Learning Vocabulary: Free Time Activities
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. So thanks to Mario from Mexico for leaving us a review last week.
Rich: In this week’s podcast, Jack is trying to organise a get-together - a small party - with family and friends but he’s not having much success.
Jack: That’s right. In this week’s roleplay, you’ll hear me inviting different people to my house for dinner but they all seem to have excuses for not coming.
Rich: This week’s topic is free time activities and our focus is on vocabulary. We’re going to look at some verb-noun collocations that will help you talk about things you do in your free time.
Jack: We’ll also look at some phrases to invite people to parties and events and how to say no to invitations in a polite way.
Rich: We’ve got an interesting task for you to do this week. We want you to invite our listeners to an event you are planning.
Jack: But before all that, we need to look at last week’s football phrase.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Rich: Last week’s football phrase. If you didn’t hear it last week we’re going to give you one more chance to guess now. We’ll give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.
Jack: Last week, we gave you a football phrase that was connected to Halloween. We got quite a few correct answers from our listeners.
Rich: A big well done to Elghoul from Algeria, Idzingirai from Zimbabwe, Ahmed Abdallah from Egypt and Liubomyr and Alex from Ukraine. Let’s hear it one more time. Do you know what the missing phrase is?
Jack: The phrase is ****** ******. It is a challenge on the pitch that is horrible to watch that often results in an injury to another player. The first part of the phrase is also used to describe a type of film which is scary.
Rich: We’ll give you the answer at the end of the show and we’ll have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Introduction to roleplay
Rich: In this week’s roleplay, you are going to listen to Jack calling family and friends to invite them to his house for a meal.
Jack: While you are listening, we want you to answer a question. The question is:
Rich: Who can go to Jack’s house for dinner?
Rich: Hey, Jack. How was the cooking course last weekend?
Jack: It was brilliant. I learned so much. I learned how to cook real Argentinian empanadas. You know those little meat-filled pasties I was telling you about.
Rich: Oh, yeah. You said you’d save a couple for me. Did you?
Jack: Oh, sorry. They were so moreish - we ate them all. We also made dulce de leche. It’s made from sugar and milk and we spread it on pancakes. It was delicious.
Rich: Sounds yummy. Do you have any of it left?
Jack: No, all gone I’m afraid. I’m going to have a little get together this weekend and do some Argentinian cooking for family and friends.
Rich: Sounds brilliant. I’d love to …
Jack: Who can I invite? Hmmm Anita? She loves everything about Latin America. She can bring the kids. I’ll give her a call. Hold on Rich.
Jack: Hey Nick! How’s it going? Is your mum there?
Nick: Wait a second … She’s cooking.
Jack: It doesn’t matter. Can you ask her if you guys want to come round on Saturday for some South American food?
Nick: MUM! Can we go to Jack’s on Saturday?
Nick: She says we can’t, sorry. I’m playing football on Saturday.
Jack: Ah, well - it doesn’t matter. Good luck at the match! I hope you win.
Nick: Thanks, we will. Bye.
Jack: Bye Nick.
Rich: Anita can’t come?
Jack: No, Nick has a football match.
Rich: I can …
Jack: I can give my Uncle Steve a ring. He went backpacking in Brazil in the 1970s. I’m sure he’d love some home-cooked Argentinian food.
Jack: Hi, Steve. It’s Jack. How are you? I’m ringing because I’m cooking an Argentinian meal at mine on Saturday. I was wondering if you’d like to come along?
Steve: Sounds wonderful but I’m afraid I’m going abseiling on Saturday. Remember I told you that I’m part of that over 60s rock climbing group.
Jack: Oh, yeah. I thought you were making that up.
Steve: No, it’s true. We’re off to Snowdonia in Wales this weekend. Why don’t you try giving Anita a ring? I’m sure she’d fancy it.
Jack: I just tried, but Nick’s playing football. Anyhow, enjoy climbing and abseiling and don’t fall!
Rich: Another no? Like I was saying I am …
Jack: I know, I’ll try Novi....
Novi: Hi Jack.
