Learning Vocabulary: Phrasal verbs connected to sport
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich argue about the importance of winning at sport. Jack thinks it's the taking part that matters but Rich thinks it's all about victory! They also focus on ten phrasal verbs that we often use to talk about sport. Your task is to argue with Jack and Rich about winning in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess, too. Enjoy!
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast
Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rich: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.
Jack: However, if you’re listening on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you can leave answers to our questions in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you.
Rich: In this week’s podcast, we’re going to help you with vocabulary and, more specifically, we’re going to look at 10 phrasal verbs connected to sport.
Jack: And we’re going to have an argument.
Rich: An argument? We’re not going to have an argument - we’re going to have a discussion.
Jack: No, it will definitely be an argument. We’re going to be talking about sports and whether it’s important to win when we play or if it’s more important to participate and enjoy sport.
Rich: Well, if you don’t win, you won’t enjoy it.
Jack: See! You’ve started already. Leave it for the roleplay.
Rich: Ah, yes, sorry. We spoke about sport in last week’s podcast and thanks to all of you who described a sport in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: Wsanta from Argentina described a sport that I had never heard of but Luibomyr from Ukraine guessed correctly that it was a sport called duck, or pato in Spanish. You play on a horse with a stick.
Rich: I’d never heard of it either. There are a few more descriptions from our listeners on the website so go to the comments section, have a read and make a guess at the sport they are describing. The podcast is called ‘Understanding Grammar - Relative Clauses’.
Jack: But back to the here and now. In this podcast, Rich and I are going to have a ‘discussion’ about playing sport and you are going to learn 10 phrasal verbs connected to sport.
Rich: And your task this week will be to use some of the phrasal verbs we introduce to have a ‘discussion’ with another listener.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Jack: But, before we look at all that, let’s look at last week’s football phrase. If you didn’t hear it last week we’ll give you one more chance to guess and give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.
Rich: Last week, we spoke about minority sports and the phrase was actually one that used in other sports - not football.
Jack: It wasn’t too difficult though and quite a few of you got it right. Well done to Alex and Liubomyr from Ukraine, Elghoul from Algeria and Milos from Serbia.
Rich: We’re going to give you one more chance to guess this phrase and we will give you the answer at the end of the show when we have a new football phrase for you to guess. Let’s hear it, Jack.
Jack: The phrase is * **** ***. * **** *** is a moment in a basketball or maybe an ice-hockey match when the players stop playing in the middle of the match so the coaches can talk tactics with the players.
Rich: We’ll give you the answer at the end of the show and a new football phrase, too. I think we need a difficult one this week.
Introduction to roleplay
Rich: In this week’s roleplay, we are going to discuss playing sport and whether we think it is important to win. We have different ideas about this and often argue.
Jack: As lots of people are listening we will try to keep this as a discussion, not an argument. Is that good with you Rich?
Rich: I will try.
Jack: While you are listening to our discussion, you will hear ten phrasal verbs connected to sport. Listen out for them and we’ll look at them in the language focus after the roleplay.
Rich: While you listen, we want you to answer a question. The question is:
Jack: What does Rich find boring?
Rich: But … you’ve never done it before. How are you going to keep up with everyone else?
Jack: It’s a running club. I’m not going to be in running races - it’s not competitive. If anything, we’re running against the clock. You might be trying to beat a certain time or run a little further but that’s it.
Rich: It sounds a bit boring to me. No winners. I think I’d just give up and stop when I was tired. It’s like going to the gym on your own. You need to have some kind of competition to push yourself - to keep on going.
Jack: I’ve signed up to the running club to keep fit, not to win prizes.
Rich: I know, I know. It’s the taking part, not the winning, that counts. But, if you’re going to take up a new sport and keep it up, you need to have some competition.
Jack: I don’t think so. Imagine I took up basketball. I’ve never played basketball in my life. I’d play a few games, lose all the time, give up and never play again.
Rich: That’s the spirit! Come on! You need to give it a little bit of time - everyone starts somewhere - you’ve just got to join in and you’ll get better at it. You can't chicken out of something straight away.
Jack: I’m not chickening out of anything because I’d never join up in the first place. I’m happy with the running club. We meet up once a week, decide where we’re going to run, we split up into different groups who run more or less at the same speed and meet up again after the run.
Rich: Different groups? That could be competitive. You could try to catch up with the group in front of you, or you could be the fastest in your group when the others are getting tired and slowing down near the end, you could speed up?
Jack: It’s not like that. Sorry. We don’t beat anyone. There are no winners.
Rich: How boring!
Language Focus: Phrasal Verbs
Jack: Did you get the answer to the question? What does Rich find boring?
Rich: Well, I think running and going to the gym boring but mainly I find the idea of sport or exercise without competition boring.
Jack: It’s not about winning, it’s about taking part and being outside and staying healthy, not being a couch potato.
