Connect 4 word formation game

Connect 4 word formation game offers the opportunity to practice forming nouns from verbs using appropriate suffixes. It is very helpful for FCE and CAE students preparing for their exams, especially Use of English Part 3 paper. It is played in pairs and encourages competition and strategic thinking.

This is a variation on the popular game Connect 4. Its beauty lies in the fact that it can be adapted for any purpose, the most popular being the revision of irregular verbs. I decided to approach it from the word formation perspective. Teaching Spanish students often means that -ion becomes the acceptable suffix to create every noun, and while with words such as “admiration” or “education” it is fine, the moment I started hearing “performation” and “injuration” I knew it was time to act. Word formation is one of the essential skills necessary to pass both FCE and CAE and is easily practiced through games.

The Task

The objective of the Connect 4 word formation game is to transform the verbs into nouns and connect 4 adjacent squares (horizontally, vertically or diagonally). The first person to do it, wins. It is a good idea to go over the nouns after the game is over and spend some time looking at those that proved to be especially difficult.

For another Connect 4 game see the phrasal verbs version.

Personal Experience

Connect 4 word formation game works like a charm. It appeals even to the non-competitive types. It took some monitoring to make sure nobody was cheating/ unwittingly submitting a wrong answer. It took around 10 mins, so it is a great warmer idea.


Connect 4 nouns


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