a graph that illustrates increased efficiency, and the slogan "phrasal verbs"

Phrasal verbs: efficiency

Worksheet overview

This Business English ESL worksheet is dedicated to phrasal verbs related to efficiency. Students will learn and practise 12 efficiency-related phrasal verbs, and will talk about processes in their organisation that can be improved or streamlined.

The lesson starts with a few conversation questions about efficiency and productivity in general. Then, the first group of phrasal verbs (e.g. speed up, ramp up, phase out) is introduced through a dialogue about optimising processes in a company. To practise, students choose the correct phrasal verb to complete 5 sentences. Then, they discuss 4 questions.

The rest of the phrasal verbs (e.g. cut back on, hold up, make up for) are included in different tips about improving efficiency. Students match the verbs to their definitions. After that students complete 6 short dialogues with the correct phrasal verb.

The last 2 activities are focused on speaking. First, students are given 7 situations and are asked to come up with a way to make the processes more efficient. Lastly, they are asked to identify 3 areas in their organisations where efficiency can be improved, and brainstorm ways to improve it.

The conversation cards provide students with further speaking opportunities, as well as opportunities to review the target vocabulary from this lesson.


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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