two people making an agreement or promising something to each other and the word idioms written next to it

Idioms: promises

Worksheet overview

This ESL worksheet is dedicated to idioms used when giving promises. Students will see and practise 12 idioms and will discuss the importance of keeping one’s word and trust in relationships.

The first 6 idioms (e.g. make good on one’s promise,give one’s word, all promises and no action, I’ll believe it when I see it) are introduced through a short dialogue. Students work out the meanings of the idioms from context and match them to their definitions. Then, they complete 5 sentences with the correct idiom.

Next, to find out the meaning of the next 4 idioms, students match 4 pairs of sentences with similar meaning (e.g. to promise the moon, to break a promise, actions speak louder than words). To practise all the idioms so far, students choose the correct idiom to complete 5 sentences.

The last group of idioms (e.g. a promise is a promise, empty promises) is introduced through a short text.

The rest of the activities are focused on speaking: 

  1. Students discuss 5 conversation questions. 
  2. They create short dialogues for 5 scenarios given, incorporating idioms from this lesson.
  3. Students debate 5 statements.
  4. Lastly, students take turns to make promises according to the role they are given, and to respond with phrases from this lesson.

For more speaking practice, use the printable conversation cards.


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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