Rich: Alright, let’s not start all that again. Let’s move on to our language focus. You may have noticed we used lots of phrasal verbs in the roleplay. We’re going to look at the meaning of ten phrasal verbs right now.
Jack: Remember a phrasal verb is a verb that has two or three words and often has a very different meaning to the verb being used.
Rich: Let’s start with the phrasal verb to give up. In the roleplay, I said I didn’t like sport that was not competitive because I would just give up when I was tired.
Jack: Here give up means to stop trying to do something. I think Rich gives up too easily. He’s lazy.
Rich: Thanks! We used quite a lot of phrasal verbs with ‘up’ in the roleplay - give up, keep up with, sign up, take up, join up, meet up, split up and speed up.
Jack: We can maybe learn something here. Phrasal verbs with ‘up’ can often mean to divide. In the roleplay, I said that we split up into different groups.
Rich: There are other phrasal verbs like this. You can cut up an apple into pieces or tear up or rip up a piece of paper. A couple might split up or break up and if you watch lots of action movies you often see things blow up.
Jack: OK, so phrasal verbs with ‘up’ can mean to divide. They often also mean ‘an increase’ in something. In the roleplay, Rich said that the runners could ‘speed up’. To speed up means to go faster’, to increase your speed.
Rich: We also used the phrasal verbs ‘catch up with’ and ‘keep up with’. These are also connected to speed. I said ‘you can try to catch up with the group in front of you’.
Jack: Here to catch up with means to reach someone who is ahead of you by going faster.
Rich: In the roleplay, I asked Jack ‘How are you going to keep up with everyone else?’
Jack: Here ‘to keep up with’ means to maintain the same speed as something or someone else.
Rich: Some other phrasal verbs with ‘up’ that are connected to increase include: ‘to go up’ prices have gone up in the shops recently, ‘to hurry up’ hurry up we’re going to be late, and ‘to turn up’ Can you turn up the music? I can’t hear it.
Jack: We also have the opposite of this of course - phrasal verbs with down. In the roleplay, Rich said some runners will start ‘slowing down’ near the end. To slow down means a decrease in speed.
Rich: Some other phrasal verbs with ‘down’ that have meanings connected to a decrease include ‘to go down’ why do prices never do down or Fulham went down last season, ‘to cool down’ I’ve been running for ages, I need to cool down, and ‘to calm down’ you’re getting angry, you need to calm down.
Jack: Going back to the phrasal verbs with ‘up’. In the roleplay, we used ‘join up’, ‘sign up’, ‘meet up’ and ‘take up’. All of these are connected to doing something for the first time or coming together as a group.
Rich: In the roleplay, Jack has ‘taken up’ running. To take up means to start something new. Jack’s new hobby is running.
Jack: That’s right. I signed up to a running club. To sign up means to join an organisation. We meet up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I like joining up with others and running together.
Rich: OK, that leaves one more phrasal verb we used in the roleplay. It’s the most difficult one and the strangest. It’s ‘chicken out of something’.
Jack: It means to not doing something because you are scared. In the roleplay, I told Rich said that I can’t chicken out of playing basketball just because I’m not very good at it.
Rich: Yes, it’s a bit of an insult. People might also just say ‘Are you chicken?’ It means ‘Are you scared?’. Hey, Jack. Do you want to go parachuting next weekend?
Jack: Erm … I’m busy. Yep, I’m definitely very busy.
Rich: Are you chicken or what?
Jack: Right, so we’ve looked at 10 phrasal verbs from the roleplay. Listen to the roleplay again and check that you understand the phrasal verbs we are using.
Rich: We also have the transcript for this podcast on the Premier Skills English website and a few more explanations and activities to help you understand.
Jack: Your task this week is to argue if taking part in sport is more important than winning or if winning is more important.
Rich: Now, we think that everyone will say that taking part is more important because we know all of our listeners are very nice people.
Jack: So, we’re going to make it more difficult for you. You are going to argue with me or Rich.
Rich: In the comments section for this podcast on the Premier Skills English website I will argue that winning at sport is the most important thing.
Jack: And I will argue that taking part in sport is the most important thing.
Rich: Your task is to disagree with us in the comments section by replying to our comments. Try to give reasons and justify your responses, try to give examples where you can.
Jack: And, if you can, use some of the phrasal verbs we introduced in this podcast.
Rich: OK, it’s time for this week’s football phrase. It’s my turn this week and I’ve been thinking of a difficult one.
Jack: Someone always gets it right though.
Rich: Well, I don’t want to make it so hard that everyone gives up!
Jack: OK, let’s hear it then.
Rich: This week’s football phrase is to **** *** *** *** ****. This phrase is used to describe the situation when a player makes a very obvious foul for the benefit of the rest of his teammates. An example might be when a team is losing 1-0 with a few minutes left and the other team attacks and the final defender fouls the attacker because he was going to score. The defender is sent off or given a yellow card. He **** *** *** *** **** because they still have a chance to equalise.
