Teachers' resources

Teacher resources how to use words in a sentence

Teacher, how do I put this in a sentence?

This is one of the questions I get from time to time in one of my classes. To take a random word and put it in a sentence that has some context is one of the most challenging tasks a student can ask at some random moment. It’s not that I don’t understand the word, but a sentence needs some context to make sense. For this reason I use

What is it? is a website that takes your word and looks for it in online texts and shows you a sentence using the word. You can use a filter and look for different kinds of sentences: positive, negative, or questions. You can even look for the word being used in different English tenses. Finally, you can also adjust the context from Art to Zen.

Who for?

Since the sentences are mostly from online newspapers or other text I would say it is really suitable for adults and older teens. For the other ages the sentences won’t make sense.

How does it work?

You just go to and type in the word or words you are looking for (it can also find phrasal words or longer phrases) and press enter. Next, you will see many different sentences which include the word. Finally, you select the sentence(s) you like and show them to your student(s).

Watch out!

  • Most of the sources are newspapers, this means there is already a certain context and formality that comes with newspaper articles. Still, it’s a good source to find words in a context.
  • The sentences are usually suitable for adults and teens, I wouldn’t use for little children since the context is not relevant for them.

How have I used it in the classroom?

  • I’ve used it to answer the students’ questions.
  • I’ve used to promote learner autonomy and show the students this resource so they can use it by themselves.
  • I’ve used it to find sentences for exercises.

So have a look at and let us know in the comments below how you would use it in the class.

Spread the word

Kristof Abrath
Teacher, Trainer, Course Designer
Teaching in English on 4 different continents since 2006.

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