Find Someone Who with C1 Phrasal Verbs

Teacher’s corner!

If you are teaching levels like B2 High and C1, merely following the study book syllabus is definitely not enough. With any level, to be exact. Dry and dull are such lessons. Instead, what we must do is grabbing students’ attention, giving them food for thought and catching their interest in a topic by tailoring lessons which spark their curiosity. This is our first task. Reachable, isn’t it? Every teacher’s got a top-ten list of activities which do wonders, right?

One of my favourites is the conversation activity. It’s got an increased STT, and, depending on the topic, turns into a real blast. Given the time available for planning, I either create a list of engaging questions, or use the ones from online resources, like

They are mainly used to kick off the lesson. I call this activity THE INTEREST HOOK.

Mid-lesson, a role-play activity does the trick. Do you know the book ESL Role Plays: 50 Engaging Role Plays for ESL and EFL Classes, by Larry Pitts? It is one of the books which must be in a teacher’s bookcase.

I cannot remember a single time my students not laughing out loud! Brilliant is this book.  To get started, all the role-plays come with discussion questions. These can be used in various ways. Up to the teacher.

Here comes the second task – creating such communicative activities that will make students use the target vocabulary. Not any vocabulary. The PHRASAL VERBS. This is what always makes me ponder. 

We are all familiar with the Find Someone Who activity. We all know how endless the list is of C1 Advanced phrasal verbs. Why not come up with a golden mix?!

c1 phrasal verbs list

C1 Phrasal verbs Set 1

We assume that students already know some phrasal verbs from the list below, verbs they have learnt during the B1 Preliminary and B2 First courses. Note that some of these verbs might have other meanings as well. 

  1. DOWN
    • back down – yield in an argument
    • break down – lose control of the emotions
    • come down to – be in the end a matter of
    • get down to – begin to seriously deal with
  2.  FOR
    • bargain for – take into account
    • fall for – be deceived by; fall in love with
    • settle for – accept something, although it’s not exactly what you want
  3. IN
    • come in for – receive, esp. criticism
    • drop in – pay a visit
    • break in – train somebody to do a new job, or an animal to behave in an obedient way
  4. OFF
    • carry off – complete successfully despite a problem
    • come off – take place successfully
    • break off – stop talking
    • bring off – succeed in doing something
    • drop off – fall asleep
    • get off – avoid punishment, injury or harm
  5. ON
    • bring sth on – make something happen, usually bad, cause the onset of an illness
    • catch on – become popular
    • count on – rely on
    • get on – make progress
  6. OUT
    • bear out – confirm the truth, support the truth of something
    • carry out – complete a plan
    • come out – appear
    • fall out with  – quarrel with
  7. OVER
    • get over – be surprised
    • get over with – come to an end of something, usually unpleasant 
  8. ROUND
    • bring round – influence someone to your point of view
    • get round to – find time to do
  9. UP
    • add up – make sense
    • break up – come to an end
    • bring up – mention
    • call up – mobilize for military service
    • come up – occur, happen
    • come up against – meet a difficulty
    • crop up – happen or appear unexpectedly 
    • do up – decorate
    • draw up – prepare or organize something in writing (esp. a document)
    • end up – finish in a certain way
    • face up to – have courage to deal with (esp. responsibilities)
    • feel up to – feel capable of doing, have the energy to do something
    • follow up – take further action connected to something
    • get up to – do something, usually bad when about children
    • turn up – arrive somewhere unexpectedly
  10. Other prepositions:
    • ask after/about – enquire about
    • bring about – cause to happen
    • come about – happen
    • do away with – get rid of or destroy something
    • fall through – fail to come to completion
    • get across – be understood
    • get at – imply
C1 phrasal verbs

ESL Conversation questions with C1 phrasal verbs

Move around, ask & talk


  1. wishes they hadn’t brought up a money matter while talking to a friend or relative
  2. had to back down in an argument with their teacher and apologize
  3. hasn’t bargained for much traffic jam and eventually missed the bus/plane/train
  4. has ever drawn up a budget for an event. e.g. birthday
  5. has got off lightly after having had a serious bike accident 


  1. has agreed to bear a friend out on what their friend had told his/her parents
  2. has ever broken down because of some bad news
  3. organized/was invited to a party which broke up at dawn
  4. has often got headaches brought on by loud music or noise
  5. is thinking about doing up their room


  1. would like to be called up 
  2. knows the song/film which has caught on recently
  3. once told a joke which didn’t come off
  4. is on cloud nine to get some exams over with
  5. ended up penniless after a shopping spree


  1. has carried off a difficult task
  2. has dropped off during a long film
  3. has never fallen out with their parents
  4. had to quickly clean up the house because of someone dropping in
  5. has carried out their threat


  1. can recommend an album which has recently been brought out
  2. can’t get over how pharmacists can understand doctors’ prescriptions
  3. cannot always count on their younger sibling, who tend to spill the beans
  4. believes that in the end it all comes down to money
  5. can’t get down to work because they are a procrastinator


  1. had told a lie and their friend/teacher has fallen for it
  2. doesn’t like when they come in for a lot of criticism
  3. believes one of their teacher’s explanations doesn’t add up
  4. is getting on pretty well with a recent change in their life
  5. could face up to living alone in a far-away country


  1. has read a novel/a poem they couldn’t easily understand what the writer was getting at
  2. knows how it came about that they (nearly) failed an exam
  3. as a child, was getting up to all sorts of mischief while their parents were out
  4. has finally got round to dusting the furniture in their house
  5. came up against a problem at a hotel when they were travelling


  1. had booked a holiday which eventually fell through
  2. knows what brings about a burn-out
  3. decided to follow up an interesting idea/suggestion their friend/parents had given
  4. had to break off during a conversation because of an incoming call
  5. had problems cropping up after having installed a pirated PC program or software


  1. is trying to get their point across, but their parents just cannot understand
  2. would get away with a rule if they were the president of the country
  3. doesn’t feel up to cooking tonight, so, they might dine out or have a take-away meal
  4. has fallen for someone in a big way
  5. has finally brought their parents round to their way of thinking


  1. had to leave in a rush from school or office because something had come up at home
  2. has recently asked after an old friend they hadn’t seen for ages
  3. had hoped to sell something for more money than they eventually settled for
  4. didn’t expect someone to turn up at their birthday party
  5. would rather be trained in unpaid for a year instead of starting a new job not fully prepared but paid
c1 phrasal verbs

Five variations on Find Someone Who

To keep this game new every time students are asked to stand up and walk around asking the five C1 phrasal verbs questions, read below some suggestions:

  • Predict and find

Before starting to move around and ask the questions, students should predict what will be true, e.g. the name of the classmate/peer who had booked a holiday which eventually fell through

  • Ask a backup question

Once the person has been found, the student must ask a WH-question related to what their partner said

  • Don’t say goodbye

Besides being given a Find Someone Who card, some students get a Don’t Say Goodbye message. When being asked, they shouldn’t let their partner asking another person, so, they must keep them speaking. The challenge consists in politely ending the conversation with someone who keeps talking to you.

  • Shout Find Someone Who

Rather than standing up, students should speak to everyone. To be heard, they will have to speak up

  • The gossiper

Once the students have found the five people, they should share what they have found out with one of their classmates. They must take turns reporting back everything they remember about the people they talked to.

Stay tuned for more words of advice and handy material!

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