Speaking Activity: Find the Grammar Mistakes (Intermediate ESL)

Note: This page is for English teachers. Students, you can do this activity for free here: Correct the Mistakes (Intermediate)

ESL Level: Intermediate

Time Required: 15 minutes

Language Focus: Present progressive, past progressive, present perfect, 1st & second conditionals

Materials: One copy of worksheet for each pair of students

Worksheet Downloadfind-the-mistakes-pairwork-ESL.docx


Before you use this worksheet, make sure your students have studied the verb tenses/grammar therein. They should understand how stative verbs aren’t used in the progressive tenses. Review each of the below sentences (and modify some if you want) before doing this activity with your students (especially the first sentence for StudentB). You’ll puzzle them (and end up with a lot of questions) if it goes over their heads!

Activity Execution:

  1. Tell the students that you are going to say a sentence that contains an error. Then say, “I have never went to Korea.” Elicit the mistake and correction.
  2. Tell the students they are going to do the same thing with a partner. Put student in pairs. Have them decide who will be StudentA and StudentB. Tell them that one student will read a sentence aloud to his partner. The sentence contains an error. The partner should find the error and correct the sentence. If s/he cannot, the partner can give him/her hints. Once s/he has corrected it, it’s his/her turn to read his sentence. Continue until all sentences have been read on both students’ sheets.
  3. Distribute half of worksheet to each student (a StudentA or StudentB part) and let them try it.

That’s all.

Speaking Activity Preview: 

Find the mistakes!

Student A. Read the sentences. Get your partner to correct the errors.

  1. It is raining when I got home last night. (It was raining…)
  2. My sister is annoying today. (My sister is being annoying today).
  3. I have not ate anything today. (I haven’t eaten anything…)
  4. If I am a child, I would play outside. (If I were a child, I …)
  5. Everyone have seen that movie. (Everyone has seen….)
  6. If we will be late, they will be angry. (If we are late, …)
  7. My father is thinking that I should stop smoking. (thinks)
  8. Look! It is snow. (It is snowing).
  9. I fell asleep while I watched TV. (I fell asleep while I was watching)
  10. I have lived in Canada since 10 months. (…for 10 months.)

—————————— cut here ——————————-

Find the mistakes!

Student B. Read the sentences. Get your partner to correct the errors.

  1. There is a warm country. (That country is warm. / It is a warm country.)
  2. I have not an iPhone 6. (I don’t have an iPhone 6).
  3. I haven’t ever been to Korea. (I haven’t been to Korea. / I have never been to…)
  4. The students have a good time in class today. (are having)
  5. John probably isn’t going to come to school tomorrow. (probably won’t come)
  6. If the world ended tomorrow, I will be very sad. (would be very sad)
  7. I still did my homework at 10:30 pm last night. (I was (still) doing…)
  8. He can speak Japanese because he was born in Canada. (even though / although)
  9. Lee afraid of snakes. (Lee is afraid of snakes.)
  10. The students were not interested in the lesson because it was bored. (boring)

Pair-work activities like these are a communicative way to review grammar before a test (that’s why I developed it). They are easy to make so feel free to develop your own. Good luck with your classes.

– Matthew Barton / Creator of Englishcurrent.com

English Current recommends Grammarly as a learning tool to reduce English mistakes. If you found this page helpful, consider a donation to our hosting bill to show your support!

15 comments on “Speaking Activity: Find the Grammar Mistakes (Intermediate ESL)

  1. Anonymous (Posted on 3-22-2015 at 10:02) Reply

    Useful! I’ll use them immediately. Thank you!

  2. Daniel Clarke (Aussie in China) (Posted on 5-11-2015 at 05:47) Reply

    Very useful! I’ll use these to improve the spoken English of my “Chinglish” students.

  3. mohamed (Posted on 3-20-2016 at 06:07) Reply

    she uses to take ballet lessons when she was young

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 3-20-2016 at 12:28) Reply

      * She used to take…

  4. Dr ashok vyas (Posted on 7-3-2016 at 08:12) Reply

    It’s reall very useful and easy to use and very interesting. It’s also practical
    Thank you so much

  5. Bert (Posted on 3-2-2017 at 20:38) Reply

    2. My sister is annoying today. (My sister is being annoying today)

    Isn’t ‘annoying’ already a verb? Why add another verb (‘being’)?

    Thank you.

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 3-3-2017 at 14:05) Reply

      Hello. Yes, ‘annoy’ is a verb. Technically, ‘My sister is annoying today’ is possible. If you wanted to use the verb though, then you would write, ‘My sister is annoying me today’. I think we always need an object (me) when we use the verb annoy. Without the word ‘me’, the word annoying is an adjective. If you are describing a temporary characteristic if someone, then we can use the present progressive = She is being + adjective

  6. Toan (Posted on 8-15-2017 at 23:47) Reply

    Do your school have two floors

  7. Gari johnson (Posted on 1-24-2018 at 14:07) Reply

    i want to join this group.

  8. Sathya (Posted on 2-24-2018 at 10:23) Reply

    Two time four is eight. is this correct?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 2-25-2018 at 00:46) Reply


  9. Anonymous (Posted on 4-10-2018 at 08:31) Reply

    Very well organized-good idea. Thanks a lot!

  10. Soni Kumari (Posted on 5-25-2019 at 23:30) Reply

    I have been completed my questions .
    I have done 17 write questions.
    From Session no – 8.

  11. Mohammed (Posted on 1-25-2021 at 18:15) Reply

    Thank you for doing all these exams and try to develop our ability to observe and thinking good .it was not hard also was not an easy to find them

  12. james (Posted on 6-18-2021 at 10:10) Reply

    Really excellent and highly useful. Would love to have more such lessons handy to teach.

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