Learning Vocabulary: Fitness and Tennis
In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich, Jack and Rowan go for a game of tennis. The language focus is on words and phrases to talk about the sport of tennis. In this week's task, we want you to tell us about tennis in your country and give tennis a Premier Skills English fitness score. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.
Learning Vocabulary: Fitness & Tennis
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack
Rich: My name’s Rich
Rowan: and I’m Rowan
Rich: And welcome to the Premier Skills English podcast ...
Jack: ... where we talk about football and English.
Rich: In the Premier Skills English podcast, we talk about football and help you with your English.
Rowan: Don’t forget you can find the transcript for all our podcasts with examples and activities to help you understand the language and a task for you to complete on the Premier Skills English website.
Jack: In this Premier Skills English course, we’re looking at the different ways people stay fit and healthy.
Rich: We’re talking about lots of different sports and activities and will focus on language related to fitness and some words and phrases connected to a specific sport.
Rowan: This lesson is all about tennis. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at lots of different sports and activities.
Jack: We’re going to do a roleplay. The three of us are going for a game of tennis and we’re going to use lots of words and phrases connected to the sport of tennis and fitness more generally.
Rich: In the roleplay, we’ll also tell you about the Premier Skills English fitness challenge that we’re doing.
Rowan: We’re going to give a fitness score and a fun score for each of the sports and activities we look at.
Jack: And in the task we have for you later in the podcast, we want you to give your own fitness and fun scores. We’ll have more about that later.
Last week’s Football Phrase
Jack: Before we start this week’s roleplay we need to look back at last week’s football phrase.
Rich: OK, our football phrase. If you’ve not listened to the podcast before, every week we set our listeners a language challenge. We explain a football phrase or word and you have to guess what it is.
Rowan: When you know the answer, go to the Premier Skills English website and write the word or phrase in the comments section for this podcast. If you’re correct we’ll announce your name on next week’s podcast.
Jack: We had lots of correct answers last week but a special congratulations to Sabanoleg from Ukraine who was the first with the right answer.
Rich: And a big well done to the following listeners who also got the right answer: Marco Zapien from Mexico, MoBeckham from Turkey, Gabriela C from Chile, Max Alex from Vietnam, HSN from Turkey, Hayato from Japan, Jacek from Poland, Elghoul from Algeria, Cira from Hong Kong, Emmanuel from France, Daniel4 from Italy and Luibomyr from Ukraine.
Jack: The new football phrase is at the end of this podcast but we’re going to give you one more chance to guess last week’s football phrase. Are you ready?
Rowan: The phrase was to **** ** **** *****. It’s an idiom which means to retire from playing football. You don’t need what you wear on your feet to play football anymore so you can put them away forever. It’s a strange phrase because I would never **** ** ** *****. I would put them on the floor in a wardrobe or something.
Rich: We’ll give you the answer and a new football phrase at the end of this podcast.
Rowan: If you remember, last week’s podcast was all about running and we asked you how you felt about running and your experiences of running
Jack: Max Alex from Vietnam is a big fan and regularly does 10k runs. Good for you Max Alex!
Rich: Elghoul from Algeria runs for fitness and told us about a half-marathon he ran once. He was in full military gear. Sounds like hard work, Elghoul!
Rowan: HSN from Turkey and Yosichika from Japan are also regular runners but some of you prefer other activities. Marynchukdenys1984 from Ukraine prefers football, Vic from Mexico prefers cycling and Lucaly from Italy prefers tennis so I hope you enjoy this podcast Lucaly and thanks for your email!
Jack: If you haven’t heard this podcast it’s called Learning Vocabulary: Fitness and Running and you can find it on the Premier Skills English website or on Apple Podcasts.
Introduction to roleplay: Fitness Challenge
Rowan: In our roleplay, I’m going for a game of tennis with Jack and Rich. It’s the second activity in our Premier Skills English fitness challenge which we started last week.
Jack: Our fitness challenge is a little competition between the three of us. We are trying out a few different sports and activities and we decide which is the best for us.
Rich: We’re going to go running, cycling, swimming, to the gym, to do some sport and we might even play football.
Rowan: We’re going to decide what are the advantages and the disadvantages of each sport, what we like and dislike about each activity, and we’re going to give each activity or sport a Premier Skills English fitness challenge score.
Jack: It’s all a bit of fun but it should help all of us think more about keeping fit and healthy.
Rich: But as always the main focus is the language and in each roleplay, we’ll use lots of vocabulary connected to tennis.
