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English Conversation – Problems & Accidents

Thursday, November 15, 2012 @ 12:11 PM
posted by Jo

This is the preparation material for an English conversation lesson about problems and accidents experienced in the home, office or in everyday life.  There are many problems we can experience such as our car breaking down, our phone running out of battery, spilling a coffee, dropping something, burning our hand, losing our keys or forgetting an important document. Fortunately, we can avoid many of these situations but sometimes, when we are having a really bad day, we can experience all of these problems at once! 


  • Describe the problems you saw in the video?
  • Have any of these problems happened to you?
  • How would you deal with these situations?
  • Have you ever had a bad day at the office? 

Verbs to Describe Problems



















Phrasal Verbs 

  • Break down – This car is so old, I am sure it will break down soon!
  • Run out of – I can’t call you because my phone has run out of battery 


When we describe a problem, we use the present or the present continuous tense.

  • I have a problem with my car (present simple) or
  • I am having a problem with my car (present continuous)
  • The light is not working (present continueous)

For problems that happen regularly, we often use the verb ‘keep’ + a gerund (-ing ending)

  • My laptop keeps breaking
  • My computer screen keeps freezing

When talking about solutions, we usually use the verb ‘need’ + a gerund

  • My phone needs fixing
  • My laptop needs replacing

We can also use the passive form:

  • My phone needs to be fixed
  • My laptop needs to be replaced

Conversation Questions

  • What sorts of accidents can people have in the home?
  • What typical problems can we experience with a computer?
  • What troubles can we have with a mobile phone?
  • What are some dangerous things that can be found around the home? What could happen?
  • What are some dangerous things that can be found in the garden? What could happen?
  • Have you ever broken something expensive?
  • Have you ever damaged something that belonged to someone else? What did you do?
  • What problems or accidents have you had at work?
  • Have you ever had a bad day where everything seems to go wrong?
  • What can be done to prevent accidents?
  • Have you ever had a car that has broken down?
  • Have you ever lost your keys? What did you do?
  • Have you ever locked your keys in the car? What happened?
  • Have you ever forgotten an important document?
  • Some people think more accidents happen when there is a full moon? Do you believe this superstition?
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One Response to “English Conversation – Problems & Accidents”

  1. Shoshana says:

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but good topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.

    Thanks for great info I was looking for this information for my mission.