The Most Important English Verbs - ESL Vocabulary Ideas

A great activity for students of any level is a debate about the most important English verbs.

This helps them think about how verbs are used in different ways.

Here are the instructions:

Place students in groups and ask them to make a list of the 20 most important English Verbs. Tell them to be prepared to justify their answers. This works best if they think of 30 and then narrow down their lists.

Remind students about the importance of auxiliaries (can, have, go), phrasal verbs (get, check, turn), and verbs with multiple meanings (get, let).

After the groups have made their lists, write them on the board to compare. For each verb that only one group has, be sure to make them explain why they believe it should be in the top 20.

"Have" is important because it is used for an auxiliary and possession.

"Put" is important because it has its original meaning plus many phrasal verbs. (put on, put up, etc,)

For beginners, this exercise can introduce basic verbs. For more advanced students, this activity provides them with a better awareness of the verbs in English and how they are used.