English Dictations

Listening and Writing Practice in English

English dictation provides writing practice for English-language learners. Listen to the phrases via the links in this article, then take a piece of paper, or use a writing program on your computer. Write or type what you hear. Listen as many times as necessary. Dictation helps your spelling, listening and understanding skills.

Each of the following dictations focuses on a specific learning point. The dictations are for beginning-level learners and include five sentences in each dictation. Each sentence is read twice, giving you time to write what you hear.

At a Hotel

This dictation link will give you a chance to hear—and write—comon phrases used at hotels, such as: "Can I make a reservation please?" and "I'd like a double room with a shower." and "Do you have any rooms available?" Remember that you can hit the "pause" button to give yourself more time to write your answer.


This section includes simple sentences like, "Hello, my name is John. I'm from New York." and "English is a difficult language." As you know from your studies, this is certainly a very accurate statement.

At a Government Agency

These dictation sentences cover phrases you'll find useful at a government agency—such as at a motor vehicles or Social Security office. The sentences cover topics such as filling out forms and standing in the correct line. Knowing the sentences on this topic can save you hours of potential aggravation.

At the Restaurant

These dictation sentences cover common phrases used in a restaurant, such as "What would you like to have?" and "I'd like a hamburger and a cup of coffee." If you're up for more practice on eatery terms, you'll find them in these extra practice phrases.

Present, Past and Comparisons

In English, the present and past tense can take many grammatical forms, involving an array of confusing terms. You can memorize the grammatical forms, but it's often easier to listen to a native speaker dictate phrases and sentences involving present and past tense events. Making comparisons can also be a difficult concept.

Use the following links to practice such sentences as: "I started work in October last year" and "Peter is playing the piano at the moment.

  • Now—sentences that describe things happening at the moment
  • Past events—sentences with the simple past tense to describe things that happened in the past
  • Comparisons—sentences comparing two things or people

Other Topics

The more practice you can get listening to and writing American-English phrases the better. Buying or choosing clothing, describing habits, giving directions, and even buying souvenirs can be difficult unless you know a few basic phrases that cover these issues. To help you, these practice dictation sentences cover topics including:

  • Clothing—common phrases related to shopping for clothes
  • Habits—sentences that express daily habits and routines
  • My town—phrases regarding your community
  • Work—sentences about daily routines at work
  • Directions— common phrases used when asking for and giving directions
  • Questions—a variety of simple questions in different tenses
  • Souvenirs—common phrases used when shopping for souvenirs
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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "English Dictations." ThoughtCo, Jan. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/english-dictations-1211740. Beare, Kenneth. (2020, January 29). English Dictations. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/english-dictations-1211740 Beare, Kenneth. "English Dictations." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/english-dictations-1211740 (accessed June 10, 2023).