Play Go Do – the words we use to talk about sports in English

Play, go and do are the verbs we use most to talk about sports in English. In this video you’ll learn when we use each one, along with lots of other sport words. Watch and see. How many different sports and games can you name?


Have you checked out our Grammar Videos? You’ll find information lots more useful verbs here.

Play Go Do video transcript

What do you want to do this weekend?
We could go to the gym and do some weight lifting.
Urgh! That’s too energetic.
Or we could play some golf.
No, let’s go bowling.
Bowling?
Yeah.
But you always win.
That’s why I like it.

We use these verbs to talk about sports in English. So we do weight lifting. We play golf. And we go bowling.

I play golf.

In this video you’ll learn which verbs we use with which sports. And you’ll learn the names of lots of sports. Let’s start with the verb ‘play’.

In America, we play football.
That’s American football, Jay.
The rest of the world plays football like this.
No, we call that soccer.
In British English it’s football.
But the ball’s the wrong shape for football.

If it’s a sport with a ball, we generally play it. There are exceptions, like we go bowling. But usually we play ball sports. So we play cricket. We play tennis. We play snooker and we play pool. We often use ‘play’ where there’s a competition, so someone wins or loses. And of course we can play other games like cards and chess. So we play darts, and we play scrabble.
OK, let’s move on to the verb ‘go’.

Oooo. What’s the matter?
I went jogging this morning and I hurt my back.
You poor thing!

Notice Jay said ‘went jogging’. ‘Went’ is the past tense of ‘go’ and ‘jogging’ is a gerund – a noun made from a verb by adding ‘-ing’. There are lots of sports that follow this pattern, and they’re generally activities that we don’t do at home. We go out to another place to do them. So we go swimming, we go fishing, we go skiing, we go surfing and we go skateboarding.

I’m playing golf tonight. I love golf.
What’s your favorite sport, Vicki?
Gymnastics.
But you don’t do gymnastics.
No, I just like watching it on TV.
So do I.

Our last verb is ‘do’ and we use it with newer more modern sports. We ‘practice’ or ‘do’ them. So we do yoga, do aerobics, do pilates, do judo and do kendo and other martial arts.
We also use ‘do’ to talk about specific exercises. So we do squats and we do leg lifts.

I do this exercise to build my chest and arm muscles.

OK, now it’s your turn. You’re going to see some different sports, games and exercises. Can you say which verb we use with them?
Did you get them all? Let’s review.

Go horse riding. Play basketball. Do push ups.
Go sailing. Play baseball. Go cycling.
Do parkour. Play rugby. Go paragliding.
Play shuffleboard. Do karate. Go rafting. Go rock climbing.
Play volleyball. Go ballooning. Do tai chi. Play rock paper scissors.

So are we playing golf or are we going bowling?
We’re going bowling.
Hmmm.
I know. We’ll play rock paper scissors and the winner chooses.
So if I win, we’ll play golf.
And if I win, we’ll go bowling.
Ready?
Yeah.
Rock, paper, scissors. Ha, ha! Go and find your bowling shoes.
Humph.

Click here to watch this videro with a clickable transcript

Have you checked out our Grammar Videos? You’ll find information lots more useful verbs here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.