Register Matching questions

For years now the fifth question (usually question e) ) in register has been a matching question. The question carries 2 marks and requires you to match 4 register items in the first column to four items in the second column with each correct answer you give being worth half a mark. In some rare instances the student is presented with a jumbled list of register words and asked to match them in pairs.

In the former instance the student should only write down the number of the response in the first column  and match write down the corresponding item against that number from the second column. Consider the following example:

Example Question) Each of the following sentences has a different purpose:

1) “How about a cup of tea?”

2) “Your children make a lot of noise, don’t they?”

3) “Mr Dube wants us all to go to the school hall?”

4) “Don’t you think it would be better to discuss things over with your friend?”

Match each of the sentences above to one of the purposes given below:





Write down the number only of the sentence and match it against the most appropriate purpose.


  1. Inviting
  2. Complaining
  3. Informing
  4. Advising


You do not have to rewrite the entire utterances in the first column,only their corresponding number. Writing the entire sentence or utterance not only goes against the provided instructions which does not reflect well on your understanding of the English Language which would be currently under examination but it also wastes a lot of valuable time which is limited in the examination. Save time because you can never have too much time in an examination.

The nature of matching questions

Matching questions are very varied in nature. They normally ask you to match ideas, utterances, objectives,words and conditions. These questions appeal more to common sense rather than some set structure that can be determined in advance. The best way to excel on these is to improve your English and Register understanding by reading textbooks, our English Notes and increasing the extent of your vocabulary.

Extensive practice using past examination papers will go a long way in improving your exam preparedness when it comes to these types of questions. It is also important to remember that appropriateness plays an important role during the matching process whatever the question.

Also remember each item can only be matched with a single corresponding item and you can use the process of elimination by matching the most obvious items first and matching the remaining ones that you are not so sure of.


To access more topics go to the English Language Notes page