B2Idioms for expressing annoyance45


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. Moreover, they often just want to say: “Can you see how important I am?”. This pet peeve lesson consists of various tasks, but the main focus is discussion.


In this pet peeve lesson, students will learn the ways to express their annoyance and talk about pet hates they have. Firstly, they have to answer questions including such phrases as: get on one’s nerves, drive somebody nuts, etc. Then, they move to the discussion on annoying things in modern life. There is a list of 10 things, however, you can search for other examples too.


Next, students watch the video about busy-bragging and answer the comprehension questions. There are two questions at the end of this exercise which are not based on the video, but students’ own opinions. After watching the 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 which they have to complete with words given, and then discuss.

This pet peeve lesson should take around 45 minutes depending on how much your students are engaged in the discussion.

Extra Content – Complaining and Role-play

For our Beta-Teachers (Tier 2 Patrons), we give a special set of tasks to build on this lesson and have more vocabulary and speaking practice. With this extra worksheet, you will teach your students some informal and formal expressions for complaining and practice them in a role-play activity with a twist 🙂




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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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