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Idioms: probability and likelihood

Worksheet overview

This ESL worksheet is about 12 idioms and expressions that are used when talking about probability, likelihood, and evaluating risk. It includes plenty of communicative activities so that students can learn and practise them. You can use this worksheet in both general and business English classes, and can combine it with “Idioms: entrepreneurship”.
The first activity introduces 6 idioms (e.g. take your chances, the odds are in your favour, a shot in the dark, it’s anyone’s guess) through a short dialogue. Students work out the meaning of the idioms and match them to their definitions. To practise these idioms, students complete 4 sentences with their own ideas and use their sentences to start a conversation with a partner. 
Next, students are given a short text about a person who has made a risky investment, including the rest of the expressions (e.g.against all odds, count your chickens before they hatch, play it safe, a sure thing). After matching the idioms to their definitions, students answer 3 questions.
After that students complete a practice exercise: they need to replace part of 5 sentences given with the correct idiom.
Then, students are given a debate question.
Finally, students are given the beginning of a story and are asked to complete the story and use some of the idioms from this lesson.
This ESL worksheet, together with the conversation cards, can be used in various classes in order to practise these idioms about probability and likelihood.
It would work great as an addition to lessons about taking and evaluating risks, investing, entrepreneurship, and making predictions for the future.


Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

This worksheet works well in combination with the following lesson plans

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