Rowan: We’ll use vocabulary and phrasal verbs about fitness in general and we’ll also look at words and phrases connected to the specific sports we look at.
Jack: In this roleplay, we’re playing tennis so you’ll hear lots of words and phrases connected to this sport so listen out for them.
Rich: While you listen we want you to answer two questions:
Rowan: Question one: Who’s the best tennis player?
Jack: Question two: Who complains about being injured?
Roleplay - Tennis
Rowan: Thanks for the lift, Jack. I never even knew there was a tennis club around here.
Jack: No? I thought everyone knew about it. Look there’s Rich.
Rich: Hey, guys. I remember coming here as a kid. It’s not changed much.
Jack: Did you use the same tennis racket? You can’t play with that. It’s made of wood!
Rich: What do you mean? I was like Roger Federer with this in my hand.
Jack: I said to Rowan that I’d lend her a racket. I’ve got a couple of extras in the boot.
Rowan: Look at all this tennis equipment!
Jack: It’s only a tennis bag with a few rackets and tennis balls.
Rich: Very professional. I’ll have that blue racket.
Jack: Come on! I’ve booked the tennis court for 1100. We’ve got an hour.
Rowan: You have to book?
Jack: If you need to change, there’s a changing room with a few lockers over there.
Rowan: Who’s that?
Rowan: Him over there waving.
Geoff: Have we got a tennis lesson this morning?
Jack: Hold on a sec.
Rich: Did he say lesson? I thought we were just going to have a knock around.
Rowan: Do you think Jack’s been having some tennis lessons?
Rich: Everything all right, Jack.
Jack: Fine. Just someone asking about ... erm ... English lessons. OK, let’s warm up then we’ll knock up.
Rich: Knock up?
Jack: Practice before we start the match.
Rowan: We’re going to play a match? Doubles or singles?
Jack: I’ll take you two on.
Jack: OK, me to serve … ace, 15-0.
Rich: Good serve. That was quick.
Jack: Ready Rowan?
Jack: Good effort, Rowan. 30-0.
Rich: We’re not going to get it back over the net at this rate.
Jack: Ready Rich?
Jack: Better. Good return Rich and that was a nice forehand, Rowan. 30-15.
Rowan: A rally at last.
Jack: We’ll just play one set and see how it goes.
Jack: Game, set, match, Radford!
Rich: Okay, okay. You’ve been having a few lessons, haven’t you?
Jack: Yeah, for a few months now. A private tennis coach.
Rowan: A few months? No wonder you’re so good. We got to deuce in one game though.
Jack: Why don’t you two have a game? I’ll be the umpire.
Rich: You can be the umpire and the ballboy!
Rowan: OK, tennis was our second activity for our Premier Skills English fitness challenge. We need to give our opinions and scores. Jack?
Jack: Well, I’ve been having tennis lessons for a while and while I don’t think I get the same exercise as a workout at the gym or going for a run it’s still good - especially for my arms and legs.
Rowan: And a score?
Jack: I’m going to give tennis a fitness score of seven out of ten and a fun score of eight out of ten.
Rich: Well, playing you wasn’t much fun - watching the ball fly past us and it wasn’t much good for my fitness either apart from going to fetch the ball!
Jack: But what about when you played Rowan?
Rich: Yes, that was much better. We had some good rallies and it was a better workout. I’ve actually got a bit of tennis elbow - I haven’t played for a while.
Jack: Complaining about injuries again, Rich. Score?
Rich: I think it would be about a three for fitness and fun when playing you Jack but against Rowan, I’m going to go for a fitness score of five and a fun score of six.
Jack: And what about you, Rowan?
Rowan: I agree with Rich. You need to play against someone who is about the same level as you. I’m going to give tennis a fitness score of six and a fun score of six.
Jack: OK, so our final Premier Skills English Fitness challenge score is … 38. That means running is still our top Premier Skills English activity.
Rowan: Before the roleplay, we asked you two questions. The first question was: Who was the best tennis player?
Rich: The answer is Jack is the best tennis player. He cheated a little bit though. He’s been having lessons for months and didn’t tell me or Rowan.
Jack: What’s wrong with a few tennis lessons? The second question we gave you was Who is complaining about being injured again?
Rowan: The answer of course is Rich. Last week he was complaining about blisters on his foot and this week it’s tennis elbow.
Rich: I wouldn’t say I was complaining …
Jack: Let’s look at some language. We’re going to start off with the easier words and phrases.
Rowan: In the roleplay, you may have heard lots of collocations with tennis so we’re going to start with a little quiz and look at six collocations that start with the word tennis.
