How to Talk About Hobbies

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Everyone has some kind of hobby or something they like to do in their free time. Some people like to learn foreign languages, some like to paint or draw, but it can also be something simple like watching movies or TV series, or playing video games. There are many different hobbies we could get involved in; they add fun and variety to our lives.

Today we’ll talk about hobbies and learn some of the English words associated with this subject. After all, hobbies are an important discussion topic in the English language, so you should know some related vocabulary and questions (especially if you’re an ESL student). Let’s go!

Names of common hobbies

First, let’s share a full list of hobbies that are popular and common in English speaking countries:

  • Reading books
  • Blogging
  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Listening to music
  • Playing musical instruments (piano, guitar etc.)
  • Learning new languages
  • Shopping
  • Traveling
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Exercising
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Collecting things
  • Playing computer games
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Gardening
  • Doing crafts (handmade)
  • Embroidering
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Playing board games
  • Walking
  • Writing stories
  • Fishing
  • Photography
  • Skydiving
  • Skating
  • Skiing
  • Roller skating
  • Longboarding
  • Surfing

Talking about hobbies and what people like to do in their free time is an excellent way to get to know others and tell them about your favorite things to do – in English. If you’re interested in business English, for example, then chit chat is expected, and what better to chat about than your hobbies?

How to ask others about their hobbies

  • What is your hobby?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • Do you have any hobbies?

You have probably seen these three questions in textbooks. The fact is, though, that the word “hobby” isn’t used very much in conversational speech. Instead, you may be asked:

  • What do you do for fun?
  • What do you do in your spare/free time?
  • What do you do when you’re bored?

How to tell others about your hobbies

In order to tell others about your hobbies in English, you can use one of the grammatical structures below:

  • I like + to do something
  • I like + (verb + ing)
  • I enjoy doing something
  • I am keen on something (British English)
  • I am fond of something

For example:

  • I like watching movies.
  • I like to play golf.
  • I am keen on photography.
  • I enjoy baking.
  • I am fond of traveling.

If you would like to say that you thoroughly enjoy doing something – that it is one of your favorite things – you can add the word “really” after “I” (or the form of “to be” if this is used in the sentence).

For example: I really like playing tennis. We are really fond of skydiving.

If you do not want to speak about a specific activity or hobby, you can use this phrase: I like hanging out with my friends and stuff like that.

What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?

November, 2023

Posted by Oxford Language Club

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