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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > TRIOS of WORDS    


United Kingdom


Hello, Everyone,

I was teaching one of my students in the Middle East on Skype, and I was advising her to learn vocabulary by associating one word with another: in this way, the student learns 2 words.

If you can find a trio of words which are associated with each other, that�s even better, because then, you are learning three words.  You learn the three words as a phrase, like a little poem, and all the three words stick together in your mind.

Here is a Worksheet which I prepared for my students in the UK some time ago, with 100 common trios of English words, making a total vocabulary of 300 words.  You are free to copy them and use them, if you wish, with my compliments.

VOCABULARY � Trio of Words

These words are in groups of three!  They are easier to remember like this!


A, B & C;     acid, alkali & neutral;     ales, wines & spirits;     Alpha, Beta & Gamma;     animal, vegetable & mineral;     animals, birds & fish;     arithmetic, algebra & geometry;     army, navy & air force;     bacon, eggs & chips;     bass, baritone & tenor;     beginning, middle & end;     bell, book & candle;     Biology, Chemistry & Physics;     birth, life & death ;     black, white & grey;     blood, sweat & tears;     breakfast, lunch & tea;     centimetre, metre & kilometre;     child, boy & man;     child, girl & woman;     childhood, youth & old age;     contralto, mezzo, & soprano;     copper, silver & gold;     cup, saucer & plate;     cyan, magenta & yellow;     days, weeks & months;     ear, nose & throat;     earth, air & water;     Englishman, Irishman & Scotsman;     eyes, ears & mouth;     faith, hope & love;     Father, Son & Holy Spirit;     first, second & third;     fish, chips & peas;     Friday, Saturday & Sunday;     front, back & sides;     game, set & match;     gas, liquid & solid;     good, bad & indifferent;     hail, sleet & snow;     hair, moustache & beard;     hand, heart & head;     hat, scarf & gloves;     head, thorax & abdomen;     heat, light & sound ;     here, there & everywhere;     high, low & medium;     hook, line & sinker;     hop, step & jump;     ice, water & steam;     inch, foot & yard;     jacket, trousers & waistcoat;     January, February & March;     knife, fork & spoon;     land, sea & sky;     left, right & centre;     legislature, executive & judiciary;     length, breadth & height;     light, dark & shade;     lights, camera & action ;     living room, dining room & kitchen;     lock, stock & barrel;     long wave, medium wave & short wave;     love, honour & obey;     make, do & mend;     man, woman & child ;     meat, fish & fowl;     meat, potatoes & vegetables;     men, women & children;     milk, butter & cheese;     Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday;     morning, noon & night;     mother, father & child;     one, two & three;     opportunity, motive & means;     oral, written & practical;     paper, envelope & stamp;     Paris, London & New York;     passport, ticket & money;     past, present & future;     pen, paper & ink;     petrol, oil & water;     pint, quart & gallon;     pounds, shillings & pence;     radius, diameter & circumference;     reading, writing & arithmetic;     red, white & blue;     salt, pepper & vinegar;     seconds, minutes & hours;     skin, hair & feathers;     small, medium & large;     soup, dinner & pudding;     sun, moon & stars;     tea, bread & cakes;     Tom, Dick & Harry;     triangle, square & rectangle;     water, gas & electricity;     wine, women & song;     work, rest & play;     yes, no & maybe.


24 Jul 2011      

United States

Thank you for your generosity Les.

24 Jul 2011     


Thank you Les!Hug

24 Jul 2011     

Russian Federation

Great idea. Thanks! 

24 Jul 2011     


I encourage the students to always learn the associate preposition with some adjectives and verbs eg keen on, famous for, interested in, good at, worried about
We have games where they must associate them eg
1   snap where the word is shown and they must give the preposition from their pool of prepositions faster than their opponents
2    memory where they turn over two cards and if they go together they keep them.
3    last man standing everyone stands up to answer a word by giving the correct preposition. If they give the wrong one, they sit down. Obviously the winner is the last man standing.
Associating things is a brilliant way to learn.

24 Jul 2011     


I ve been doing something similar with irregular verbs and collocations, and for the reluctant young learners, I make them add rhythm and melody and encourage them to rap with the words. Mi idea is to make them generate a catchy melody that will bounce in their heads for at least half an hour after the class. 
Once you learn a new phrase, song, or rhythmic group of words together they will be with you FOR EVER.
Needless to say the picture of their faces when they see me raping . . . :)


24 Jul 2011     


it�s rapping . . . oops 

24 Jul 2011     


Great! Thanks for sharing .

24 Jul 2011     


Interesting! Thanks a bunch Les for sharing!

24 Jul 2011     

United Kingdom

Nice one mate! I �ll be using it in my descriptions games, if you don �t mind. I usually get them to describe words in pairs but in trios is a nice idea. Thanks a bunch!

24 Jul 2011     


Thank you for sharing this useful list, Les! I think it �s going to help me as well as my students!

24 Jul 2011     

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