Hey there! Welcome back to Learn English. But wait a minute. Aren’t we learning English enough already? We have been talking about vocabulary, expressions, conversation skills, reading techniques, etc. every day. It’s time to take a break and do something for fun. So tell us, what do you do for fun?
Hobbies are things that you find interesting – that’s why they are called interests sometimes – and things that you spend a lot of time doing. You usually just do them for fun, without getting paid. A good way to think about hobbies is to think about habits, which also starts with an “h”. Habits are what you do regularly like a machine. The same goes for hobbies sometimes: people usually participate in their hobbies on daily or weekly.
What are your hobbies?
- Collecting: To collect means to buy or gather many things related to the same topic. For example, if you collect comic books, you buy one (or a few) every week and keep them for your entertainment. You don’t try to sell them or to make money out of them. You take joy in seeing your collection getting bigger and more diverse. Some common things that people collect include: comics, books, arts, music CDs, stamps, etc.
- Playing: This is perhaps the most common type of hobbies. Usually there three things that people play: sports, games or musical instruments. For example, you can enjoy playing football while your friend, Tom, likes to play video game (or likes gaming). You can also play an instrument. For example I personally like to play the piano.
- Travelling: If you go outside of your city or country, you are travelling. Travelling is a great way to learn about the language and the culture of your destination, besides being a very fun thing to do on its own.
- Going to …: If you are not travelling, you can go somewhere nearer and enjoy the activities there. For example, you can go to the movies, go to the theatre or go to the beach. Remember that, for it to become your hobby, you must go there rather often and regularly. If you go to the beach once every two years, that’s not so much a hobby.
- Baking/Cooking: Many people enjoy making delicious food for themselves and their families and friends. If your hobby is baking or cooking, you may like to check out the latest recipes – instructions to cook something – on TV or on the internet. You may also enjoy watching shows like Master Chef, Top Chef, etc.
- Reading/Writing: I know that many of you are already sick of studying but many people actually like to study in their free time. They like reading a good book or writing their own book. If you read a book for half an hour to an hour (or more) every night, chances are you are a curious bookworm.
Conversations about hobbies
Now that you have studied some vocabulary about and context behind hobbies, it’s time to apply it to some real life conversations.
First let’s look at some questions that you can use to ask other people about their hobbies:
- What do you do in your down time? Down time is when you are relaxing and not working. It’s another word for free time that you may hear native speakers say very often. Remember to use the preposition in with the noun
- What do you do with your spare time? Spare means extra or more than needed. Your spare time is thus just another phrase for your free time.
- When do you do when you have time off? Imagine yourself as a light bulb. When you are switched on, you need to work. But when you are switched off, you have time to rest and relax.
What if someone asks you these questions? No fear! Here is how you can answer them
- In my spare/down time … Start with this phrase to make the topic clear.
- … I enjoy + Verb[ing]: Enjoy should go with verbs in their continuous tense. For example: I enjoy singing in the shower.
- … I like to + Verb: When you use like to, you must use the verb in its original or base form. For example: I like to sing in the shower.
That’s the end of today’s lesson. We hope you have had some fun time off from work and learn some useful phrases to use in your conversations with friends or maybe even with native speakers! Thanks for reading and we hope to see you again soon at Learn English.