Taboo Topics- Present Simple & Continuous Game


Good and bad present tense questions to use and avoid

By: Alex Case
Level: All Levels
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Present Tenses

Present Simple and Continuous taboo topics game


Worksheet 1- Taboo questions challenge

Ask your partner some Present Simple questions, e.g. “What do you…?”

Ask your partner some Present Continuous questions, e.g. “Are you feeling…?”

Were any of the questions you asked too personal or difficult to answer?

Below are some more Present Simple and Present Continuous questions, some of which are too personal or difficult to answer. Give each question below a number of points based on how difficult it is to answer:

5 points = Extremely difficult/ A taboo question

4 points = Very difficult

3 points = Quite difficult or a little bit difficult

2 points = Quite easy

1 points = Very easy/ An ordinary question, even with strangers

Change groups. Your new partner will ask you a question from their list. Choose how many points you want the question to be. If you can answer the question, you will get that many points. If you don’t want to answer the question or can’t think of an answer, you can use the phrases in the Useful Language box below:

Useful language

Politely refusing to answer a question

“I’d rather not answer that (if you don’t mind)”

“I’d rather not say”

“I’m afraid that’s a bit personal”


Impolitely refusing to answer a question

“(That’s) none of your business!”

“Keep your nose out (of other people’s business)!”

“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you”




Good and bad Present Simple and Continuous questions to classify, ask and answer

  • “How often do you take a bath or shower?”
  • “Is your stomach making that noise?”
  • “What colour underwear are you wearing today?”
  • “Where do you buy underwear?”
  • “Do you prefer a bath or a shower?”
  • “How much do you weigh?”
  • “What are you carrying in your pockets now?”
  • “What are you thinking about?”
  • “How do you feel about capital punishment?”
  • “How are you feeling?”
  • “How much money are you carrying with you now?”
  • “Are you wearing make up?”
  • “How much money do you have (in the bank)?”
  • “Are you feeling itchy?”
  • “Where did you buy the shoes that you are wearing now?”
  • “How many pairs of shoes do you have?”
  • “Do you snore?”
  • “What do you think about when you get bored at work?”
  • “Are you feeling hot?”
  • “Are you wearing perfume/ aftershave today?”
  • “Do you buy lottery tickets?”
  • “Do you wear glasses to watch the TV/ to drive/ to read/ to…?”
  • “Are you sweating?”
  • “Do you feel nervous when you have exams?”
  • “How many hours do you sleep a night?”
  • “Are you feeling nervous about the next English test?”
  • “What do you wear in bed?”
  • “Are you thinking of finding a new boyfriend/ a new girlfriend?”
  • “Are you feeling nervous?”
  • “How much alcohol do you drink every week?”
  • “Do you smoke?”
  • “Are you carrying cigarettes with you?”
  • “How much do you spend on clothes?”
  • “How often do you clean your room?”
  • “How often do you tidy your room?”
  • “What do you usually do when you are on holiday?”
  • “What do you usually do on your days off?”
  • “What is your home computer doing right now?”
  • “What do you think about the President or Prime Minister of your country?”


Worksheet 2 – Grammar presentation and practice

Without looking at the other worksheet, fill in the gaps below with the correct tenses:

“How often ____________________________________ (you take a bath or shower)?”

“What colour underwear ____________________________________ (you wear)?”

“Where ____________________________________________ (you buy underwear)?”

“_________________________________________ (you prefer) a bath or a shower?”

“What _____________________________________ (you carry) in your pockets now?”

“How __________________________________ (you feel) about capital punishment?”

“How much money ________________________________ (you have) in the bank?”

“Where did you buy the shoes that you ________________________ (you wear) now?”

“________________________________________________ (you buy) lottery tickets?”

“_____________________________________________ (you wear) glasses to drive?”

 “________________________________ (you feel) nervous when you have exams?”

“How many hours _______________________________________ (you sleep) a night?”

“What ________________________________________________ (you wear) in bed?”

“_________________________ (you think of) finding a new boyfriend/ a new girlfriend?”

“How much alcohol __________________________________ (you drink) every week?”

“_______________________________________________________ (you smoke)?”

“How much ______________________________________ (you spend) on clothes?”

“How often __________________________________________ (you tidy) your room?”

“What ____________________________________ (you usually do) on your days off?

“What ___________________________________ (your home computer do) right now?”

Check above, then try to make rules about when each tense is used.


Worksheet 3 – Question writing and speaking practice

Make more Present Simple and Present Continuous tense questions for each of the five categories. Your teacher will tell you if/ when you can use the next page to help.


5 points = Extremely difficult questions/ Taboo questions








4 points = Very difficult questions








3 points = Quite difficult questions or a little bit difficult questions








2 points = Quite easy questions








1 point = Very easy questions/ Ordinary question, even with strangers








Play the same game as above, but this time with your own questions or questions from another group.


Worksheet 4 – Suggested topics and questions


Suggested topics

bad habits (belching/ burping, picking your nose, spitting, chewing your fingernails, speaking with your mouth full, eating with your mouth open, putting your elbows on the table, etc)

gambling                                        shopping                                                      clothes

hair care                                         housework                                                   cleanliness

tidiness                            homework                                                    lateness

laziness                                         diet                                                                exercise

hangover                                       oversleep                                                     sleep in/ have a lie in

get drunk                                       get angry/ lose your temper        cry/ get upset

feel sad/ get depressed smell                                                             lie

cheat                                              forget                                                            remember

junk food                                        rubbish (= trash)                                         speeding

parking                             internet                                           shave

armpits                             jealous                                           floss

swear                                             get lost                                           lose

dream/ remember your dreams                                                         deodorant/ perfume

make up                                         hair                                                              


Suggested questions

(What/ How many…/ Why) are you …ing (…)?


How often do you…?


How many times a day/ week/ month/ year do you…?


How long does it take you to…?




When                                              do you usually……..?

How much                                    do you like to………?


How long



What sort of/ kind of…?


How much do you spend on…?


How long do you spend …?


How far do you…?

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