Grammar Reviewing Using a Sentence Auction


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Holding 'Sentence Auctions' is a fun way to help students review key points in grammar and sentence construction while having some good fun. Basically, students in small groups are given some 'money' with which to bid on various sentences. These sentences include correct and incorrect sentences, the group which 'buys' the most correct sentences wins the game.

Sentence Auctions ESL Activity

  • Aim: Review grammar and sentence structure while having fun
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced


  1. Divide the class into small groups of 3 or 4 students per group.
  2. Talk about auctions — Do the students know what they are? Can they describe an auction? Have they ever been to an auction?
  3. Explain the rules of the auction.
    1. The aim of the game is to buy as many correct sentences as possible
    2. Each group will have $3000 to spend
    3. Bids begin at $200
    4. Bids increase by $100 each bid
    5. The sentence will be sold to the highest bidder ("$400 going once, $400 going twice, $400 sold to group X!")
    6. The winner of the game is the group which has bought the most correct sentences
  4. You can make the auction more difficult by declaring the winner based on the number of correct sentences minus the number of incorrect sentences (5 correct sentences minus 3 incorrect = two correct sentences)
  5. Once the game has finished, go through each sentence saying whether it is correct or incorrect.
  6. Have a celebration of the winning team!
  7. After things have calmed down, go through each sentence explaining any grammar/usage questions that arise.

Sentence Auction

Decide which sentences you would like to buy. (Collect correct masterpieces! Watch out for incorrect fakes!) See below for some examples to use in your auction.

  1. The film is so an interesting adaptation of the novel that I highly recommend it.
  2. If she had stayed in a better hotel, she would have enjoyed her vacation.
  3. Not only should he study more, but also should he get more sleep.
  4. I would really like to know whether she plans on joining our group.
  5. John is a very horrible judge of character.
  6. Look at those dark clouds on the horizon! It'll rain before long.
  7. When I stopped to talk to Mary, she was picking some flowers in her garden.
  8. Our family would go to the park every Sunday when we lived in London.
  9. If he were in charge of the department, he would improve staff communication.
  10. They had finished their work by the time we arrived.
  11. Jack can't have been at home, he told me he was going to be at work.
  12. Did you remember locking the door?
  13. I'll finish my homework by the time you get back.
  14. The number of smokers have been dropping steadily for twenty years.
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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Grammar Reviewing Using a Sentence Auction." ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020, Beare, Kenneth. (2020, October 29). Grammar Reviewing Using a Sentence Auction. Retrieved from Beare, Kenneth. "Grammar Reviewing Using a Sentence Auction." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).