Learn English – What do you do for fun?

Hi. James from EngVid. Just looking at my work.
I don’t know when I’m going to get any more downtime. I mean, I haven’t had spare
time or time off in so long. I haven’t done any of my interests or hobbies and — you know
what I mean, right? You don’t? Oh, that’s today’s lesson. We’re going to talk to you
about conversation skills and how you can improve them while talking about your downtime,
hobbies, and time off. You know? Oh, you don’t know? Let’s do it, then. Let’s go to the board.
Well, let’s start off with what is a “hobby”. Well, a “hobby” is something — and you can
think of the word “habit”. I think most of you know “habit” is something you do regularly.
Well, a “hobby” starts with a “h”, and it means “something you do regularly”. But in
this case, it’s something that’s fun, you do it regularly, and you don’t get paid for it.
That’s what we usually call your “hobby”. So you might even spend money and time to do
it, but you get a lot of fun from it, and you do it regularly. Now, another word for
“hobby” is “interest”. And the funny thing about “interest” is that I could say to you,
“What are your hobbies?” Or I could say to you “What are your interests?” And it’s almost the same.
And we use them — English speakers — almost interchangeably, which means we
can just change them, and it doesn’t really matter. But there’s a slight difference. Remember
“hobby” and “habit” go together — you do regularly? Well, “interest” means “I like it”.
Like, I’m interested in the theatre, but I don’t go all the time, maybe once every two years.
But my hobby is collecting comic books, which means I actually — every week
— buy the comic books. Like, I have it, and I get enjoyment from both. So remember, you
can use the words, but one is more specific, all right? So you could say — you know, you
could say, “I’m interested in reading.” — I don’t have time to do it, but I like the idea of it.
versus “My hobby is reading.”, which is — that’s what I do when I don’t
have anything to do. All right? So let’s go over here. What kind of hobbies
or interests can a person have? Well, one of them is collecting. Now, what does “collecting” mean?
It means “to bring together a group of things”, all right? But in this case, “collecting”
is very specific. Personally, I collect comic books. And I dare you to go back and watch
how many videos I’ve done wearing a Batman T-shirt, and you’ll know I’m a real collector, okay?
I love Batman. But let’s just say I bought Batman No. 1. Now, if I’m a collector,
I’ll also buy Batman No. 2 and Batman No. 3 and so on and so on. I’ll continue to buy.
And I will keep them. I’m not going to sell them. I’m not trying to make money, and I’m
going to enjoy them as a collector. I will go back after reading them and read them again.
Just like when you collect — we say comics; you can collect books. You can also collect art and music.
You guys know — you collect music. You collect Duran Duran — right? — that great group.
“Girls on Film” — oh, I’m old. No, that new guy, Justin Timberlake, yeah?
“Mirror” — yeah. I can’t sing that song. But you know what I mean. You can collect music.
You can collect art — Van Gogh, Picasso — music, again — Beethoven, Bach, Brahms.
Collect and enjoy, right? For yourself or your friends. What else can you do?
Well, you can also play. And in this case, we’re talking about playing sports.
I enjoy playing sports. I enjoy playing golf. No, I don’t. But sports. You can enjoy
playing cards or games. So sports: “I enjoy playing soccer.” I’m saying “i-n-g”, “I enjoy
playing soccer.” or “I enjoy playing volleyball at the beach.” Right? Cards: “I enjoy playing
poker, solitaire” — “Nobody loves me” because “solitaire” means to be by yourself. Or I
enjoy playing poker. Five-card stud, because I’m a stud, baby. Okay. Now — or games. Now,
when I enjoy playing games, right, I can do “gaming”. It’s a little different. Games can be
board games like chess or checkers or Monopoly, and “gaming” — which we changed to “I enjoy
gaming”, so you would just say “gaming” instead of “playing”, right? “Gaming” — everybody
knows it’s electronic, okay? Good. Now, “travelling” — but I’ll explain because
it seems obvious. “Travelling” means anything outside of your city. If you go to the library
in your city, you’re not travelling, boys and girls. You’re just going to the library.
But if you have a big country — like, I’m in Canada. We like travelling to other parts
of Canada because it’s like going to Europe. But you can travel in North America. You can
travel in Europe. You can travel to Africa — leave Europe. Oh, my gosh, yes. You can
travel between countries, continents, and large regions. So when you say, “I enjoy travelling”,
it can be from a city in one part of your country to another, or to different countries,
or different continents. Cool? You should leave. Travel a little. Learn a little.
“Going to”: “Going to” means — because I’m going from one place to another to do the
activity, and that is the activity, “going to” to do it, all right? In this case, movies:
“I enjoy going to the movies.” That’s my hobby. Every week I see a new movie. I have a friend
who watches one movie every night. He goes to a cheap theatre, and he watches movies. He loves them.
That’s his hobby. Two hours a day, he gets to heaven. You know, he flies
away and enjoys them, you know? Or going to the beach. Some people like going to the beach.
Like little turkeys, they lie in the sun — it’s called “tanning” — and then they turn over
at two o’clock and turn over at three o’clock and turn back. And they cook themselves. I
don’t know why, but they enjoy going to the beach. Some people like going to the theatre. You
know, masterpiece theatre. Watch the theatre. It’s very intellectual, theatre. And you get
to say “theatre”. Can’t say that with movies. It doesn’t — “movies”. Sounds
like a — well, whatever. Okay: baking and cooking. So another hobby
is baking and cooking, and it’s not just for women anymore. No, sir. I like cooking too.
I like cooking shows, Top Chef and whatnot, right? Iron Chef. So you watch, and then you
copy the recipe, and you make it. So you say, “My hobby is cooking.” If it is, please send
me an invite, me and the worm. We’re coming over. I don’t care where you live. We’re coming for a visit.
And make it good, son, because I don’t travel for no reason, all right?
Next, this is going to be funny. I know some of you are laughing right now because, you
know, “James, we do things we enjoy, yes? But in school, I have to read and write. You’re
telling me this is hobby?” Yeah, there are some crazy people who like to read and write.
Well, reading anyway, like, I enjoy a good book. I enjoy comic books. But some people
enjoy writing and doing poems and stories, and some people enjoy reading books, horror,
drama, and whatnot, right? “Whatnot” means “anything”. So, this is what
we’re talking about here. These are things that could be hobbies, but
we have to talk about questions because I said this is going to help you with conversation.
