Author: British Council | Uploaded on 1 August 2022
Stage 1: Present examples
Write these sentences on the board with the words underlined as shown. Ask. “What do you notice about the underlined words in the sentences?”
- There are no eggs in the box.
- I could not understand the question.
- None of the learners knew the answer.
- I have never been to London.
- Nobody wants to leave.
- There is nothing we can do about it.
- There is nowhere left to look.
To help learners:
Ask: “Are the words positive or negative?” Elicit – they are all negative words.
You can also ask questions like:
“In sentence 1 are there any eggs in the box?”
“In sentence 3 do any of the learners know the answer?”
“In sentence 4 has the person been to London?”
Stage 2: Take feedback
Ask learners to share their feedback on what they noticed in the examples. Some key points you might want to share with them include:
- ‘no’ means ‘not any’ and comes before a noun
- ‘not’ is an adverb used in a phrase to make it negative.
- ‘none’ is a pronoun meaning ‘not any’ or ‘not one’.
- ‘never’ is an adverb meaning ‘not at any time.’
- ‘nobody’ is a pronoun meaning ‘no person at all.’
- ‘nothing’ is a pronoun meaning ‘not anything.’
- ‘nowhere’ is a pronoun meaning ‘no place.’
Stage 3: Use the grammar
a. Fill in the blanks
Write up some sentences but leave the negative word out. Say: “Complete the sentences with the correct negative word.”
- There was _________ for us to go.
- My mother _________ learned English at school.
- The room was empty. There was _________ there.
- I’m sorry, but there’s _________ I can do to help.
- There was _________ water in the glass.
- I’ve _________ been here very long.
- ________ of my friends can swim.
b. Noughts and crosses
On the board put the following grid:
Then quickly check the learners know the game ‘noughts and crosses’.
Divide the class into two teams.
Say: “Team A send someone to the board. That learner points to a word and makes a sentence using the word. If the sentence is correct, they put a X. Then team B send someone. They point to another word and make a sentence. If the sentence is correct, they put a 0. The team that gets three signs in a row wins the game.”
Note: It’s good to get the learners to write the sentence as well as say it, so that the incorrect sentences can be corrected.