Giving instructions

In this video, Vanya helps Emir learn how to use a new coffee machine. Listen to the language Vanya uses to give instructions and practise saying the useful phrases.

Do the preparation exercise first. Then watch the video and do the exercises to check your understanding and practise the language.


Ana: Hi! I'm Ana. Welcome to What to Say

Do you know what to say when you give instructions? Listen out for useful language for giving instructions. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Emir: Argh! It's not working. 

Vanya: Are you OK?

Emir: Do you know how to use this machine?

Vanya: Yeah, I'll show you.

Emir: Ah, thanks.

Vanya: OK. First, you have to put the correct amount of coffee in here.

Emir: Aha.

Vanya: Then you press it down with this.

Emir: I see.

Vanya: Right, OK. Next, you put this here and turn it until it's quite tight.

Emir: Right.

Vanya: After that, you just press this button.

Emir: OK, that seems clear.

Vanya: Great! Now it's your turn. 

Emir: Is this OK?

Vanya: Yes, that's right. Now press it down.

Emir: Like this? 

Vanya: Yeah, you're doing well.

Emir: Thanks! What do I do next?

Vanya: Connect it to the machine.

Emir: Is there anything else?

Vanya: That's it. Just press the button.

Vanya: Well?

Emir: Delicious! Thank you.

Vanya: You're welcome. 


Ana: Hello again! Oh, I love a good coffee! So, did you notice the useful phrases used for giving instructions? Listen to me and then repeat. 


First, you have to put the coffee here. 

Then you press it down with this.

I see.

Right, OK. Next, you put this here.

After that, you just press this button.

OK, that seems clear.

Is this OK?

Yes, that's right.

Like this?

You're doing well.

What do I do next?

Is there anything else?


Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you give instructions in English. Bye for now!

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Worksheet116.29 KB

Language level

A2 English level (pre-intermediate)

Submitted by erwindedi on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 03:54

everybody, can you help me to download the video in this marvelous site?

Hi erwindedi,

I'm very sorry, but I'm afraid these videos are not available for download.

All of the audio on our site, however, can be downloaded, so if you find any that could be useful (see our Listening section), please feel free to do so.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a bunch for the great advice. I'll try it

Submitted by Ugulhan on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 08:04

When I was in South Germany, during my work in Stuttgart, I met a woman who was from Canada and she asked me how to come to the main station? Then I tried to give her directions to the main station in English.

Submitted by Lena on Thu, 17/09/2020 - 12:38

I've never had a chance to give instructions in English:(
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Submitted by Alpha Oumar on Wed, 16/09/2020 - 22:08

Hi thanks a lot. T'as very useful and easy to practice. If you want to be fluide in english you have to these instructions. Then, you will ne fluent.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Thu, 27/08/2020 - 17:58

I've never given instructions in English, because I've never had the occasion to do it.

Submitted by fariba on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 09:09

i think i gave instruction tow or three years ago.

Submitted by HeinHtetKyaw on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 21:11

I regret to say that I've never given instruction to others with business. Honestly, I would like to give instruction in english

Submitted by Saish on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 09:19

I recently gave the instructions on how to use some features of a new smartphone which i bought for my mother. My instructions to her were pretty clear and were in short sentences. I first showed her how to do it and later asked her to do it on her own. She was understood my instructions very well.

Submitted by duaa saleh 90 on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 08:59

first, do........ then...... next, press... and finally ......

Submitted by Tambur on Thu, 30/07/2020 - 07:39

First, you have to put the coffee here. Then you press it down with this. I see. Right. Ok. Next, you put this here. After that, you just press this button. Ok, that seems clear. Is this OK? Yes that's right. Like this? You're doing well. What do I do next? Is there anything else?
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Submitted by Ivanox76 on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 20:18

So far, I have never given instructions in English, only in Spanish, and I think that I am a well instructor.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 13:38

I regret to say that I've never given instructions in English. And it's a pity because giving instructions is a good way to practice the target language. Honestly, I quite rarely use English in my life and that's why I use the British Council site to improve my skills (and it helps a lot). Sometimes I give some simple instructions to my son when we study English together. I help him to learn because he's on his first steps now So I tell him "let's read this", "let's write that", or "well done, you're doing right".

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 18:09

Just yesterday. I had an online English course and I gave instructions in English with my partner about our homework.

Submitted by Asni on Fri, 17/07/2020 - 23:00

I gave instructions in English a few years ago at univesity. It was in a user manual for an information system that we developed as the practical part of a subject.

Submitted by fatfat on Fri, 17/07/2020 - 13:14

I never give instructions in English.

Submitted by Jerome NR on Wed, 15/07/2020 - 14:05

Thanks you for this lesson.

Submitted by Rapershi on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 22:23

I have never given earlier:) But i try to give now:) i give intruction for rice. First put the correct amount of water in pat. and wait for the water to boil. and then put two cup of rice in pot. wait for it thirty minutes. after half hour empty water. if you like spice pour some of it too.that's it:)good appetite

Submitted by Suellen Esteves on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 20:17

I never gave instructions in English. So sad it

Submitted by abudo93 on Fri, 03/07/2020 - 14:47

The last time was when I try to make tea, I learned how to make tea by instructions from youtub.