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Play, Go, Do

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When we speak about sports and leisure activities the verbs 'play', 'go' and 'do' are used with different sports and activities.


Play is used with sports that have teams, rules and competitions:
Badminton, baseball, football, golf, rugby and tennis are some examples.
I have been playing tennis for over ten years.
When I was young we played football just outside our house in the street.


Go is used with activities where the activity is in the -ing form.
To camp – go camping
We went camping by the lake last summer.
Other activities that take 'go' are: dancing, jogging, running, hiking, riding, swimming, cycling, climbing etc.


For all other recreational activities we use do. Aerobics, athletics, gymnastics, judo, karate and yoga are some examples.
All young children should be encouraged to do gymnastics.
Sarah does yoga with some of her friends.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Now choose the correct verb for the following:

  • 1. It’s great that young people _ beach volley nowadays.

  • 2. We’re planning to _ hiking in the mountains for the weekend.

  • 3. I like to keep fit, that’s why I _ yoga.

  • 4. In winter a few of us meet up and _ cards.

  • 5. If you’re bored with just jogging you could _ something like karate instead.

  • 6. I love _ swimming in the summer.

  • 7. Have you ever _ golf?

  • 8. I am planning to _ climbing in the Alps next spring.

  • 9. Do you know how to _ chess?

  • 10. We’ve all dreamed of _ football as professionals sometime in our lives.