Collocation words: Sports

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Collocation words: Sports

In Story

Examples of common sporting collocations with do, play and go

GO is used with sports and activities, ending with –ing. The verb GO implies that we go somewhere to practice this sport. Generally these activities imply moving along.

Go fishing                            go cycling                            go surfing                           go snowboarding

go climbing hill                   go sailing                             go jogging                          go swimming

go bowling                         go hang-gliding                                go walking                          go fishing

go sailing                              go dancing                          go hitch-hiking                  go riding


Do is used with recreational activities which are used done individually or a sports without use of a ball. Generally these activities do not imply moving along.

do aerobics                         do gymnastics                   do yoga                                                do judo

do weightlifting                                do wrestling                       do circuit training             do archery

do ballet                              do a crossword puzzle


Play is generally used with team sports and those sports that need a ball or similar object. In these games, they are two teams competing with each other.

play badminton                                play table tennis               play cricket                         play hockey

play rugby                           play volleyball                    play snooker                      play basketball

play chess                           play squash                        play billiards                       play golf

play darts                            play cards                            play dominoes


Example sentences

  • Gereth Edward plays rugby.
  • I do yoga every morning.
  • It’s real fun to do a crossword puzzle in the morning.
  • In India, children grow up playing cricket.


Reading in Context

Winning or losing

Sportsmen and sportswomen want to win matches, not lose matches. But you can’t win all the time! Sometimes a team or player deserves to win, but gets narrowly defeated or beaten.

Before they go in for/enter a competition, athletes train hard. They probably attend or do at least five training sessions a week. They are likely to put up a fight to gain/get a place in the next stage/round of the competition. Of course, a sportsperson’s ultimate aim is to break the world record holder. They are sure to come up against fierce/intense competition as they try to achieve their ambitions. Sometimes they are satisfied if they just achieve a personal best.

Some sports people so desperately want to win that they take drugs to enhance their performance. This will be discovered when they fail a drug test.

Speaking Quiz:

  1. How often do you do judo?
  2. Do people usually go jogging in your country?
  3. When did you play cards last?
  4. What preparations do you do before entering a competition?
  5. Have you ever played badminton with your parents?
  6. How often do you go swimming?
  7. Would you rather go swimming or skiing?
  8. What is the best time to do meditation?
  9. What do sportsmen do to enhance their performances?
  10. Are people so desperate to watch cricket in your country?



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