How to Talk About Sports in English

Sports are a very common topic of conversation, no matter what language it's in. Here are some basic tips on how to talk about sports in English. Let's play ball!

Use PLAY for sports that use a ball or puck or team sports.



How to Use It

Dennis plays basketball with his friends after class.
Robert loves playing football.
Let's play golf this weekend.
I play tennis every chance I get.
Let's play ball!

Use GO (or nothing) for sports that end in -ing, or gerunds.

You will normally see these sports in their -ing or gerund form. Examples:



How to Use It

There is no "to" between "go" and the sport. I go swimming, NOT I go to swimming.

Do you swim?/Yes, I love to go swimming!
He runs every day. Do you go running?
I like going to Hunter Mountain for skiing and snowboarding.
Igor ice skates every morning before class.

Note: These sports are usually not team sports. That is one way to remember them.

Use DO for sports that do not use a ball or puck

karate/martial arts

How to Use It

I do yoga every day.
Helene has been doing karate for 5 years.

*There is one sport that can be used two ways: Golf

Let's play golf on Saturday.
Do you golf on the weekends?

Sports Vocabulary:

Here are some useful words related to sports.

athlete - a person who is trained in or plays sports very well
Lionel Messi is my favorite athlete.

captain - a player who has been chosen to lead his or her team

champion - someone or a team who has won a competition
Next week, our team is playing the championship team. I hope we do well!

championship - the final game in a series that decides the champion
The championship game was very exciting!

playoffs - a series of games played at the end of the regular season to determine the champion
This year, the two teams will face each other again in the playoffs.

spectators - people who attend a sporting event to watch it
The spectators at the match were very enthusiastic about the team's playing.

stadium - a large building where some sporting events are played
What time are you getting to the stadium to see kick-off?

What is your favorite sport?

Are you interested in cities with sports cultures? Manchester, England and Chicago, USA are both known for their exciting sports atmospheres. Why not visit and use your new vocabulary?

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