Jack: Yes, a very difficult phrase. It’s weird because this is usually seen as the logical thing or a positive thing to do but it is of course against the rules.
Rich: Write your guesses in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website and we’ll announce your name on next week’s show if you get it right.
Jack: Before we forget we need to give you the answer to last week’s football phrase. The answer was a time out.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week. Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?
I’m not going to be in running races - it’s not competitive.
You need to have some kind of competition to push yourself - to keep on going.
It’s the taking part, not the winning, that counts.
That’s the spirit! Come on! You need to give it a little bit of time - everyone starts somewhere
Are you chicken or what?
There were a few more tricky words and phrases in the podcast. Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words. This can really help your understanding.
In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich introduced ten phrasal verbs. What are phrasal verbs?
A phrasal verb is a verb form that has two or three parts and usually has a non-literal meaning. There are lots of multi-word verbs or phrasal verbs in English and sometimes it can be difficult to learn them all. This sentence is easy to understand because it has a literal meaning:
In the past, football fans stood up at football matches but these days they sit down because we have all-seater stadiums.
In this next example, the phrasal verb is 'stand up for'. The meaning is non-literal and has a very different meaning.
You should stand up for the things that you beleive in.
In the second sentence, to stand up for something or someone means to support or defend an idea or a person that is being attacked by others. It has nothing to do with standing! There are hundreds of phrasal verbs in English and when the meaning is non-literal we need to use the context of the rest of the sentence to help us understand.
Phrasal Verbs with 'up'
In the roleplay, Rich and Jack used lots of phrasal verbs with 'up'. Sometimes it can be useful to categorise phrasal verbs as you may find that there are some similarities. We can put phrasal verbs with 'up' into some different categories.
Take a look at these examples we spoke about in the podcast and think how the phrasal verb with 'up' means divide:
We split up into different groups who run more or less at the same speed.
Can you cut the cake up so everyone can have a piece.
You can tear up that old bill - I don't need it any more.
Can you rip it up before you put it in the bin?
Maria and Edward? Didn't you know? They split up a few months ago.
The best bit of the film was when they blew up Mars! It looked so real!
Take a look at these examples we spoke about in the podcast and think how the phrasal verb with 'up' means increase:
When the other runners get tired you could speed up and win the race.
It will be difficult to catch up with the other runners and then you have to keep up with them too!
Prices have gone up in the shops recently.
Hurry up! We’re going to be late.
Can you turn up the music? I can’t hear it.
Doing things together
Take a look at these examples we spoke about in the podcast and think how the phrasal verb with 'up' is connected to doing things together:
I signed up to a running club. We meet up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I like joining up with others and running together.
It can sometimes be useful to categorise phrasal verbs. We also used the phrasal verb 'slow down' in the roleplay:
Some runners will slow down near the end because they are tired.
Here are some other phrasal verbs with 'down'. Can you think of a category for them?
Why do prices never go down?
I’ve been running for ages, I need to cool down.
You’re getting angry, you need to calm down.
Categorising phrasal verbs can be useful but the most useful way to understand phrasal verbs with non-literal meanings is through context (the words and sentences before and after the phrasal verb). Look at the example below:
I'm going to take up running and I'm not going to chicken out when it's raining.
If you don't know the specific meaning of the phrasal verbs 'to take up' and 'to chicken out', the above sentence can be very difficult to understand. We need more context to help us. The following example would help us more:
Rich: Nice trainers. Are they new?
Jack: Yeah, they're running shoes. I've taken up running. I've joined the local running club.
Rich: Well, it's nice weather now, but I bet you'll stop when the weather gets bad.
Jack: There's no chance I'm going to chicken out of it. These trainers cost me loads!!
By reading or listening more, you will have more context and will be better able to understand problematic phrasal verbs. With more context, you can make a guess at what the phrasal verb means. It's always important to read the sentences before and after the phrasal verb. The phrasal verb 'to take up', in this context, means to start something new and 'to chicken out of something' means to decide not to do something because you're scared.
Try the activity below, and complete the gaps with phrasal verbs you heard in this podcast.
Is it the taking part or winning that's important?
In this podcast, Jack and Rich disagreed about the importance of winning. We want you to join their argument.
In the comments section at the bottom of the page, you will see Rich and Jack have each begun a discussion. We want you to disagree with their points of view.
Rich is arguing that winning is the most important thing and Jack is arguing that participating is the most important thing.
We want you to:
- Disagree with Rich and reply to his comment.
- Disagree with Jack and reply to his comment.
- Give reasons for your answers.
- Give example situations if you can.
- Try to use some of the phrasal verbs we introduced in this podcast.
Write your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at this week's football phrase!