British and American Technical English Collocations

Level: Intermediate

Topic: Technology & science

Grammar Topic: Collocation

Submitted by:

Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

British and American Technical English Collocations
Instructions for teachers
Cut up one set of cards per group of 2-4 students, only cutting horizontally so the two 
halves of each domino are still together. Ask students to spread the cards out face up and 
work together to put all the cards together in a big circle by matching beginnings and 
endings of engineering collocations. Let them check against the worksheet. They can then
deal out 7 cards each and play an actual game of dominoes, with any extra dominoes 
staying face down on the table until someone can’t go and so needs to take another. 

Cards to cut up/ Suggested answers
Don’t cut between the two columns

hoover (e.g. Roomba)
vacuum cleaner (e.g. Roomba)

paraffin

kerosene

stove
heater

petrol

gas

station
station

front/ rear/ back
front/ rear/ back

bumper
fender

windscreen

windshield

wipers
wipers

snow
snow

tyres
tires

exhaust

tail-

pipe
pipe

accelerator

gas

pedal
pedal

hand-

parking

brake
brake

automatic/ manual
automatic/ manual

gearbox
transmission

lorry

truck*

driver
driver

fire
fire

engine
truck

(rubbish)

trash-/ garbage

bin
can

hot/ cold (water)
hot/ cold (water) 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

1

tap
faucet

(electrical)
(electrical)

socket
outlet

TV
TV

aerial
antenna

pocket
pocket

torch
flashlight

hash

pound

sign
sign

maths

math

teacher
teacher

turn
turn

anti-clockwise
counter-clockwise

nought point

zero point

oh five
zero five

mobile

cell-

phone
phone

hard

bump

hat
cap

adjustable
adjustable

spanner
wrench

service

(service)

engineer
technician

a hundred
a hundred

and thirty
thirty

dustcart

garbage truck

driver
driver

bonnet

hood

ornament 
ornament

rental

rental/ hire

skip
Dumpster

lift

elevator

to the 12

th

 floor

to the 12

th

 floor

robot
robot

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

2

Write a synonym of each phrase below:
paraffin stove
(robot) hoover
petrol station
(front/ rear/ back) fender
windscreen (wipers)
tyres
exhaust
gas pedal
handbrake
(automatic/ manual) transmission
lorry
fire engine
(rubbish) bin
(hot water/ cold water) faucet
(electrical) socket
(TV) aerial
(pocket) flashlight
hash (sign)
maths (teacher)
anti-clockwise
nought point five
mobile phone
bump cap
(adjustable) spanner
a hundred thirty
hood (ornament)
(rental) skip
lift

Use the mixed answers to help with the task above. 
… and…

… truck

accelerator

antenna

bonnet

bumper

cell…

counter…

Dumpster

elevator

gas…

gearbox

hard hat

kerosene heater

math

outlet

parking…

pound

tailpipe

tap

tires

torch

trashcan/ garbage can

truck

vacuum cleaner

windshield

wrench

zero…

Check with the dominoes cards.

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2018

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