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100 “Would You Rather” Questions to Start an ESL Conversation

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Do you want interesting questions to get the ball rolling with your ESL students?

Are you tired of asking the same basic questions about where your students live, what hobbies they have etc?

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“Would you rather” questions are a great way to inject more fun into your speaking lessons and be “the interesting teacher”. 

Here we have 100 fun questions for kids, teens and adults as well, to get you started along with a follow-up question for each to keep the conversation going.

The Power of “Would You Rather” Questions

The idea is simple:

You ask a student a question and they have a choice of two possible answers: “Would you rather be a bird or a fish?”.

The student answers the question but… it’s important they explain WHY.

The explanation of why they chose their answer is what really tests their ability to produce the language (rather than giving you a series of one-word answers).

These questions are extremely useful; they are fun which engages the student more. They also get students to use the language outside of what they’re used to which will help them feel confident speaking in a wider range of situations.

They are a great stepping stone between very basic “yes or no” questions and completely open questions which could be a little intimidating for less advanced students.

These questions work great as a warmup to a more in-depth subject in a speaking lesson or even to round things off with some fun at the end of a particularly difficult one.

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As these are separated into different topics it may even be a good idea to use them in lessons that relate to that particular area. 

Ok, without further ado, let’s begin!

General “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather have more time or more money?

Would you play a lottery that had a prize of time?

2. Would you rather be able to sing beautifully or speak fluently in a chosen language?

Which do you think is harder to master?

3. Would you rather be the world’s fastest runner or own the world’s fastest car?

Which do you think would be most useful?

4. Would you rather be able to fly or swim without needing to hold your breath?

What’s the longest you can hold your breath for?

5. Would you rather go to the cinema or watch a concert?

What’s your favourite film?

6. Would you rather be stuck inside on a good day or stuck outside on a bad day?

What do you do when the weather’s bad?

7. Would you rather be poor and happy or miserable and rich?

Can money buy happiness?

8. Would you rather travel to somewhere relaxing or somewhere interesting?

Where did you last go on holiday?

9. Would you rather play video games or play sports?

What was the last thing you played?

10. Would you rather be super fast or super strong?

What would you do with that power?

Funny “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather be a mouse on holiday or a lion at work?

Which do you think would be more difficult?

2. Would you rather have a house made of chocolate or a house made of french fries?

Which do you think would be easier to clean?

3. Would you rather have the power to make others laugh or to make yourself laugh?

Are there any comedians you know who already have this power?

4. Would you rather stink or have everybody else stink (except you)?

How much deodorant do you think would be needed to hide the smell?

5. Would you rather marry a fish or a potato?

Which do you think you would argue with more?

6. Would you rather fight Santa or a reindeer?

Do you think you’d still get presents after?

7. Would you rather dance with a sloth or a chimpanzee?

Do you think they would enjoy the dance?

8. Would you rather slip on ice or a banana peel?

Which one do you think is funnier?

9. Would you rather laugh so hard you cry or cry so hard you laugh?

Do you often cry when you laugh?

10. Would you rather have an onion for a head or a cabbage?

Do you think it would be hard to wash your face?

Difficult “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather win £1,000,000 or have your friend win £3,000,000?

Do you think they’d let you win the money if they were in your shoes?

2. Would you rather travel to the past or to the future?

What about if you couldn’t return to the present?

3. Would you rather have lots of money but not be able to buy food or have plenty of food but no money?

Is there anyone you can think of who would pick the opposite?

4. Would you rather be best friends with a celebrity or have your dream job?

Have you ever met a celebrity?

5. Would you rather fall into a cactus or walk on glass?

Do you have a strong tolerance to pain?

6. Would you rather climb Mount Everest or run three marathons?

What’s the most exercise you’ve ever done?

7. Would you rather not shower for a week or not brush your teeth for a week?

What’s the longest you’ve gone without showering before?

8. Would you rather be trapped in a room full of spiders or snakes?

How long do you think you could stay in there for?

