How to Talk about Hobbies

How to Talk about Hobbies

“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.”

Edith Sitwell, a British poet

A hobby is an activity that you do regularly in your leisure /ˈleʒə(r)time for pleasure. A hobby can be absorbing, relaxing, enjoyable and satisfying. If you have many hobbies, you might have a favorite one or a pet hobby (the hobby you like most). To have a hobby means to follow, pursue or indulge /ɪnˈdʌldʒ/ in it. If you start a hobby, you take it up. Read on for more hobby vocabulary…


Jenny: Most of us have a hobby that we do in our spare time. Some of us do things like model planes. Others play cards or board games like backgammon, while others like to collect things such as stamps and antiques /ænˈtiːks/. I spend a lot of my summer holidays snorkeling /ˈsnɔː(r)k(ə)lɪŋin the sea. My brother goes away almost every weekend either walking or climbing in the mountains. His favorite hobby is taking pictures of rare flowers. My aunt, who is 80, has a magnificent collection of traditional music, and still goes to dance classes. So, there is much more to life than watching television!

  • spare time = free time, leisure time
  • there is more to life than watching TV – there are more interesting things in life than watching TV, so you shouldn’t spend all your spare time doing it because you might miss out on (lose an opportunity to do) something better.

Kate: I always like going for a meal with friends. And I’ll go to a party if I’m invited. But to be honest, I’m happiest at home. I get in from work quite late, so I just put some music on and cook myself something to eat. I don’t watch much television because I’ve got several hobbies. I paint and draw, which is really relaxing, and I also collect china and porcelain /ˈpɔː(r)s(ə)lɪn/. I go to antique fairs and look in old junk shops and places like that when I get the chance. And I love catching up on recent films too. I’ve got a big collection of DVDs, so I often watch one of those. I’m certainly never bored!

  • to get in – to arrive at home or at work
  • to put (sth.) on – to put a video, CD etc. in a piece of equipment so that you can watch it or listen to it
  • to catch up on (sth.) to do something that you have not been able to do recently

John: What do I do after work? Well, I get together with friends mostly. We sometimes go round to someone’s flat if there’s a big match on, and we cook together or get a take-away and then sit down and watch the match. After that we sometimes play cards too. But we’d rather go out if we get the chance. We go clubbing once a week, we go to the cinema, that sort of thing. And in the summer we get outside – we go to the beach, go swimming and surfing, have a barbecue. I don’t spend a lot of time in, but when I’m at home I tend to read a book rather than watch TV – well, unless there is a sport on.

  • to get together with (sb.)if people get together, they meet in order to do something or to spend time together
  • to go round/around to (a place) – to visit (a place)
  • take-away/takeaway – a meal or dish bought from a shop or restaurant to be eaten elsewhere
  • that sort of thing – used at the end of a list of similar things or details for showing that it is not complete


  1. model plane making
  2. collage /ˈkɒlɑːʒmaking
  3. card games (e.g. uno, solitaire /ˌsɒlɪˈteə(r)/, blackjack, etc.)
  4. board games (e.g. chess, monopoly, backgammon, snakes and ladders etc.)
  5. collecting (stamps, antiques, china, porcelain, shells etc.)
  6. snorkeling
  7. swimming
  8. surfing
  9. walking
  10. hiking
  11. cycling
  12. climbing
  13. abseiling /ˈæbseɪlɪŋ/ (Br.E.) / rappelling /rəˈpelɪŋ/ (Am.E)
  14. photography
  15. music
  16. dance
  17. painting
  18. drawing
  19. films
  20. television
  21. (watching or doing) sports
  22. clubbing
  23. reading
  24. gardening
  25. sewing /ˈsəʊɪŋ/
  26. solving/doing crossword/sudoku puzzles
  27. dough /dəʊmodeling
  28. knitting
My hobby is drawing. What’s yours?


Vocabulary note: We play games, collect objects and do activities.

Michelle: Everyone in my family has a hobby. My brother plays chess. He only took it up recently but he plays really well. My sister collects unusual shells and my parents do the crossword in the newspaper every day. As for me, someone showed me how sudoku puzzles work and I’ve really taken to them, so I do them all the time now. When we’re all together at the beach or at home in the winter, we play cards and we sometimes play board games like snakes and ladders or backgammon.

All my friends have hobbies too. For example, Stephanie makes model planes using matches and thin paper, Mary does a lot of sewing in her spare time, and Michael makes animals out of cake dough. I don’t approve of Kelly’s hobby, playing on machines in the amusement arcade /ɑː(r)ˈkeɪd/, because she spends too much money there. She used to have a different hobby – knitting. I wish she would do it again.

  • to take up (sth.) – to begin doing something as a hobby
  • to take to (sth.) – to begin to like something

Do you have a hobby? What is it? Please tell us in comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for more posts like this. Thank you for reading!

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