Relating to One Another: A small group activity to practice correlative conjunctions

In the context of a grammar or writing lesson, you may choose to study and practice correlative conjunctions with your students. They include:




Not only…, but also…


One way to contextualize these structures is to have students use them to form statements about what they have in common with one another.

STEP 1 – List about a half dozen common conversation topics on the board: food, pets, family, sports, music, work, etc.

STEP 2 – Ask students to work in small groups of three (pairs can also work). Each student will take a turn asking questions on a topic: food, pets, family, sports, music, work, etc. The idea is for the questioner to elicit information that can be expressed using at least one of the correlative conjunctions. Possible questions: 

                [Topic: food]

                Do you like to cook?

                How often do you go to restaurants?

                What kinds of foods do you like?


STEP 3 – Each questioner will record his/ her information. Provide models. (See below.) The complexity of the students’ writing will vary according to language level.

               Model for intermediate students:

               Neither Paulina nor Oliver likes to cook.  Both Paulina and Oliver like going to restaurants, especially for Italian food.

               Model for advanced students:

               Neither Paulina nor Oliver enjoys cooking. Paulina either eats out or eats things that she doesn’t have to cook,  like yogurt and cereal.  Oliver mostly goes out to eat. Both he and Paulina like going to Italian restaurants.

STEP 4 – Have the students share their findings with the class. Encourage peer feedback before offering your own comments and/ or corrections.


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