Never Have I Ever

In the Never Have I Ever ESL game, students have to say things that they have never done, but that they think other members of the class have.

Students for Never Have I Ever ESL Game:1+Time for Never Have I Ever ESL Game:5-15 mins
Resources for Never Have I Ever ESL Game:

This game can be played as a class, in small groups, or in pairs (with the teacher if necessary).

  1. All students extend their fingers on one hand to indicate the number of lives they have. You can start with three or five lives, depending on the desired game length. When playing as a large class, students should stand up too.
  2. One student says something that they have never done, but that they think other students have done. In the original game sentences start with Never have I ever…, but with most students just use I have never… to avoid confusion.
  3. The students who have done the activity lose a life, and put one finger down to indicate this. Those who haven’t done the activity keep the same number of fingers up.
  4. The process is repeated with other students making sentences (taking turns in pairs/small groups).
  5. When students lose all their lives they are out (they may still contribute sentences). The last student with lives remaining is the winner.

Tip: Be aware that you may need to outlaw sentences related to gender and sports teams with kids!

Target Language

The Never Have I Ever ESL game is a fun way to practise a basic present perfect simple structure (and past participles for irregular verbs) with lower intermediate students.

With higher intermediate students (or on repeat plays), it works well as a warmer or review activity. It’s also possible to use it on the topic of travel, with a focus on places and unusual experiences.

It is often used as part of the Kings Cup game.

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