4 Compelling Phrasal Verb Games to Print and Use in your Business English Class

4 phrasal verb games to downloadPrint these phrasal verb games and plasticize them for future use.

Games are a great way to use competition and team learning to motivate your students to learn and retain new business vocabulary and expressions.  Print these four business phrasal verb games today to use in class over and over.

This is a follow up to my last blog “How to engage Millennials in ESL/EFL class” where I  explained in detail how these phrasal verb games were designed with teaching a large class of easily distracted young adults in mind.

These four phrasal verbs games for business were designed for a TOEIC preparation class I had at the university level but are appropriate for any pre-intermediate and up business student.

There are four stages to each game based on these principals from video game developers:

  • Make success challenging but attainable by breaking it down into stages.
  • Make success more likely than failure.
  • Give players the opportunity to try again.

Stage 1: chose the good definition for the phrasal verb

Stage 2: supply the missing preposition for the phrasal verb in a short expression

Stage 3: do a crossword puzzle and supply the verb

Stage 4:  flashcards with prepositions missing and each team is timed.


Here are the four short texts with phrasal verbs in bold that I used to make the flashcard and crossword games.  These texts come from a fantastic little book called “Phrasal Verbs and Idioms: Oxford Learner’s Pocket”.



If you like the text and think you could use it in class, you’ll find the download links at the end of each text.

Feel free to use the game just as a ‘flashcard game template’ and replace the text with one of your choosing. 


Phrasal verb games N° 1: ‘Better Job Performance: How to work Efficiently

  • Make a list of things to get through that day — and work on them in order of priority.  This will help you filter out unnecessary or unimportant tasks.
  • Work on tasks one at a time.  Don’t go on to a new task before you have finished the previous one.
  • If you’re working on a big task, break it down into smaller tasks; this will give you a sense of achievement.
  • Don’t be put off by colleagues who want to stop and chat.  Tell them politely that you’re too busy to talk.
  • Check your email inbox at the start of the day and answer anything important.  After that, set aside specific times to check and reply to emails.
  • Don’t put off doing things because you don’t like them.  It may help to get them out of the way early in the day.
  • Tidy up your desk regularly.  If your things are all over the place, you won’t be able to work efficiently.
  • Finally, if you’re snowed under at work, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Download Templates for Phrasal Verb Game and quiz:

Better Job Performance: How to Work Efficiently in the Office

Phrasal verb games N° 2:  “Tell me about your colleagues”

SEAN: My co-worker, Janine, is great.  I can turn to her if I have a problem or if there’s something that I need to talk over. She can get along with anyone!  I feel she trusts me, and she always backs me up in meetings. I know her so well now that I really look on her as a friend.
TIM: I’ve got a lot of time for our head of department, Clive. He brings out the best in everyone. We all look up to him.

SAM: Leon’s great; you know he’ll pull out all the stops to finish the work on time. And he comes up with all the best ideas in meetings.
TIA:  I can’t stand Mr. Harrison.  He’s always showing off in front of the boss.  And he’s so patronizing- he just talks down to me all the time.
WILLY:  Dan’s nice, but I don’t think he’s cut out to be a salesman.  I think he should change his career path.

Download Templates for Phrasal Verb Game and quiz:     “Tell Me About Your Colleagues” 


Phrasal verb games N° 3:   “Losing your Job”

I used to be a receptionist in a hotel which had a reputation for excellent food.  Then it was taken over by a big hotel chain. The manager decided to hand in his notice, and the hotel took on a new manager who was awful. She made life very difficult for the head chef, and one day she just gave him the sack.  She then brought in her own chef who was useless, and as a result, the number of guests just started dropping off.
Eventually, they started laying people off and I found myself without a job. It took time for the realization of being unemployed to sink in, and for a couple of months, I just sat around, not doing very much, and feeling sorry for myself.  I had very little money to live on and had started to run up debts.
Then one day, I had a drink with the old chef and colleagues who had also been made redundant.  We started chatting and someone suggested that we work together to start up a new restaurant. It’s early days, but we’re all very excited and optimistic about it.

Download Templates for Phrasal Verb Game and quiz:  “Losing Your Job”


Phrasal verb games N° 4: “Airport”

  • My flight was at 8:30, so I had to get up at the crack of dawn in order to check in at the airport by 7 o’clock.  It’s lucky I checked in hours before take-off, because it took ages to get through all the security checks.
  • My friends are flying to Miami today at 3 o’clock and I would love to go to the airport to see them off and to say goodbye.
  • My parents are planning to stop-over in Singapore for two nights to do some shopping and to see the city.  They should get back to Paris on Wednesday.  I’m going to pick them up at the airport.
  • I’d like to take time off at Easter so I can get away for a few days to get some sun and relax.  As usual, I’ve left everything to the last minute.  I hope the flights are not all booked up.
  • In July and August, everyone in Europe goes on vacation and flights are often over booked.

Download Templates for Phrasal Verb Game and quiz:  “Airport”


Plasticize and organize your phrasal verb games to use again

I wanted to reuse these  in future classes, so the best way  to make the games more durable and also to look more professional was to plasticize them.  I bought this inexpensive little plasticizing  machine for around $20.

Board games and flash cards create lots of cards to cut up.  I have a little paper cutter that I use to streamline and professionalize the cutting process.

To file away this four-color board game so I could find it again quickly and organize all the little flash cards according to color, I created this method of four envelopes stapled to an A4 piece of cardboard that I slide into a  plastic sleeve.

Here's my system to organize all those flash cards by color and the board game in a plastic sleeve.

Here’s my system to organize all those flash cards by color and the board game in a plastic sleeve.

I stick on a tab labeled with the name of the game and file it away into a four-ring binder labeled TOEIC games.

I had tried a method where I wrapped a rubber band around the deck of flashcards, but it was very thick,  and difficult to store.  I put all my flash cards into a box, but then I had to sort through them to find my game. I had to store the board game separately  in a binder.   It was a waste of time and not organized.

My old way of organizing flash cards. I stored them in a box and had to fish through all of them to find my cards.

My old way of organizing flash cards. I stored them in a box and had to fish through all of them to find my cards.

Now when I pack my computer case, I slide the  A4 plastic sleeve (very well labeled)  into my computer case and it’s pretty thin and neat.

Photo of computer bag with games easily accessed.

Now my games fit neatly into my computer bag  for easy access


What’s your secret ?  How do you organize and store away your games? 

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