English Free Time Vocabulary: Talking about Sports and the Outdoors

English Listening Practice Free Time Interests Vocabulary 3

Welcome to our Daily English Listening Practice with this week’s series:

Free Time Vocabulary: Talking about Sports

It’s a beautiful day, let’s get outside! In this advanced English vocabulary post, we talk about spending your time being active outside and playing sports – casually or seriously. Enjoy!

Please listen to the audio files for explanations.
Transcripts unavailable.

Notes from the Audio Files

The Outdoors

  • Outdoorsy: enjoy the outdoors, being outside
  • Crave the outdoors
  • Getting out there
  • The outdoors
  • Aspects
  • Nature: surrounded by nature, not a specific place, we use “outdoors” instead
  • In the middle of a natural area

How to use it:
“I’m quite an outdoorsy person, if I get stuck inside for too long I start to get restless.”
“I don’t consider myself a “great outdoors” kind of person, but I do love picnics in the park!”

At the Gym

  • Avoid: “I work out” Try instead: I’m really into working out
  • Kinda cocky: **informal overly confident
  • Going to classes: gym classes could be aerobics, zumba, pilates, yoga
  • I prefer working out: using weights and equipment to get stronger or lose weight
  • Pretty hardcore – quite intense

How to use it:
“When I was at university I was really into working out – I probably went to the gym about 6 times a week. “
“I’ve signed up for 3 different work-out classes at the gym this week: aerobics, pilates and zumba.”

Playing Sports – Casually

  • Casually speaking: talking about it doing something in a casual way
  • Sand pit: an area with sand
  • Lighthearted: not competitive, easy going
  • Pro players: professional players
  • Make fun of them: tease or joke with them
  • Blow off some steam: use it to let go of stress
  • Chill out: hang out with friends
  • A Kickabout (football/soccer only): a pick up or casual game
  • A local pitch: A nearby football field – ‘Pitch’ is common in the UK
  • Sports club: A sports centre or leisure centre
  • Keep score: count points or goals

How to use it:
“I’m not very good at football, but it’s still fun to have a friendly kickabout when we get the chance.”
“I don’t really take sports too seriously, but I like getting out and playing a pick up game every now and again.”

Playing Sports – Seriously

  • Leagues: an organized sports club or group
  • Train: practice for your sport
  • Going pro: becoming a professional
  • Amateur leagues: not professional, but pretty serious
  • Pay your dues: pay fees associated with the sport like field fees, trophy fees, tournament fees
  • Tournaments: A competition between a large group of teams, with one eventual winner

How to use it:
“We’re looking for serious players to join our amateur league team. We’re competing in a lot of tournaments this year, and we want to win.”
“Those guys take it too seriously, they train 4 times a week and barely get home before midnight. I mean, I like volleyball, but I’d rather play it casually without all the competition.”

Look the Part

  • All the gear: all the equipment or clothing you need
  • Decked out: Wearing or owning all the professional equipment
  • Basic equipment: the minimum you need to participate
  • Fork out: pay for something you may not want to
  • Looking the part: Looking professional or experienced
  • Validates: Makes something worth it  
  • Accumulate: Gather, or build up  

How to use it:
“We were just wearing shorts and t-shirts and we passed them on the hiking trail – they certainly looked the part though!”
“I was really impressed by all the gear, jerseys and equipment at the cycling show. Too bad I can’t really afford to look the part.”

Free Time Vocabulary: Advanced English Vocabulary by Topic Social Media Vocabulary: Advanced English Vocabulary by Topic

Your brain is like a muscle, if you don’t use it – it won’t get any stronger (yes, yes we know so cliche!) Good to see that you’re giving your English a work out! Hope the English listening practice has helped train your ear to listen to better, more natural English conversation!


Kat and Mark


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