Friday, 15 October 2010

Sports: Play, Do, or Go? Dustbin Game

Learners often have problems with which verb to use with sports and games. We use either go, do or play with most sports, but how do we know which to use?

Generally, with competitive activities, we prefer 'play'. Under this category, we include all ball sports (football, handball, volleyball, golf, rugby, etc). Also included are table games such as cards, chess, table tennis, snooker, and bingo. We use play with badminton and computer games, too.

Note that we use 'play' with 'game': Would you like to play a game of chess? But, we say 'do an activity': What kind of activities do you do at the weekend?

For most recreational activities, or a non-team sport which does not involve the use of a ball, we prefer 'do'. Examples are aerobics, athletics, gymnastics, weights (weightlifting), martial arts (karate, judo, etc), yoga, exercise.

For sports which you can practise individually, we prefer 'go'. When we use go, we add '-ing' to the word. Eg, we say, 'go swimming'. Examples for this category are jogging, windsurfing, horseriding, fishing, dancing, snorkelling, etc.

Are you ready to put yourself to a test? Drag the sport to the correct dustbin. The score at the bottom left is the time you take, so the lower it is, the better you are.

Chiew's CLIL EFL ESL Blog: Play, go or do a sport


  1. I like the game. It´s a shame that there is not a ranking with the scores.

    1. Yes, it is indeed a shame the score isn't stored on this site. On my other games on PurposeGames (those where you have to click to tag a label), there is ranking if you register (it's free). An example is this:


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