Jack: Do you fancy coming over to ours for a meal on Saturday?
Novi: It might be a bit difficult. I’m in the Dominican Republic on holiday.
Jack: Oh. Oh, wow! Are you having a nice time?
Novi: I’m doing a lot of sunbathing on a sun-drenched beach. I’m loving it. I’m going snorkelling now with the tropical fish - gotta go. Enjoy your party!
Jack: Enjoy your holiday!
Novi: I will. Bye.
Rich: Another no?
Jack: Another no.
Rich: Ah well. You do know that you can invite ...
Jack: Yes, I can invite ... Alex. My nephew. He’s learning to speak Spanish so he’ll come. I’m sure of it.
Jennie: Hi Jack
Jack: Hey Jennie. How are you doing?
Jennie: I’m alright. What are you up to?
Jack: I’m planning a South American meal. I thought I could invite Alex. He could practise his Spanish.
Jennie: But you don’t speak Spanish.
Jennie: Oh, look at you - fluent. I’ll just get him. Alex!! (Uncle Jack wants you to practise your Spanish)
Alex: Hola, tio.
Alex: Mi madre dice que quieres practicar tu español. ¿Que quieres saber?
Jack: Er… yes very good. Muy bien. I’m cooking empanadas and maybe a barbecue on Saturday. Do you guys want to come?
Alex: Saturday? It sounds great. I’d love to but it’s the derby match on Saturday and I’ve got tickets.
Jack: And I suppose your mum is going too?
Alex: Afraid so. Another time?
Rich: No joy?
Jack: No. Looks like I might have to put it off. Wait a minute.
Jack: Hello Rich.
Rich: I’m stood next to you, Jack.
Jack: Yes, I know. I was so stupid ringing all these people before I’d invited you. You were first on the list! Do you want to come?
Rich: Er ... well ... yes, of course! I thought you’d never ask. I can invite a few others if you like?
Jack: Brilliant. The more the merrier.
Rich: We can watch the match after. It’s Boca Juniors v River Plate on Saturday night. Could be a late one!
Language Focus: verb-noun collocations
Rich: Did you get the answer to the question? Who can go to Jack’s house for dinner?
Jack: The answer, of course, is Rich.
Rich: I’d never say no to a free lunch!
Jack: OK, in the roleplay people spoke about the different activities they were doing.
Rich: We heard that people were playing football, going abseiling, doing some sunbathing, going snorkelling - there were all kinds of excuses not to go to Jack’s party!
Jack: Let’s think about language for a few minutes. When we talk about free time activities we often use verb + noun collocations. We play football. We go abseiling. We do karate.
Rich: These three verbs play, go and do are the most common when we talk about free time activities but it can be difficult to remember which verb we use with which activity. Let’s look at a few guidelines that can help you.
Jack: Let’s start with play. We use play with sports that use a ball or something similar or when you compete directly against another opponent or team.
Rich: So, we play football, we play tennis, we play cricket and we play rugby.
Jack: But we also play chess, play board games and play cards.
Rich: The second common collocation is with do. We use do with sports that don’t involve teams or a ball and with leisure activities that don’t end in -ing.
Jack: So, we do athletics, we do judo and we do gymnastics.
Rich: And we also do yoga, do aerobics and do ballet.
Jack: The third common collocation is with go. We use go with activities that end in -ing. These activities are often outside or you have to go to a different place to do the activity.
Rich: So, we go skiing, we go abseiling and we go fishing.
Jack: And we also go dancing, go bowling and go swimming.
Rich: What activities do you do in your free time Jack?
Jack: Mmm … I like to go cycling or running when the weather is nice and I try to do pilates or a bit of yoga in the house when I can. I used to play football but I prefer to play chess these days.
Rich: Good choice of activities Jack. Two that use go, two that use do and two that use play. Can our listeners do the same? Think of the free time activities that you do. Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page on the Premier Skills English website.
Language Focus: Invitations and saying no
Rich: In the roleplay, Jack invited lots of people to his party and lots of people said no.
Jack: You may have noticed we used some expressions for invitations and some expressions for declining invitations, that is to say no to the invitation.
