Rumors and Denials: An activity for using emphatic forms

Here’s a fast-paced game that I’ll present as a means to practice word stress for clarification and the use of emphatic forms, that is, the use of auxiliary verbs to emphasize one’s meaning. (However, you might decide you like it enough to try playing it among friends at your next dinner party!)

Step 1 – Create sentence completions on slips of paper. Sentences should prompt statements about personal likes, behavior, and actions. Examples: I heard you love…/ Someone told me you like to…/ Don’t you like to go to…?/ Someone mentioned that you once…/ Etc.  Create enough slips for each person in the class as well as yourself. See handout Emphatic Forms_handout

Step 2 – Ask students to define rumor. Engage them by asking their opinions of people who gossip. Ask them if they listen to rumors. Tell students you will play a game involving rumors, but all the rumors are untrue. They will listen to and deny each rumor. Remind them it’s just for fun – and language practice – so be playful and creative yet kind and forgiving.

Step 3 – Place the slips of paper in a bag. Model the process with a volunteer. You draw out a slip and complete the sentence with a funny rumor: “I heard you love dancing the tango on the weekends.” Help the student deny this using an emphatic form:  “Well. I do love dancing, but not the tango.” / “I can dance the tango, but I don’t do it often.” That student will now start the process again. S/he will draw a slip from the bag and ask the next student about a rumor. The rumor will again be denied with an emphatic form.


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