Exploring Relationships

Vocabulary Improvement Activity for ESL Classes

There are all kinds of human relationships and these relationships will pay a role in discussions you will have. This page will help you explore a variety of relationships including romantic relationships, your friends and family and relationships at work. Start off by learning new vocabulary in groups and then applying that vocabulary in sentences, gap fills and conversation.

Learning Vocabulary

Discuss with your partner each of the vocabulary words and phrases below.

Try to use each vocabulary item in a sentence.

Romance - People

casual / steady date
boy/girlfriend
significant other
husband / wife
lover
mistress
unrequited love
love-interest

Examples:

My date was late for the dance!
Feel free to bring along your significant other to the party

Romance - Events

date
one night stand
fling
engagement
marriage
breakup
separation
divorce

Examples:

Tom and Betty's marriage is inspiring!
Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce.

Romance - Verbs

have a crush on
date
flirt with
go out with
break up with
live together
marry / get married

Examples:

Peter flirted with Maria during the class.
Helen went out with Andrea for more than three years.

Friends / Enemies - People

good / close / best friend
enemy
companion
acquaintance
platonic relationship
rival
nemesis

Examples:

We're not dating. We have a platonic relationship.
My rival in tennis beat me last week.

Friends / Enemies - Verbs

compete with
get along with
hit it off with
gang up on
trust / distrust
hang out with

Examples:

Peter and Alan hit it off at the meeting last week.
I like to hang out with Carl on the weekends.

Work - People

coworker
colleague
business partner
boss
director
customer
client
management
staff

Examples:

The director sent a memo out to staff.
My coworker got married last weekend.

Work - Events

meeting
presentation
interview
sales call
convention

Examples:

Alexander made a presentation at the convention last week.
I have a meeting at three o'clock this afternoon.

Work - Verbs

do business with
meet
schedule
contact
delegate
compete with
be responsible for
present
apologize to

Examples:

James is responsible for sales in California.
Let's schedule a meeting next week.

Family - People

mother / father / brother / sister in-law
uncle
aunt
cousin
blood / distant relatives

Examples:

I don't often see my distant relatives.
Her mother-in-law drives her crazy!

Family - Events

wedding
reunion
get together
funeral
holiday

Examples:

It's funny how we only see distant relatives at weddings and funerals.
We had a nice family get together last weekend.

Family - Verbs

get along with
rebel against
argue with
have a good relationship with
obey / disobey
punish
emulate
look up to

Examples:

She looks up to her father. The children disobeyed their parents and were punished.

Vocabulary Exercises

Exercise 1. - Use a word or phrase to fill in the gaps. Each word or phrase is used only once.

love-interest, blood, nemesis, friendship, love, crush, casual, distant, unrequited love, acquaintance, steady, business partner

Love is very different from _______. If you've got a _______ on someone you can't wait to see them.

If it's just an ________ you can probably wait until tomorrow, or the day after. One thing is for sure: You'll probably see your ______ relatives every day! Luckily, you don't need to see your _______ relatives quite as often, though. When it comes to business, you'll probably see your _________ daily, but you'll stay away from ________ as often as you can.

Let's face it: ______ is complicated. I've heard from a number of people who have experienced _____________, and they're never the same! There are also all kinds of considerations. For example, if you've had a _______ date, do you want to go out again? Are you tired of your ________ date? Well, maybe it's time for a new __________!

Exercise 2. - Use a verb to fill in the blanks in the sentences. Remember to conjugate the verb depending on the situation, and don't forget your prepositions!

  1. My nemesis and I _______________ each other on a daily basis!
  2. I can remember the first time I met my wife. We ____________ immediately and life was never the same.
  3. Students who __________________ their parents after the age of 30 are ridiculous.
  4. I __________________ my father for my whole life. He's a wonderful example of a kind-hearted person with good judgement.
  1. Yesterday, she ________________ her colleague for criticizing her work. She said she was very sorry.
  2. Ever since he ____________ Angela, he's been a changed man!
  3. Mary ________________ her boyfriend last week. She couldn't stand his complaining anymore.
  4. They _____________________ for more than twenty years. They see no reason to get married.
Answers to Exercises

Exercise 1

friendship
crush
acquaintance
blood
distant
business partner
nemesis
love
unrequited love
casual
steady
love-interest

Exercise 2

compete with
hit it off
live with
have looked up to
apologized to
went out with
broke up with
have lived together