Use Do + Noun Collocations to Describe Physical Activities, Sports, and Other Types of Exercise

Do collocations for physical activities and sports

Now that we’ve learned how to use go +ing to talk about activities we do in our free time, it’s time to learn how to use the verb do with nouns to describe sports and other physical activities.

Do is one of the most commonly used verbs in the English language, and it is often paired with nouns to form collocations, or groups of words that always go together.

Collocations are important for non-native English speakers to study because they are used frequently in everyday speech, so you want to get them right!

Today’s mini English lesson focuses on collocations with do + noun, specifically those we use to describe sports, physical activities, and types of exercise.

As the graphic above shows you, we use the verb do with sports and physical activities that are NOT played with a team and do NOT use a ball.

(We use the verb “to play” with team sports played with a ball.)

We also use the verb do with all kinds of martial arts, including those from Asia and other parts of the world.

Lastly, do is used with different types of exercise, including the name of the exercise, like crunches, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, and squats, as well as various types of popular fitness classes.

Similarly, we use do with gymnastics, acrobatics, yoga, pilates, ballet, and barre, other activities that require controlled physical movement, like martial arts.

To use do + noun collocations, the verb do changes based on our subject and desired tense.

Like go +ing, these collocations are used to describe the whole activity.

Here are some more examples:

  • I usually do yoga at least three times a week.
  • She has been doing karate for 10 years.
  • When he was young, he did karate and taekwondo.
  • Many people hate doing crunches.
  • I don’t know how to do a handstand.
  • My friend used to do ballet but now she prefers salsa dancing.

As you can see from this mini lesson, remembering to use do with these types of physical activities is a quick way to sound more natural in English.

Your Turn

In the comments below, answer the following question with one of the collocations listed above:

Which of these activities do you like to do?

If you’ve never tried any of them, which would you like to do someday?

Want to use grammar more naturally? Click here to explore my other resources on using grammar structures like a native speaker.

(Thanks to Julie Pimentel for the yoga photo, used per a Creative Commons license.)

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