CPE Use of English collocations dominoes

Cambridge Proficiency Use of English Part One and Part Two 

Instructions for teachers

Choose which pack of dominoes you want to use, perhaps due to which part of the test you have just practised or want to practise next. If you want to do both, you could do a Use of English Part One paper, then the Use of English Part One dominoes, then the Use of English Part Two dominoes, and finally a Use of English Part Two paper.  

Copy, cut up and shuffle one pack per group of two to four students.

Each student takes seven cards each, then they lay one more card face up in the middle of the table. Students take turns trying to match half of one of their cards to one of the halves on the table to make collocations from (real) CPE exams. If they can’t make any match that their partners accept, they should pick one more card and play passes to the next person. Students continue in the same way until someone finishes all their dominoes or all the dominoes have been taken but no one can match any of their dominoes to the two ends of the string of dominoes on the table. The person with fewest dominoes left in their hand at the end wins the game.

When they finish the game, ask them to compare the matches between the dominoes on their table to the matches on an un-cut-up copy of the worksheet below, asking you if any different matches they made are possible. 

After the game, they could test each other on the collocations by:

  • Saying a sentence with one of the collocations but with one word missing for their partner to complete
  • Saying a sentence with one of the collocations but with one word missing and two or more options for words to put in the gap (from the worksheet or their own ideas) for their partner to repeat back with the right word in


CPE Use of English Part One collocations dominoes to cut up/ Suggested answers

serious concerns


stimulating challenges still


innate talents intrinsic


see the light of day lay to
rest (the myth…)


a shining example of… a rebranding


a dusty old law firm a new lease of


the deadly perils (of…) reckless
actions draft


a report advertising
campaign a change of


fortune of central
importance put someone to sleep


render something
useless gather pace


his demise achievable goals become


the norm a common trait works


perfectly does his job competently confirm


that it is true support someone’s opinion sustain


life a plausible excuse a predictable


failure a prospective candidate the final


destination the exact location museum


pieces a mistaken notion sparks


a revolution have a serious flaw hit a


snag family heirloom personal


legacy capture the imagination command your


attention hold great appeal (for…) address



Collocations in CPE Use of English Part Two dominoes



nothing new under the sun for all
we know


in close formation on the other


brings recognition to to what


for good reason come to


a tall order might just make


would no longer be needed sounds
like science fiction


almost all each and
every time


it goes without saying needs little
more than…


strictly speaking can’t help
but wonder


think big given
enough support,…


very little research in danger
of disappearing


briefly if at all there is nothing
new in…


as far back as 1767 the phenomenon in


call to mind willing to put
up with discomfort


the first thing to pop into my head more often than


however odd it might seem change is on the


begin to make up a bigger part looking further


PDF for easy saving and printing: Collocations in CPE Use of English dominoes

Related pages

Collocations page

Cambridge Proficiency Use of English page

TEFL dominoes (TEFLtastic Classics Part 36)