9. Would you rather play a sport professionally or be an actor / actress?

Which do you think pays more?

10. Would you rather be a king for a day or a mayor for a month?

What would you do in that time?

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Weird “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather have a pillow as a pet or a piece of cheese?

Which do you think would look funnier when taking for a walk?

2. Would you rather be abducted by aliens or kidnapped by vampires?

Which is more likely?

3. Would you rather be a plant or a rock?

Do you think life would be easier than being a human?

4. Would you rather have a pig’s brain in a human body or a human brain in a pig’s body?

Do you think it would be fun to switch for a short while?

5. Would you rather wear a hat made of jam or shoes made of chocolate?

Would you eat it after you have finished wearing it?

6. Would you rather live on the moon or at the bottom of the sea?

What kind of work could you do there?

7. Would you rather be a cartoon or a puppet?

What’s your favourite cartoon?

8. Would you rather be sat next to a dog or a chicken on a plane?

Would it be better than sitting next to a human?

9. Would you rather live in a world where everything is upside down or where everything is blue?

What would some of the challenges be living in such a world?

10. Would you rather clean your teeth with spaghetti or a banana?

What do you think your dentist would say?

Food “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather eat cheese and chocolate or beef and icecream?

What’s the worst food combination you’ve ever made?

2. Would you rather eat hamburgers everyday or never again?

Which option do you think is healthier?

3. Would you rather eat an amazing meal in a bad restaurant or a bad meal in an amazing restaurant?

What’s the best restaurant you’ve ever eaten at?

4. Would you rather be hungry or thirsty?

What’s the longest you’ve gone without food and drink?

5. Would you rather go out for dinner or eat a takeaway?

What was the last thing you ate from a takeaway?

6. Would you rather eat ice cream on a hot day or drink hot chocolate on a cold day?

Which flavour of ice cream is your favourite?

7. Would you rather be a chef or a waiter?

Which do you think has the harder job?

8. Would you rather eat three days worth of food in a day or a day’s worth of food over three days?

Which do you think is healthier?

9. Would you rather eat chocolate for an entire day or broccoli?

What’s the most chocolate you’ve ever eaten?

10. Would you rather eat syrup on bacon or gravy on icecream?

Do you know which countries put syrup on bacon?

Controversial “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather end world hunger or have your friends and family live forever?

Do we do enough to help those who are hungry?

2. Would you rather everyone life forever or have people die painlessly at a certain age?

How long would the planet last if we all lived forever?

3. Would you rather imprison an innocent person or accidentally release a guilty person?

Have you ever been blamed for something you haven’t done?

4. Would you rather kill one person to save a thousand or do nothing?

What’s the hardest decision you’ve ever had to make?

5. Would you rather eat a (recently) dead body to stay alive or stay hungry?

What’s the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten?

6. Would you rather legalise drugs or outlaw guns (in all countries)?

What are the gun laws in your country?

7. Would you rather allow stem cell research (and possibly save lives) or disallow the research (possibly resulting in casualties)?

How much do you know about stem cell research?

8. Would you rather have evolution taught in schools or creationism?

Which did you learn in school?

9. Would you rather everyone have the right to marry or just heterosexuals?

When did you last attend a wedding?

10. Would you rather everyone have access to healthcare or only those that can afford it?

When did you last go to the hospital?

Clothing “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather wear too many layers in summer or not enough in winter?

What do you usually wear when it’s really cold?

2. Would you rather wear clothes that are comfortable or clothes that look good?

What’s the most comfortable clothing you own?

3. Would you rather give unwanted clothes to charity or sell them?

What was the last item of clothing you got rid of?

4. Would you rather buy clothes brand new or from a second-hand shop?

What’s the best bargain you’ve ever found?

5. Would you rather fix your own clothes (e.g. darn a sock) or replace them?

Do you have any clothes that need fixing or replacing?

6. Would you rather wear something cool or something funny to a fancy dress party?

What’s the best fancy dress costume you’ve ever worn?