Rich: Our listeners have to try to get the answer before we do. Ready guys?
Jack/Rowan: We’re ready.
Rich: Question one: What tennis is what the game is played on?
Rowan: Easy. Court. Tennis court.
Rich: Correct. Question two. Jack has been a member of this tennis for months.
Rowan: Tennis club. He’s a member of a tennis club.
Rich: Good. Question three. You need this tennis to hit the ball.
Rowan: Racket. Tennis racket. Jack lent me a nice tennis racket in the roleplay.
Rich: Correct. Are you playing, Jack?
Jack: Yes, Rowan’s too quick.
Rich: Question four. Jack has been having these for the last few months.
Rowan: Tennis lessons.
Jack: Yes, my tennis coach is very good.
Rich: You’re not getting a point for tennis coach. Question five: our tennis racket, tennis balls, tennis shoes all go in your …
Rowan: Tennis bag.
Rich: Correct. Yes, all your tennis equipment goes in your tennis bag. Final question: A pain in the middle of your arm caused by using it too much.
Rowan: Tennis elbow!
Rich: Correct. I got a bit of tennis elbow in the roleplay. That’s six-nil to Rowan. Game, set, match!
Jack: We’ve looked at a few basic tennis collocations. Let’s look at some vocabulary we use to talk about playing tennis.
Rowan: We were playing for fun but when professionals play they have an umpire and ball boys or ball girls.
Rich: Football has referees but tennis has umpires. They do the same job but some sports like football, rugby and boxing have referees while other sports like tennis, cricket and baseball have umpires.
Jack: In the roleplay, I said I’d be the umpire while Rich and Rowan play each other but Rich said I should be the ball boy.
Rowan: In tennis, ball boys and ball girls are the people who fetch the balls when they go out of play. They are usually children or teenagers.
Rich: When you play tennis you can play either a singles match or a doubles match. Rowan said ‘singles or doubles’ in the roleplay. It’s not necessary to say match.
Jack: Singles is when there is a total of two players on the tennis court and they play each other. Rich and Rowan played singles.
Rowan: Doubles is when there are four players on the court at the same time. Two teams of two.
Rich: In the roleplay, Jack served first. The serve starts every point in a tennis match. The player throws the ball above their head and hits the ball over the net.
Rowan: Serve can be a noun or a verb. In the roleplay, Jack served very well. He hit some good serves. Some of them were aces.
Jack: An ace is when you serve and your opponent doesn’t touch the ball and you win the point. I hit a couple of aces in the roleplay.
Rich: Yes, we found it difficult to return Jack’s serve. The return is the first shot after the serve. The other player tries to return the serve. Again this can be used as a noun or a verb.
Rowan: There are different types of shots in tennis. A volley is when you hit the ball before it touches the ground and a smash is when you hit the ball when it’s above your head.
Jack: I told Rowan that she hit a nice forehand shot in the roleplay. The forehand and the backhand are the two ways we hold a tennis racket and are used to describe how we hit the ball.
Rich: A forehand or forehand shot is when the palm of our hand faces the ball as we hit it. If you are right-handed, your racket will be to your right when you hit the ball.
Rowan: A backhand or backhand shot is when the back of our hand faces the ball as we hit it. If you are right-handed, your racket will be to your left when you hit the ball.
Jack: The last word in this section is rally. When Rich and Rowan played they had some nice rallies probably because they had a similar level of ability.
Rich: A rally is the series of shots that start with serving the ball and end when the ball goes out of play.
Rowan: When we played Jack the rallies were very short - he’d serve and we couldn’t return it, but when I played Rich the rallies were much longer - and more fun.
Jack: Our final bit of language looks at scoring in tennis because there are a few unusual words that we use.
Rich: When one player wins the umpire says game, set, match followed by the player’s surname.
Rowan: Professional matches are usually played over three or five sets. This means that a player needs to win two or three sets to win the match.
Jack: To win a set, a player needs to win six games but the player needs to win by two clear games or there is a tie-break. A tie-break is a sudden death game where the first player to reach six points wins the set.
Rich: But again you need to win by two clear points.
Rowan: To win a game, you need to win four points or four rallies but again it’s not as simple as that.
Jack: If you win four points you have won the game. The umpire would say 15-0, 30-0, 40-0, game.
Rich: When scores are level the umpire will say 15-all and 30-all but when both players have 40 points the umpire will say deuce.
