For more ESL games and activities, click here.

What's the Question?

In this guessing game, students attempt to deduce questions from the answers that other students give. This game is very similar to hot seat, the main differences being that students are practising questions, not isolated words or phrases, and they do not directly explain what is on the board.

Although it may not be immediately obvious, a very critical skill is being practised here. We often enter conversations having not understood what came before and having to work out what is going on. This game practises this skill.

what's the question game
Can you guess the question in this guessing game?


1: One student sits in the hot seat (S1) with their back to the board.

2: Write a question on the board.

3: S1 may ask the other students for their answer. You may wish to encourage students not to answer using the question. E.g. What did you have for breakfast? For breakfast I had toast. To do this, highlight words in the question that students are not allowed to use in their answers.

4: After hearing the students’ answers, S1 should say what they think the question is.

On whiteboard: What did you have for breakfast?
S1: What’s your answer?
S2: Porridge and a cup of coffee.
S1: What did you have for breakfast?


Online: If you want to play this game online, you may need to put one student in a breakout room, or waiting room, while informing the other students of the question.

1: Instead of writing the question on the board, you could pass it around on a card instead. This way anyone who hasn’t answered the question yet can guess. It will be a good idea in this case to have an order for who answers next and to limit students to one guess after each answer.

2: This game can be used to enliven any controlled practice questions in a course book. It could also be used to practice exam questions.

Example Questions:

What is your job?

What music do you like?

How much money do you have in your pocket?

What colour socks are you wearing?

What did you do today?

Why are you learning English?

What would you do if…?

What do you regret most in your life?

Which foods don’t you like?

What’s your biggest dream for the future?

What would be your perfect day?

Who was the last person you called?

What was the plot of the last movie you saw?

What was your most embarrassing moment?

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