Phrases useful in the classroom

If you are a student, the phrases and sentences given in this lesson will be helpful to you in the classroom.

Asking for things

Are there any pencils in that box?
Have you got a spare pen?
Is there any paper left?
Are there any calculators?
Have you got a notepad?
Can you lend me your pen?

Asking for information

Can I use this computer?
Should I write on both sides of the paper?
Which computer shall I use?
Should I put labels on the diagram?
Should I take a print-out?
When is the lunch break?
What does the word ‘ridiculous’ mean?
When is my next lesson?
How do you spell that word?

Asking for and giving explanations

The simplest way to ask for explanation is to start your question with Why?

Why does oil float on water?
Why do I need to mix these two chemicals?
Why does Hamlet pretend to be mad?

The phrase Could you explain…? can also be used to ask your teacher to explain something.

Could you explain why wood does not conduct electricity?
Could you explain why oil floats on water?
Could you explain why iron rusts?

To ask for a reason, use the phrase What is the reason…?

What is the reason for the poet’s unhappiness?

To give an explanation use Because.

Because he can no longer write.


Sentences beginning with because are quite common in speech. However, they are not considered appropriate in writing.