English Lessons


Summer Sports and Gerunds

There are a lot of sports that are best enjoyed under a summer sun. Many names of sports are gerunds, which means the noun came from the verb, usually ending in "-ing." So you have the sport "surfing," and to make a verb for it to describe participating in the sport, you add the word "go": you "go surfing."


With some sports, the noun does not end in "ing," such as the sport golf. In this case, you can "play golf" or "go golfing." With some sports, such as tennis, you can "play tennis." But it's incorrect to say you "go tennising."


Let's take a look at summer sports today and figure out afterwards which of those have noun gerunds, and whether the noun gerunds carry over into the related verb or not.



When you throw a frisbee, part of your spirit flies with it.

Caption 6, Movie Trailers: The Invisible String

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I found myself traveling around the world windsurfing.

Caption 12, Justin James: Booking Submission Video

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I'm not a scuba diving instructor yet.

Caption 1, Job interviews: Mr. Alan Hint monologue

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Caveman Skatetech delivers a very armchair appreciation to the sport of skateboarding.

Captions 1-3, Caveman Skatetech: Desert Vol 1

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It is also a popular recreational area for boating and other water sports.

Caption 36, The Last Paradises: America's National Parks

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If I'm in a kayak or a canoe, I have to be careful because if I move too much, then I can tip over.

Captions 53-55, Sigrid explains: The Tipping Point

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This effect is very important in sports like tennis, soccer, and golf.

Caption 30, Science: Surprising Applications of the Magnus Effect

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Sport name           Non-gerund verb        Gerund verb
Boating                   (none)                          Go boating, canoeing, kayaking
Diving                     (none)                          Go diving, scuba diving
Fishing                    (none)                         Go fishing
Frisbee                    Play frisbee                 (none)
Golf                         Play golf                      Go golfing
Skateboarding        (none)                          Go skateboarding
Snorkeling              (none)                          Go snorkeling
Surfing                    (none)                          Go surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfings
Soccer                    Play soccer                  (none)
Tennis                     Play tennis                   (none)


Note too that with some sports, you can use a non-gerund verb to describe playing the sport: "I golf badly, I dive well, I fish very well, I skateboard like a pro, I can snorkel, and I can surf." But other sports require you to have a helping verb: "I play frisbee, soccer, and tennis." 


Further Learning
Go to Yabla English and watch some of the videos above for more references to summer sports.

English idioms with the verb "to make"

An idiom is an expression that uses words to create a meaning that may not be immediately clear from the words used. Usually idioms derive from some kind of cultural context, and like many languages, English has a lot of idiomatic expressions. Today we're going to look at some idioms that use the verb "to make."


But the Magnus Effect is making a comeback.

Caption 43, Science - Surprising Applications of the Magnus Effect

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The phrase "making a comeback" means for somebody who was once well-known and successful, but who had in the meantime become forgotten or less successful, to be in the process or regaining their lost fame or success. 


We've made our way gradually down the country.​

Caption 20, World Cup 2015 - New Zealand getting the word out

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To "make your way" is to start going somewhere.


They laughed about his big feet and made fun of his plump, grey body.

Captions 37-38, Fairy Tales - The Ugly Duckling - Part 1

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To "make fun" of something or somebody is to ridicule it or them.


You just make more waves.

Caption 70, Prince Ea - I Am NOT Black, You are NOT White

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To "make waves" is to cause trouble or have a strong effect on something.


Further Learning
Here's a list of some more idioms with the verb "to make": make a beeline, make a clean sweep, make ends meet, make a face, make a fuss, make a fool out of, make a go of it, make a killing, make a living, make a name for, make a point, make a run for it, make a scene, make a stink, make an example of, make an exception, make arrangements, make good on, make light of, make mischief, make sense, make short work of, make someone tick, make something up, make the grade. 


See if you can figure out what they mean and do a search for other idioms on Yabla English to find other examples used in a real-world context.

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