Business English- Present Continuous Mimes


Using sounds and actions to present and practise Present Progressive for business students

Business English Present Continuous sounds and mimes

Present Continuous real sounds

Choose any one of the sentences below and try to make the sound. Can your partner guess which sound you are making without opening their eyes?

  • You are knocking on the table
  • You are opening and closing your book/ some papers
  • You are hitting the lenses of your glasses
  • You are hitting a ballpoint pen on the table
  • You are clapping your hands
  • You are shaking your ballpoint pen
  • You are shaking some paper
  • You are kissing/ air kissing
  • You are sneezing
  • You are shaking your chair
  • You are kicking the table
  • You are punching the chair
  • You are moving your chair
  • You are dropping your book/ some papers on the floor


Present Continuous mouth sounds

Choose any one of the sentences below and try to make the sound effects using your mouth. Can your partner guess which sound you are trying to make without opening their eyes?

  • You are drinking soup
  • The telephone is ringing
  • You are using an air conditioner remote control
  • You are playing a computer game
  • You are crying

Present Continuous mimes

Mime any one of the sentences below, not making any sound. Can your partner guess the whole sentence?

  • You are knocking on the door (to ask to come in)
  • You are lifting a heavy box
  • You are changing the page on the calendar
  • You are opening the blinds
  • You are washing up your mug.
  • You are adjusting the height of your chair
  • You are changing the bulb in your desk lamp
  • You are emptying the bin (= waste paper basket = trash can)
  • You are throwing away some rubbish (= putting some rubbish in the bin)
  • You are watering the plants
  • You are typing
  • You are signing a document
  • You are cleaning a computer monitor
  • You are cleaning your desk
  • You are looking for (= searching for) your pen
  • You are using a cash machine (= ATM)
  • You are answering the phone
  • You are dialling a telephone number
  • You are writing a cheque (= a check)
  • You are using a calculator
  • You are using a stapler
  • You are using a hole punch
  • You are using a mouse
  • You are saying sorry to your boss
  • You are shouting at your colleague
  • You are smoking
  • You are lighting someone’s cigarette
  • You are shredding documents
  • You are giving some documents to your colleague
  • You are receiving presents or souvenirs from a colleague
  • You are meeting a new client
  • You are reading a text message (=SMS) on your mobile phone (= cellphone)
  • You are sitting on a swivel chair
  • You are thinking
  • You are opening a filing cabinet
  • You are opening a ring binder
  • You are using an air conditioner remote control
  • You are shaking hands
  • You are taking a business card from someone
  • You are giving your business card to someone
  • You are pushing the buttons in a lift (= elevator)
  • You are using a photocopier (= a copy machine)
  • You are using a date stamp
  • You are sharpening a pencil
  • You are using an eraser
  • You are apologizing (=saying sorry) to your boss
  • You are pointing at someone
  • You are ordering two beers
  • You are holding a door open for someone
  • You are using a vending machine
  • You are making tea
  • You are serving tea
  • You are letting someone go in front of you
  • You are using a laser pointer
  • You are giving a presentation
  • You are using a touch screen monitor
  • You are using your security pass to open a door
  • You are clocking in
  • You are hanging up your coat
  • You are straightening your tie
  • You are changing the water on the water dispenser
  • You are signing for a delivery
  • You are giving snacks to your colleagues
  • You are changing the printer paper.
  • You are changing the photocopier paper.
  • You are hoovering (using the vacuum cleaner)
  • You are putting a stamp on an envelope
  • You are sending a fax.
  • You are running to a meeting (because you are late)
  • You are using a Dictaphone/ digital voice recorder

Continue miming. Can your partner guess the sentence without looking at the worksheet this time?

Try to guess which of the actions above your partner does in their jobs the most often. Ask five “How often…?” questions and then they will tell you if there are any actions here they do more often than the ones you asked about.

Which things above do you never do? In your company, who does those jobs?

Do men and women in your company do different things in the office, e.g. making tea, answering the phone, lifting heavy boxes? Do you think that is fair?

Are there any jobs your boss does which you would like to do? Are there any things managers in your company don’t usually do which you think they should?

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