You don’t walk up to people and go, “I enjoy cooking. I enjoy reading, and I enjoy playing
cooking, and I enjoy playing soccer.” They will say, “Why are you talking to me? I didn’t
ask you that.” So we can look at the questions that you can ask somebody or they might ask
you, and when you respond, you’ll find out that — well, guess what? You have things
— what we call “things in common” — that help us talk to each other and get to know each other.
Our interests, when they are similar, we can become friends. Or even if they are
different, we can learn from each other. Let’s go to the board, shall we? All right,
so the first thing we look at is, “What do you in your” — there’s a “d”. “D”
is for “dummy”. Wait. Don’t be so rude. “D” is for “downtime”.
Downtime. Downtime. “What do you do in
your downtime?” Now, you notice it says, “in”. The preposition is “in”. Well,
because we are “in” time, right? There’s a beginning to time and an end to time, and
you’re somewhere “in” this time. So we say “downtime”: this is your relaxing time — time
when you’re not “up” and working; you’re “down” in time. So you can relax. So a lot of native
speakers go, “Hey, what do you do in your downtime?” The time you’re not
working — relaxing time, okay? Next one we’re going to do is, “What do you
do with your spare time?” Well, we know what “time” is, but what does “spare” mean? “Spare” means “extra”.
It has many meanings, but today, the basic meaning is “extra”. Now, we have spare change.
When you have paper money — a dollar — and you go to the store and they
give you money back and it’s little metal money, that’s called your “spare change” or “coins”.
You do — your spare change isn’t enough to buy big things, so you buy usually
gum or candy or pay for parking. Yeah, that’s fun — fun things with the spare change. We
do the same thing with our spare time. With our “spare” time — it’s our “extra” time
— remember: “spare” because you sleep for eight hours, you work for eight hours, you
have to eat and poo-poo — I said it. I’m sorry. — but then you only have two or three
hours a day for yourself, and that’s your “spare” time. What do you do for fun with your
“spare” time, right? We use this preposition, “with”, to say, “Look. There’s you, and there’s time.
How do they come together?” Well, they come together for me for collecting
things, like comics, right? Now, we’ve got one more. What could that be?
“What do you do when you have time off?” “Time off”. Well, what do you do when you have time off?
Time off from what? From life? No. No. I was thinking, “Could it be possible?” Time
off from work, right? That’s when travelling would come in. “In my time off, I’m going
travelling.” Because it’s usually a longer period of time, right? So you say, “travelling”
— so your time off. We could also use it for other things, like collecting and that
— probably “spare time”, you would say, or “downtime”. Your hobbies are collecting, but
time off most likely travelling, but you can still use it. It’s something we say, right?
So, what do you do when you have time off? What do you do? You can say, well, “I enjoy”
or “I like to”. “James, ‘enjoy’ and ‘like’ are the same.” I know, and I’m separating
them for a reason. There’re another couple reasons that I don’t have time to go into,
but the key here is, if you remember this simple rule, you can use it, and you’ll be
right, like, 90 percent of the time, no problem. “You enjoy” — don’t use “to”. Don’t use this
particle, this preposition “to”. Don’t use it. But you can say, “I enjoy”, i-n-g. So
“I enjoy” –sorry. Give me a second here. Take a good look. You got that? But you can say this.
Now, ready? Read it with me. “I enjoy ‘i-n-g’. I enjoy ‘i-n-g’.” What am I saying?
“I enjoy playing.” “I enjoy dancing.” “I enjoy singing.” “I enjoy going.” That’s right.
Okay? So that’s, “I enjoy ‘i-n-g'”. What about “I like to”? Because we know I
enjoy ‘i-n-g’-ing, but “I like to”. Well, here — “I like to” — the verb that follows
has to be in the base form, okay? “Base form” means don’t change it, so “travel”, “play”,
“collect”, right? “I like to collect comic books.” “I enjoy collecting comic books.”
Do you see the difference? So we can do it with anything here, right? “I enjoy travelling
to different countries.” “I like to travel.” I’m going to put “base”, base form. So this
means, don’t change the verb, okay? So if you can remember these two words — if you’re
going to say (1) “I enjoy ‘i-n-g'”, and “I like to ‘base'”. How low can you go? Turn it up.
I’m just joking. That’s an old rapper reference, all right? But “base verb”, so
you want to use the base verb here, okay? So let’s give an example. “I enjoy travelling.”
“You like to — that’s right — travel.” Cool. Excellent. All right? Now, the
response to all of this when you go through this long conversation with somebody
— “yadda yadda”, or, you know, “blah, blah” — when they finish, you go, “Hey, man, that’s cool.
Yeah, that’s really cool.” or “Dude, that’s interesting.” You don’t have to the “dude” part.
You don’t have to say that, but you can go, “That’s rather interesting. You
enjoy the theatre. Wow. I like to go swimming. That’s cool, isn’t it? The water is cool.”
Made a funny, okay? Wait — not that funny. But to wrap up the lesson — remember “wrap
up” means “finish” or “complete”, okay? “What are your hobbies?” These are — remember,
“h” for “habits”. These are things that I like to do, enjoy doing, and do regularly,
and I don’t get paid for it, right? Another word is “interests”, but “interests” could
be “what do I like” — it doesn’t mean it’s a hobby, but I’m interested in this and that, okay?
We talked about that. We’ve got three others here: “Downtime”, “spare time”, and “time
off” are all similar, right? And finally, “enjoy”. “I enjoy ‘i-n-g’. I enjoy ‘i-n-g’.”
Yeah, you like that. Can’t see my butt move, my butt — my bottom. It’s really nice, though.
It’s cute. It’s good. And finally, “base” — how low do you go? “I like to ‘verb in
the base'”, all right? Now, and the final thing is, “Oh, that’s cool. That’s really
interesting.” Those are good responses after someone tells you these are the
— these are their hobbies, okay? So I got to go. Hey, it’s like Superman. I
just popped that shirt. See that? I enjoy being Superman. That’s my secret identity — my hobby.
Okay, Mr. E and I are out. We’re going to have some fun right now — going
to go play sometimes. We’re not going to go read anything. That’s his thing. I lied. I hate reading.
I don’t know how to read. I’m illiterate. Illiterate. You know that? Anyway.
So — okay. I’m out, but before I go, you have to go to www.engvid.com, where “eng”
stands for “English” and “vid” stands for “video” — okay? — where myself — Mr. E
is always present, and there’s, like — I think there’re like 975 new teachers. It’s incredible.
It’s just crazy out there. I’m just playing with you. It’s my hobby. See?
I enjoy doing that. I’m really interested in what you have to say, though, so don’t
forget to go do the quiz when you’re done. Got to go. Bye.

