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Sentence Auction

A sentence auction (or grammar auction) is a fun way to review grammatical (or lexical) structures. The main phase of the game is an auction in which students attempt to buy the correct sentences for the lowest price while avoiding buying the incorrect sentences.

This game can be played with small groups with each student acting individually, or with a large group in several teams.

sentence auction
Sentence auctions or grammar auctions are a fun way to review grammar structures.


PRE: Before the lesson prepare 15 sentences containing the target structure(s) some of which are grammatically correct and some of which are not.

1: Firstly, divide the class into teams and give each team a copy of the sentences. Give five minutes for students to read the sentences and decide whether they are correct or not. Students do not need to write any corrections (or give more time if you want students to do this).

2: Students will take part in an auction to buy sentences. Each team will have $200 to buy sentences. Teams should try to buy correct sentences because each correct sentence will give them $200 at the end of the game. For incorrect sentences they will not get any money. Once teams have spent all their money they can not buy any more sentences. You may wish to teach auction language (do I hear $5, going once, going twice, sold, all done at $50). It is also useful to do an example round of bidding with an easy example in case students are not familiar with auctions.

3: Conduct the auction, like the example below. It is a good idea to keep track of teams’ money and which sentences they bought on the board.

4: After the auction is finished, go through the sentences and elicit any corrections while awarding $200 for any correct sentences. Add up the scores and announce the winners.

T: Sentence 3. Do I hear $5?
S1: $5
S2: $10
S1: $30
S3: $50
T: Going once, going twice, sold to team 3 for $50.


1: You can change the number of sentences and amount of money in order to make this game longer or shorter.

2: If you have a lower level group, you could use words or short phrases. Similarly if words are transcribed using the IPA this could be a pronunciation auction.

Example Sentences:

There aren’t many elephants left.

There might be a little rain tomorrow.

I’m going to shopping next weekend.

Omanis haven’t to get a visa for the UAE or Saudi Arabia.

There is a few volcanoes in South Africa.

I have eaten horse meat.

I’ve had three emails this morning.

I would like to visit the Sapporo snow festival in Japan.

I want buy a new phone. Mine is so old.

My sister haven’t been to France.

Everyone might not speak English in 2050.

Brazil or Spain will win the next world cup.

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