English Writing Lesson 2: 
How to Give Instructions in English

Do you know how to give instructions in English? What sort of instructions can you give someone?

  • How to make a cup of coffee?
  • How to search for a topic on Google?
  • How to make a call on your cell phone? Or listen to your voice mail?

There are two parts to giving instructions.

What we call Sequencers and then the actions.

Sequencers help order your instructions

It is like the 1, 2, 3, 4 of your actions.

The most common are




After that...


Example: Today I am going to tell you how to make the best sandwich in the world. 

First, you must roast a chicken and slice it into thick pieces. Then toast your favourite bread (two slices).  

After that you need to put mayonnaise and mustard on the toast and then the chicken slices.  Next you are going to add your vegetables.  Tomatoes, lettuce  onions, cucumbers etc.  

Finally put a couple slices of cheese on the sandwich and then close it with the other piece of toast.

The second part,


do one of three things. 

1) Tell people what is necessary
2) what is wrong
3) what is not necessary

  • You (don't) need to...
  • You have to...
  • You must/mustn't...
  • You should/shouldn't...

So now that you know the basics...here is an example:

How to Make a Cup of Coffee

First you need to buy some coffee and a coffee maker.

Then you have to put the water into the bottom of the coffee maker.

You needn't boil the water (you don't need to boil the water), cold water is fine.

Next you have to put the coffee in the coffee compartment and screw the top of coffee maker on.

After that you need to put the coffee pot onto the stove. 

Then turn the stove on hight and wait. You don't have to move the coffee pot.

When the water boils and goes into the upper part of the pot youthen have to remove the pot from the heat.

Finally you pour some coffee into a cup, add sugar and milk and enjoy.

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Now do Lesson 3: How to explain situations in English

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