B2 Idioms for expressing annoyance 45

Busy-bragging has become an element of every talk with friends, family and co-workers and a status symbol in modern society. People boast about being busy in a manner that resembles complaining. Often, they just want to say: “Can you see how important I am?”.

In this lesson, students will learn the ways to express their annoyance and talk about pet hates they have. First, they will discuss annoying things in modern life. Then, after watching a video, they will also have the chance to discuss the most annoying things connected with their workplaces. To help them collect some ideas, there is a short text that they have to complete with words given, and then discuss.

Language for expressing annoyance
Open-ended questions (comprehension)
Pair-work (life/business)






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    1. If it is a TED Talk, transcripts are available on TED.com. However, if it is a YouTube video, you can use the auto-generated transcript. Just click the ellipsis button () under the video and click Open transcript. Transcript will be displayed on the right from the video. Remember though that it is automatically created and more often than not it is far from perfect.

  1. Really good lesson.

    However the questions in Q3 on the student worksheet two of the questions look like they are together when I think the question should be on the next line.

    3. Watch the video and answer the following questions.
    a) What is busy-bragging? Why do people do it?
    b) What does it mean that ‘life is like packing a suitcase for a trip’?
    c) What’s the idea of ‘compartmentalised time’?
    d) What’s the major cause of our stress? Do your friends tend to brag about being busy? How does it make you feel? e) What are other things that people brag about?

    1. Happy that you liked it! Thanks for pointing out that error – we’ve already corrected it and uploaded the improved version 🙂


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