© Walter Baxter, Geograph. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0. Source

Morning at Bemersyde in the Scottish Borders.

About this picture …

Morning in mid-December at Bemersyde in the Scottish Borders. A mist still clings to the ground. In the distance, the Waterloo Monument rises on Peniel Heugh, commemorating the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium, where in 1815 the Duke of Wellington and his Prussian allies defeated the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. See posts tagged The Battle of Waterloo.

Worksheet No. 5

These Worksheets are based on textbooks written by NL Clay (1905-1991) and used in English schools from the 1920s to the 1960s. They focus on vocabulary, sentence structure, and clear speaking. They are best studied in pairs or small groups, because that allows you to pool ideas and encourages you to speak; but you may of course share your sentences with me.


For each group of words, compose a single sentence that uses at least one of them. They are generated randomly from a list of very common English words.

I. Serve. Property. Come.

II. Explain. Hotel. While.

III. Be. Bill. Plan.

See more Spinners.


For each word below, suggest at least three one-syllable words that rhyme with it. For an extra level of difficulty, exclude words with the letter indicated in brackets.

ILate (E). IIMoon (O). IIIYou (O).

Suggested Rhymes (in A-Z order)

Blue. Crew. Gait. Prune. Rune. Strewn. Sue. Trait. Wait.


How would you show (without actually spelling it out) the following?

IThat a person was worried. IIThat a room had been thoroughly searched. IIIThat it was early morning.

Useful Words (in A to Z order)

Birdsong. Cabinet. Curt. Curtains. Cushions. Deserted. Desk. Dew. Dishevelled. Distracted. Dog. Drawers. East. Empty. Furrowed. Jogger. Milk bottles. Mist. Nails. Newspaper. Overturn. Pace. Ripped, torn. Shadows. Shutters. Sun. Toss. Traffic. Wring.

See more from Show, Don’t Tell.


Compose a sentence for each of the verbs below. Then rewrite your sentence, keeping the same meaning but using a different verb or verb phrase.

IGet ahead. IIGet along. IIIGet at. IVGet even. VGet in. VIGet on. VIIGet out. VIIIGet over. IXGet through. XGet.

Suggested words (in A to Z order)

Advance. Be friends. Board. Co-exist. Criticise. Endure. Exact revenge. Exit. Extract. Fetch. Imply. Leave. Obtain. Progress. Reach. Recover. Survive. Withdraw.


Choose any of the following phrases, and use it in a complete sentence:

IInto the castle. IIBefore they get here. IIIAfter class. IVBeneath the sofa. VAround the clock. VIOver the hill. VIIThrough the window. VIIIWithout noticing. IXBy the end of the morning.


Turn these notes into a short passage of continuous prose.

In India. Rabbit sitting under tree. Heard loud noise. ‘It’s the end of the world!’ he said. Began to run. Met another rabbit. Told him ‘It’s the end of the world!’ All rabbits starting running. Met deer, fox, elephant in turn. Same pattern. Met lion. ‘Stop!’ Asked elephant why he ran. ‘Fox told me it’s the end of the world.’ Fox: ‘Deer told me’. Traced back to rabbit. Lion went to look at his tree. Found a fallen wood-apple. ‘That’s what you heard.’ Animals stopped running. And the moral of that is...

See The Flight of the Beasts.


Read each group of words out clearly:

IBright, bride. IIBrute, brood. IIICane, gain. IVCrave, grave. VTalk, take. VIWalk, work. VIIWary, weary, worry.

Read this short passage out aloud, clearly and without haste.

He would be crown’d:
How that might change his nature, there’s the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking.

Julius Caesar (Brutus), Act II, Scene I, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616).