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Logic for language learning

 

Many people enjoy puzzles and solving problems, and the use of logic can be used to make grammar exercises more interesting. Sentence activities such as putting words in order  and clozes are a common form of puzzles used in language learning, but there are many more opportunites to help challenge our more logically-minded students work on language. Here are some language puzzles for students (and teachers!)

 

1 

Arrow sentences

 

Follow the direction of the arrows to find the next word. For example, when you have found the second word I, which has an arrow pointing left,  look to the left for the third word, and so on.  The second part follows the first to create a single sentence.

 

Start→

End. Go to So in next part

 

 

 

 

When

flooded

came

was

I

whole

house

back

the

 

 

Start→

 

End

 

 

 

 

So

was

out!

the

called

plumber

he

but

I

 

Solution:

When I came back  the whole house was flooded, so I called the plumber but he was out!

 

 

Multiple choice sentence

Choose one word from each column to make a grammatically and  logically correct sentence. How many  possibilities are there?

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Last

day

he’s

played

jogging

near

an

ex

called

fiancee

Next

week

your

made

tennis

together

a

best

sister’s

Fido

Tom-orrow

hour

I

did

skiing

with

the

elder

Great grand-

daughter’s

cooker

past

morning

who

saw

exercise

by

my

dog

aunts

boyfriend

 

Solution: There is only one possible answer. Last week is the only collocation for  the past time in the first two columns. I is subject pronoun, so is the only possibility for the third position. ...played tennis is the only collocation in the next two columns.  ...with my elder sister’s boyfriend completes the sentence. Note that fiancee has a double e and is therefore female, and thus not a possibility, cooker is a machine. ...with my dog called Fido is grammatically correct but logically impossible. Aunts is plural not possessive. If my great granddaughter has a boyfriend, it is extremely unlikely that I would be playing tennis.

 

Logic puzzle sentence

Fill in the grid with three six word sentences using the following information:

 

There is one sentence of each tense, past, present and future.

The past tense sentence is about the cinema.

All have the same subject.

One sentence has two words with  double  (oo) next to each other.

The present tense sentence is about a book.

Two words share the same second word.

The words ‘to’ and ‘am’ both occur twice.

Yesterday and its opposite both appear at the end of different sentences.

The future sentence contains a sport beginning with ‘s’.

‘Reading’ is the third word of one of the sentences.

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

Past

 

went

 

the

 

 

Future

 

 

going

 

 

 

Present

I

 

 

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solution

Past

I

went

to

the

cinema

yesterday

Future

I

am

going

to

swim

tomorrow

Present

I

am

reading

a

good

book