cards is the winner.
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Present Time Expressions

ESL Present Time Expressions Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

This present time expressions worksheet helps to teach students time expressions that are used with the present simple and present continuous. First, students match sentence halves together that contain present time expressions. Next, students categorise the time expressions in bold in the sentences, according to whether they are used with the present simple or the present continuous. After that, students complete grammar rules by writing either the present simple or the present continuous in each sentence. Students then move on to underline the correct verb tenses in a set of sentences. Afterwards, students do a gap-fill exercise where they complete sentences with present time expressions. Finally, students match questions with appropriate answers.
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Time Expressions Survey

ESL Time Expressions Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 20 minutes

In this free time expressions activity, students conduct a class survey where they ask and answer questions that use past, present and future time expressions. Give each student a card. Students begin by preparing the yes/no question they need to ask to find out the information on their card, e.g. 'Did you check your email this morning?' Students then go around the class asking and answering the questions. Students keep a record of who answers 'yes' or 'no' on the back of the card. When the students have spoken to everyone, they tally up the 'yes' answers and report back their findings to the class.
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Present Time Mime

ESL Present Time Expressions Game - Reading, Miming and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this fun present time expressions game, students mime sentences on cards for others to guess in order to practice time expressions in the present simple and present continuous. In groups, players take it in turns to pick up a card, read out the time expression at the top of the card and mime the sentence written at the bottom. The other players watch the mime and try to guess the sentence using the time expression with either the present simple or present continuous. The first player to say the correct sentence wins and keeps the card. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
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Time Expressions and Idioms

ESL Time Expressions and Idioms Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This time expressions and time idioms worksheet helps to teach intermediate students some common expressions and idioms that use the word time. Students start by matching sentence halves together that use expressions and idioms with the word time. Next, students match the time expressions and idioms to their definitions. Students then move on to complete gap-fill sentences with the time expressions and time idioms. After that, students complete sentences with true information about themselves. Finally, in pairs, students take it in turns to read their sentences to their partner and discuss them.
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Time Idioms

ESL Time Idioms Activity - Reading, Writing and Speaking - Intermediate (B1) - 45 minutes

In this time idioms activity, students complete and match sentences that contain idioms using the word time. In pairs, students complete sentences that contain time idioms. Students then cut the parts they wrote into cards, shuffle them, and swap them with another pair. Next, pairs look at their new cards and match them together to make meaningful sentences about the idioms. The pairs who wrote the sentences then check that the cards have been matched correctly. Afterwards, there is a class feedback session. Pairs read each sentence in turn and the students are given the meaning of the time idiom. The class then decides on the best sentence that expresses each time idiom.
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