Rowan: When a game reaches deuce, a player once again needs to win by two clear points. If a player wins a point at deuce, the umpire will say advantage followed by the player’s surname. That player then needs to win another point to win the game.
Jack: If not the game will go back to deuce and again one player needs to win by two clear points.
Rich: OK, there are two words that are a bit different there: love and deuce. Why do you think we use them in tennis?
Rowan: One theory is that it comes from the French ‘l’oeuf’, or ‘the egg’ because the shape of the zero looks like an egg.
Jack: And deuce?
Rich: Well, again it comes from French, most people believe that the game was originally invented in France and the word is connected to deux the number two in French.
Rowan: More specifically it comes from the phrase a deux le jeu which can be translated to mean two players with an equal chance of winning.
Jack: My French is not really that good but I do have a joke: Why do French people never have two eggs for breakfast?
Rowan: Our task for you is to give us a Premier Skills English Fitness Challenge score for tennis and to tell us whether you have ever played tennis and what you know about the game.
Jack: Have you ever had tennis lessons like me or did you play at school like Rich?
Rich: Tell us where you can play tennis where you live. Is tennis popular in your country? Are there any famous tennis players?
Jack: Is tennis a good way of keeping fit?
Rich: Tell us about your experiences of tennis and then give us a Premier Skills English Fitness Challenge score for this activity.
Rowan: Give us a score out of ten for fitness and a score out of ten for fun - just like we did in the roleplay.
Jack: Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website and try to use some of the words and phrases we introduced in this podcast.
Rowan: It’s Rich’s turn with the football phrase this week.
Rich: This week’s football phrase is **** *** **** and I’ve chosen the phrase because you can use it in football and tennis. A football player might hit a ball **** *** **** for a winger to run on to. It means a long pass near the edge of the pitch. A tennis player that hits a shot **** *** **** describes a ball that travels parallel to and along the sideline of the tennis court.
Jack: That’s a difficult one. Let’s see if anyone gets it right.
Rowan: If you are still wondering what the answer was to last week’s football phrase it was to hang up your boots.
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: If you have a question for us about football or English you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rowan: or you can leave your questions and comments on the website in the comments section or on our Facebook page.
Rich: or you could give us a rating and a fantastic review on Apple Podcasts.
Jack: Bye for now and enjoy your football!
How much did you understand?
Here is the vocabulary you saw at the top of this page and how Rowan, Rich and Jack used it in the roleplay. Do you know the words in bold?
If you need to change, there’s a changing room with a few lockers over there.
OK, let’s warm up then we’ll knock up.
I’ll take you two on.
We’re not going to get it back over the net at this rate.
I didn't like going to fetch the ball!
Listen to the roleplays again to hear how Rich, Rowan and Jack used these words and phrases.
In the podcast, Rich, Jack and Rowan were playing tennis. They used quite a few collocations with tennis in the roleplay. Here are some of the words and phrases that were used. Do you know the phrases in bold?
I never even knew there was a tennis club around here.
I’ve got a couple of extra tennis rackets in the boot.
I’ve booked the tennis court for 1100.
I’ve actually got a bit of tennis elbow - I haven’t played for a while.
Listen to the quiz in the podcast again to check your understanding of all the collocations with tennis that were used in the roleplay.
There are quite a few words and phrases that are specific to tennis and similar sports. Do you know the phrases in bold we used in the roleplay?
We’re going to play a match? Doubles or singles?
OK, me to serve … ace, 15-0.
Good return Rich and that was a nice forehand, Rowan. 30-15.
A rally at last.
You can be the umpire and the ballboy!
The scoring system in tennis is quite complicated and there are some unusual words and phrases. Do you know the phrases in bold that were used in the podcast?
Good effort, Rowan. Thirty - love.
Game, set, match, Radford.
We got to deuce in one game though.
You need to win by two clear games or there is a tie-break.
Anyone for tennis?
Our task for you is to give us a Premier Skills English Fitness Challenge score for tennis and tell us about tennis in your country.
- Have you ever had tennis lessons like Jack or did you play at school like Rich?
- Tell us where you can play tennis where you live. Is tennis popular in your country? Are there any famous tennis players?
- Is tennis a good way of keeping fit?
Tell us about your experiences of tennis and then give us a Premier Skills English fitness challenge score for this sport.
- Give us a score out of ten for fitness and a score out of ten for fun - just like Rowan, RIch and Jack did in the podcast.
Write all your answers in the comments section on the Premier Skills English website and try to use some of the words and phrases we introduced in this podcast and don't forget to have a guess at this week's football phrase.