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Missing Words Round

The Missing Words Round is a game from the British TV show Have I got news for you. In the show, contestants are shown a headline with one or more missing words and they should try to guess what the missing words are. As it is a comedy show, several wrong but humourous attempts are made before the correct answer is given.

missing words English


PRE: Find a number of interesting headlines that are recent or on the same topic. Either gap the sentences or highlight one or more words in black so that they can’t be seen (ensure you have the correct answers somewhere).

1: Split the class into teams.

2: Give out the headlines to the teams. Tell them they need to try to work out what is missing. You can also tell students the funniest or most interesting answer will also get points.

3: Go through the sentences and each teams’ answers. Award 5 points for a (mostly) correct answer, 3 points for an interesting or funny answer.

4: Give students other headlines (different ones for each team). Have them decide which words to blank out.

5: Have the teams test each other on these other headlines.


1: You can either use recent headlines, or you could use headlines on a common theme (the TV show take all of the headlines in each show from the same publication). Either way it is important to ensure the correct answer is in fact guessable.

2: To make it easier at lower levels, or to introduce them to this game, you could give the headlines and missing words so that they just have to match them.

Follow on:

You could lead in to a reading or listening lesson using one of the news stories which was included in the headlines.

Example Headlines:

Murderer says detective ruined his _____ (reputation)

Pupil praised for his anti-_____ art (bullying)

Man _____ huge croc (punches)

Library is starting a new _____ (chapter)

How do you solve a _____ like Korea? (problem)

Computer virus _____ to humans (spreads)

Don’t Miss A Thing!

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