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Instructions for a colleague

Learn how to write instructions for a colleague.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

Checklist for opening the shop

Start at 8 a.m.

  1. Firstly, when you enter the shop, remember to turn off the alarm.  
    • Do this by holding your key card to the alarm panel. It's behind the door near the light switches.
  2. Open all the blinds and turn on the lights.
  3. Please don't forget to start the coffee machine so your colleagues have fresh coffee for when they arrive.
  4. At 8.15 a.m., watch out for the fresh deliveries at the back door. They usually arrive at that time.
    • Pay attention to the order list and what is actually delivered.
    • Remember not to sign for anything that isn't in the delivery as there are often items missing.
  5. Check the answer phone and shop email account for any new messages.
  6. Leave the heating and the air conditioning alone. They are on an automatic timer. So please, don't go near the control panels.

Finally, you need to finish everything above before 8.45 a.m. and open the shop at 9 a.m. There is a red logbook under the counter. Make sure you sign it for each day when you have completed all points on this checklist. Make a note of any issues.

If you have any problems, call your supervisor or the 24-hour support line number below.


  1. Use imperative verb forms to give orders and instructions:
    Turn off the alarm / make sure to sign the logbook.
  2. Tell people exactly what you want them to do and when:
    You need to do everything above before 8.45 a.m.
  3. Tell people where things are – they might not know:
    It's near/behind/over/under the …
  4. Give emergency contact information.
  5. Have a sheet for people to sign after they have completed the process, e.g. cleaning a machine or balancing the cash register.



Language level

Pre-intermediate: A2


I have worked as a laboratory technician for 4 years. I work with a lot of laboratory equipment. So I usually give newbies instructions to use, operate, and maintain them. For some modern equipment, they are very expensive and difficult to use, so that I have to give them detailed and step-by-step instructions. They must carefully practice and operate them under my supervision.

I usually give my son instructions on the day's activities.

Although this is not the case now, I sometimes asked my classmates and all students to give instructions because I was a class president and a student president in elementary school, junior high school and high school. In order to organize the class, we had to make decisions and direct the rules.I was proud of my role, as I seemed to be trusted. As a university student, I don't have the chance to do that now, but after a while I get used to my job, I think I can do club activities and give instructions. At that time, I would like to give you accurate instructions and build a trustworthy relationship.

Frankly speaking, lately, I give instructions mainly to my kids. I have two and each of them badly need some instructions to not turn our home into the chaos. During the whole day, I tell them what to do and what not to do. With mixed results, truth be told. They both have such energy, especially for fighting to one another, and stealing toys from each other. And, don't forget about the homework. It's an extra instruction set for my elder one. Well, if feel like I turned into an instructor or rather into a strictly sergeant. But it's how the parenthood looks like.

I need to give instructions to my students in oder to see if they understand well the lessons and is also a way to get feedback

As a teacher I need to give instructions to my students. Any time I give an activty to my students, if I want them to do it correctly I should give clear instructions. Instructions are very important in class. Without clear instructions, we fail to reach our objectives.

Good exercise

Instructions can allow us to be fluent when learning a language.
I use to do it for giving direction of places.

I usually give instructions to my kids on the activities for the day.

I give instructions to my students in order to make questions clear. Moreover instructions are part of daily life. You want to install and setup a new software or you want to take a drug when you are sick. And so on