English Vocabulary Exercises for B2 – Express yourself

1. Match the gestures below with the pictures (1-6).

cover your mouth      cross your legs      give a thumbs up

point      scratch your head      shrug your shoulders


Show answers

1) shrug your shoulders   2) cover your mouth

3) cross your legs   4) scratch your head

5) give a thumbs up   6) point

2. Which parts of the body do you use to make the following gestures and expressions? Put the words below in the correct column.

nod      point      pout      scowl      shake      wave      wink





Show answers

head nod, shake   face pout, scowl, wink   hand point, wave

3. Complete the text with the correct form of the words below.

bite      frown      grin      nod      shake      yawn

Mark was really nervous before the Spanish speaking exam! He either fidgeted and played with a pen or he 1) _____. his fingernails. He also started 2) _____, even though he wasn’t sleepy! When he looked at me, he 3) _____. nervously, but there was nothing funny about the situation. Then, in the exam, instead of answering the examiner’s questions with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and an explanation, he just 4) _____. or 5) _____. his head! Luckily, the examiner 6) _____. at these answers, so Mark got the message and started speaking in Spanish.

Show answers

1) bit   2) yawning   3) grinned   4) shook / nodded

5) shook / nodded   6) frowned

4. Complete the sentences with the words below.

annoyance      anxiety      boredom      disgust      friendliness      surprise

1) People will see it as a sign of ____________ if you are yawning all the time.

2) If you bite your nails, people will think it’s a sign of ____________

3) People will say you’re showing ____________ if you purse your lips.

4) People will see it as a sign of ____________ if you wave.

5) If you grimace, people will say you’re showing ____________

6) If you raise your eyebrows, people will think it’s a sign of ____________

Show answers

1) boredom   2) anxiety   3) annoyance   4) friendliness

5) disgust   6) surprise

5. Listen to four speakers. Match sentences A-E with speakers 1-4. There is one extra sentence.

This speaker:

a gets a shock when she hears some news.

b thinks some instructions cause confusion.

c is disappointed with someone’s performance.

d is indifferent to an activity.

e feels shame for what has happened.

Show answers

1) D   2) B   3) A   4) C


See exercise 6.

6. Listen again and complete the sentences with the emotions below. There are two extra emotions.

fear      ignorance      indifference      interest      shock      surprise

1) Speaker 1 feels ____________ at their friend’s wish to go and see a musical.

2) Speaker 2 expresses his ____________ about how he should use electrical devices.

3) Speaker 3 talks about someone who uses ____________ to try and obtain things.

4) Speaker 4 says someone has to show more ____________ in their work.

Show answers

1) surprise   2) ignorance   3) fear   4) interest



I’m not bothered about what we do. I’m not particularly interested in that film, but I don’t feel like going to the theatre. I’ll let you decide, because I don’t really mind. If we decide to go to the theatre, we’ll have to buy the tickets soon – although, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting you to show any interest in going to a musical.


I really don’t know what I have to do. I’ve tried pressing this button and nothing happens ___ but that’s what it says I have to do in the manual. To be honest, I think that if I press it too much, I’ll break it. Really, I’m useless with technology and I don’t know how anything works!


What?!! You’re joking!!! No ___ I can’t believe he did that! ___ I know! I would never have thought David was capable of doing such a thing! He seems to think that by making people frightened of him, he’ll be able to get what he wants. He doesn’t realise that if he continues like this, he’ll end up with no friends at all.


Well, Kate, you didn’t work hard enough, did you? If you don’t put the work in, you won’t get good results. I have to say, I’m disappointed with you. You are an intelligent girl. If you get more involved in your work and pay more attention, you will do well. If you don’t, you won’t. It’s as simple as that!

7. Match the words below with the descriptions. There are two extra words.

clear your throat      cough      gasp      hiccup      sigh      slurp

sneeze      sniff      snore      tut

1) Some people do this in their sleep. ____________

2) We often do these three things when we have a cold. ____________ , ____________ , ____________

3) People sometimes do this before they speak. ____________

4) It is considered rude to do this in some cultures when you eat dishes such as soup. ____________

5) We make this sound when we want to show disapproval of something. ____________

6) We make this sound to express both sadness and pleasure. ____________

Show answers

1) snore   2) cough, sneeze, sniff   3) clear your throat

4) slurp   5) tut   6 sigh

Extra exercises

1. Complete the sentences with a verb from A and a body part from B.

   bowed      covered      crossed      folded      gave      pursed      raised      shrugged

   arms      eyebrows      fingers      head      lips      mouth      shoulders      thumbs

1) Mike’s parents ____________ him a ____________ up to encourage him to do his best in the race.

2) brother ____________ his ____________ across his chest defensively when parents asked where he’d been.

3) The teacher ____________ her ____________ in disbelief at Aaron’s excuse for not doing the homework.

4) On the day of her driving test, Olivia ____________ her ____________ for luck as she was getting into the car.

5) grandmother ____________ her ____________ in disapproval when brother showed her his new tattoo.

6) The boy ____________ his ____________ in shame when he was expelled from school.

7) The girl ____________ her ____________ as she yawned during the ceremony.

8) I didn’t know the answer so I just ____________

Show answers

1) gave, thumbs   2) folded, arms   3) raised, eyebrows

4) crossed, fingers   5) pursed, lips   6) bowed, head

7) covered, mouth   8) shrugged, shoulders

2. Match 1-6 with a-f.

1) I can’t sleep.

2) Eat your soup properly.

3) Blow your nose!

4) Ah, you don’t approve.

5) Have a drink of water.

6) Are you allergic to that?

a You’re sniffing.

b You’re tutting.

c You’re coughing.

d You’re slurping.

e You’re snoring.

f You’re sneezing.

Show answers

1) e   2) d   3) a   4) b  5) c   6) f