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ESL Worksheets: Types of People - Descriptive Collocations

Level: ESL High-Intermediate
Objective: practice collocations describing types of people


Ask one student to perform a task or explain what they did the night before.  As they begin to do the task or talk, start to mimic them.  Continue to mimic them until the other students notice. Ask learners what vocabulary comes to mind when they reflect on the situation.  Brainstorm for a few minutes, allowing all learners to answer.  Then write the words “copy cat” on the board. Allow learners to try to explain the meaning of this expression to the class. Copy cat is an expression that describes a person who mimics the behaviour of another person.  The expression “copy cat” is a collocation, which means it’s a group of words that commonly are arranged together. Like idioms or phrasal verbs, it is best to remember the meaning of the group of words as one, not as individual words.  Unlike idioms and phrasal verbs the meaning is sometimes more evident based on the separate meanings of each word.


Pair Work: Have learners work in pairs and discuss the following    collocations:
a) fat cat
b) cool cat
c) scaredy cat
 Have they heard any of these collocations?  What do they think the collocations mean?  Monitor as needed.
Teachers’ Reference:
a) fat cat -person who is wealthy
b) cool cat -person who is trendy and stylish
c) scaredy cat -person who is afraid
Point out to learners that there are many collocations used to describe people who behave in a specific way.
Hand out the worksheet. Learners fill in the blanks with an appropriate collocation based on the context. 
Additional Work: In pairs have learners make one sentence for each collocation that is used in this lesson.  Monitor as needed. 
ESL Worksheet: Types of People - Descriptive Collocations
  • girly girl
  • busy bee
  • copy cat
  • slow poke
  • air head
  • control freak
  • eager beaver
  • sleepy head
  • penny-pincher
  • ladies man

1. Sally always complains that her little brother is a . He wants to do whatever she does.

2. Dave is such a . We’ll never get to the party on time!

3. My boss is a . She’s always watching every little detail of my work.

4. Julie's mom is such a . She gave her only $3 to spend on our class trip to the amusement park.

5. Sue slept until 1pm! What a .

6. Marie doesn’t know how to turn on a computer or a DVD player. What an !

7. I asked Tim to paint the garage. He’s such an that he’ll get it done quickly.

8. It’s surprising that Jan is such a . Her father raised her and her two brothers alone.

9. Cora is completely ready for her daughter’s wedding. She’s been shopping, cleaning and baking for weeks. What a she’s been.

10. Mike’s a real . He’s out with a different girl every night.

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ESL Worksheet Types of People - Descriptive Collocations.pdf

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