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Why bother?

Average: 3.6 (14 votes)

This is a speaking exercise to practise clauses and infinitives of purpose.

Paul Kaye

The language used is:

  • to ...
  • in order to ...
  • so ...
  • so that ...

Worksheet A is for pre-intermediate students and worksheet B is for intermediate students. Worksheet A asks learners to use only the infinitives of purpose in the communicative activity. Worksheet B asks them to use a variety of forms and add their own questions. A good pre-intermediate class could use this worksheet also. The form itself is used in a free way, making it suitable for a class who are practising after more controlled work.


Before the class, prepare enough photocopies of the worksheet for each learner to have a copy.


  • You will need to explain the question Why bother? which is used to mean why fight against troubles or problems, why make an effort, etc.
  • Ask the learners Why learn English? They will have lots of answers. Try to elicit some examples of the target language, e.g. So that I can get a better job.
  • If you are using worksheet A, give each student a copy and tell them to ask each other the questions and complete the worksheet. They should ask a different person each question.
  • If you are using worksheet B, give each student a copy and tell them to add three more questions. Then they ask each other the questions and complete the worksheet. 
  • Monitor as the students work and try to make notes of any errors of form.
  • Elicit any interesting answers in open class.
  • Put up some examples of errors you heard while monitoring (though don't say who made the error) and see if the students can correct them.

Note: Learners may notice the abbreviated form of the questions, i.e. no auxiliary and no subject. Acknowledge their concerns and tell them this is a form we can use when talking generally.

Language level
Language Level: 
Pre-intermediate: A2