Rich: Let’s look at some of these expressions. When Jack spoke to his Uncle Steve in the roleplay he said I was wondering if you’d like to come along?
Jack: and when I spoke to Anita I said Do you fancy coming over to ours for a meal on Saturday?
Rich: In the roleplay, we used informal spoken invitations. In these examples Jack used the phrases, ‘I was wondering if you’d like ...’ and ‘Do you fancy ...’
Jack: These are quite high-level phrases to try to learn but make your language sound nice and natural. The first example is followed by the infinitive and the second is followed by the gerund. Try repeating these examples:
Rich: I was wondering if you’d like to go to the cinema this weekend?
Jack: Do you fancy going to the match on Saturday?
Rich: There are other expressions we use to ask people to do things with us. The most direct is probably using ‘Would you like to’. Would you like to come to the cinema? Would you like to go to the match?
Jack: There are others. We could use ‘How about’ which is followed by the -ing form of the verb. This is nice and informal. How about (going to) the cinema this weekend? How about (going to) the match on Saturday?
Rich: Or another informal expression is ‘Are you up for …?’. ‘Are you up for the match on Saturday?’ ‘Are you up for the cinema this weekend?’
Jack: In the roleplay, most of my family declined my invitations. They used different expressions to say no. When we say no we nearly always apologise by saying ‘sorry’ or ‘I’m afraid…’.
Rich: Jack’s Uncle Steve said ‘sounds wonderful but I’m afraid I’m going abseiling on Saturday’.
Jack: When we say no we’re usually less direct or very polite and may say phrases like, ‘I think I have something else on’ which means ‘I’m doing something else’.
Rich: To be polite we hardly ever say ‘no’. Instead of saying ‘No!’ or ‘I can’t’ we use phrases like ‘That’s very nice of you but……’ or ‘Thanks for the offer but…’ or probably the closest to saying ‘no’ is ‘I’m sorry, but I’d rather not’. In the roleplay nobody said ‘no’ directly but they all had excuses not to go to Jack’s party.
Jack: Of course, we often say ‘yes’ to invitations or accept invitations. The language here is much easier and simpler. We can use phrases like, ‘I’d love to’, ‘That sounds great’, ‘Sure’ or ‘Sounds like a plan to me’.
Rich: Your task this week is to plan an event and invite other listeners to it.
Jack: In the roleplay, I invited family and friends to a meal at my house. We want you to think of something that you could invite everyone to. It might be a meal at your house or a party to celebrate something like a birthday or a national festival.
Rich: You might want to invite everyone to your house to watch a football match or invite everyone to a stadium to watch a match in your city or to the local cafe or bar where you watch football.
Jack: Or you might want to invite everyone on a trip or a weekend away in your country. Where would you go? What would you show everyone?
Rich: It’s your event so it’s up to you. What we want you to do is use some of the language for invitations we have used in this podcast.
Jack: And we want our listeners to say yes or no to these invitations and again you should be using some of the expressions you have learned from this podcast.
Rich: Write all your invites and replies in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website. You’ll find the page for this podcast on the homepage or under skills>listen>podcasts>learning vocabulary: free-time activities.
Jack: OK, it’s time for this week’s football phrase. You’ve got quite a difficult one this week.
Rich: Yes, it’s not that easy. This week’s phrase is to be ****** ** ** ***'* *****. This phrase is used to describe a goalkeeper who has come to collect the ball from a cross or a long pass and gets nowhere near the ball and an attacker can easily put the ball in the net either through chipping it over the goalkeeper or heading the cross into the net. The goalkeeper always has a decision to make: to stay on the line or come for the ball, if a keeper decides to come for the ball they have to be decisive and not get ****** ** ** ***'* ****.
Jack: OK, this phrase has a more general meaning. It is also used to describe the area of land between two countries or armies that is not controlled by either.
Rich: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below. If you get it right, we’ll announce your name on next week’s show.
Jack: Before we forget, if you’re still thinking about last week’s scary Halloween football phrase - the answer was horror tackle.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football!