Writing Instructions
Find out what to do in this quiz if there is a fire.

Writing Instructions

Writing instructions normally tells us how to do something. Writing instructions is a skill that you should try to perfect. If your instructions are not clear, you might cause loss or damage to someone. In serious situations, the wrong instructions could lead to death.

The best way to write instructions is by using the imperative mood: this just means that you use the dictionary form of the verb to give an instruction, e.g. 'Stir slowly for two minutes'. 'Stir' is the dictionary form of the verb and is used as an instruction to do something. Here's another instruction: 'Don't add more than 250 grams of raisins to the mixture'. 'Don't add' instructs you not to add.

Try this 11-plus English quiz and see how well you do with giving instructions. Don't forget: instructions can be both written and spoken.

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  1. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    If there's a fire, you'll have to leave the building and phone the fire brigade.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'leave' and 'phone'
  2. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    The water has to be boiled before you add the sugar.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'boil' and 'add'
  3. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    If you haven't checked all the doors and windows, do that first. You'll also have to inform the duty officer after that, but before you do that - return the keys.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'check', 'return' and 'inform'
  4. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    You mustn't tell anyone, and you mustn't write anything about this meeting.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'tell' and 'write'
  5. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    You'll have to unscrew the lid, then slide it to the left. You mustn't slide it beyond the red mark.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'unscrew' and 'slid'
  6. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    You have got to go either to the baker's or to the butcher's first. You might decide to go the butcher's first, in that case you'll have to go to the barber's afterwards. If you decide to go to the baker's first, then you'll have to go the builder's afterwards.
    Use the imperative mood: the verb used in the instruction is 'go'
  7. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    Having pressed the blue button, you have to enter the code, and then press the red button.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'press' and 'enter'
  8. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    You'll have to clean the wound first, then put on the bandage.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'clean' and 'put'
  9. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    You should slowly pour the liquid into the beaker and at the same time you should stir it.
    Use the imperative mood: the verbs used in the instructions are 'pour' and 'stir'
  10. In the given situation, which one of the instructions is correct?
    The left handle has to be turned to the right, and then the right handle has to be turned to the left.
    Use the imperative mood: the verb used in the instruction is 'turn'

Author: Frank Evans

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