7. Would you rather have fewer clothes (that you love) or a wide collection of clothes (that aren’t your favourite)?

What item of clothing could you not live without?

8. Would you rather wear a hat or gloves in the snow?

What do you usually wear when it snows?

9. Would you rather make all of your clothes or borrow all of your clothes?

What do you think the easiest thing to make would be?

10. Would you rather all of your outfit be the same colour or the same material?

What is your favourite material to wear?

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Geography “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather live somewhere hot or somewhere cold?

What’s the weather like where you live now?

2. Would you rather live in a country with lots of money or beautiful scenery?

What do you think is the most beautiful country?

3. Would you rather visit five countries in five days or two countries in two weeks?

Where would you go?

4. Would you rather live near a volcano or near a swamp?

Which do you think would have cheaper property prices?

5. Would you rather be the leader of a small country with a lot of money or a big country with little money?

Which is the smallest country you know of that is wealthy?

6. Would you rather live near the ocean or near a field?

Are there any oceans near where you live now?

7. Would you rather live in a good neighbourhood that is far from work or in a bad neighbourhood that is close to work?

How do you usually travel to work?

8. Would you rather live in a quiet neighbourhood without many amenities or live in a noisier neighbourhood where there is plenty to do?

What amenities are near your house?

9. Would you rather go on holiday to somewhere far away or somewhere close to home?

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

10. Would you rather live in an area that is prone to earthquakes or one that is prone to flooding?

Have you ever experienced an earthquake?

Technology “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather go without your phone or without internet access for a week?

What’s the longest you think you could go without using the internet?

2. Would you rather use the microwave or the oven to cook your meals?

Which one is easier?

3. Would you rather have a massive TV or a powerful computer?

How big is your TV?

4. Would you rather work with computers or work without them?

What’s the longest you’ve worked at your computer before (in one sitting?)

5. Would you rather play video games on a console or on your phone?

What’s your favourite video game?

6. Would you rather have a broken washing machine or a broken fridge?

Which do you think breaks down more often?

7. Would you rather have a fast internet connection or a stable connection?

How fast is your internet connection at the moment?

8. Would you rather be able to program computers (software) or build computers (hardware)?

Can you usually fix your computer if something goes wrong?

9. Would you rather drop your phone into a puddle from a short height or onto a dry floor from a tall height?

Have you ever broken your phone?

10. Would you rather stay in a hotel without a TV or without a shower?

When did you last stay in a hotel?

Movies “Would You Rather” Questions

1. Would you rather star in a western movie or a sci-fi movie?

What is the best sci-fi movie of all time?

2. Would you rather be a director or an actor/actress?

Which do you think would pay better?

3. Would you rather watch a movie at the cinema or own the physical copy (Blu-ray etc)?

How often do you go to the cinema?

4. Would you rather watch a romance movie or a comedy?

Do you ever watch rom-coms (romantic comedies)?

5. Would you rather watch a movie or a series?

What’s your favourite series?

6. Would you rather watch a horror movie alone or with someone else?

What’s the scariest film you’ve ever seen?

7. Would you rather eat popcorn or crisps when watching a movie?

Why do we eat such noisy food when we watch movies?

8. Would you rather be the star of a small movie or an extra in a huge movie?

Do you think it would be fun to be an extra in a movie?

9. Would you rather have free access to a cinema or have your own cinema room at home?

How often would you watch movies if you could see any movie for free (at the cinema)?

10. Would you rather watch a movie adaption of a video game or play the video game adaption of a movie?

What’s the best movie about video games you’ve seen?

Need more ESL conversation starters and questions? Click here.

Wrap-up

There we have it, more “would you rather” questions than you can shake a stick at!

As I have said in my other list of questions, once you’ve gotten a feel for using these, try using them as an influence to create your own topics. You could create questions that are even more personalised and relevant to your student’s interests.

Browse all our ESL teaching resources.

Happy teaching!

About Jonathan Race

Jonathan is a native English teacher with 3.5 years of teaching experience. As well as teaching online, he also runs the website English +XP, an online resource for English learners and teachers.

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