About the author


  1. A very interesting lesson with some ways of saying that I didn't know. Your lessons are very useful and fun, it's a great way to learn English.

  2. Who are these videos usually for? People who can't speak any english? People who know just a little? Or people who are intermediate english speakers?

  3. I want to improve my spoken English, is there anyone has the same thoughts? My skype :Betty.wang886. Please add me, if you want practice English with me

  4. James, why do you insist on the form "like to" whereas you can also say"like +ing". I like travelling, collecting, etc.?

  5. I'm looking for people who can help me with my oral skills too so nice to meet you guys:) my Skype antony_rf

  6. James, you're awesome! I loved this video of yours. I had lots of fun watching this video whereas I learned English. Thanks for making me laugh and teaching me new vocabulary!

  7. Hello James, I have a question for You. Why I can understand You hundred percent,but when I watching a movie, then I have problem to understand. Do You have some suggestions or any of You guys if You can help me, what to do. Thanks everyone.

  8. Hi. james… me fascinan tus vídeos para los que estamos aprendiendo este bello idioma, pero hablas demasiado rápido que no entiendo

  9. I am from India and your lectures are very helpful and the way you teach us is so nice. thank you Sir.

  10. i think sometimes my english teacher doesn't even care if i have mistakes, because i've realized that when some of my classmates have a mistakes or mistakes she doesn't even care or she spends time showing us things that aren't related to English in; summary i've improved my english by Envgid. thanks James

  11. I watching you, and developming now, and just relax. I not meeting anything, who do it show from yourself lessons. Thanks James you best.)

  12. Dear Sir,i m from Dubai and i need ur help so would u like to teach me that how to make questions with have/has buz i m confused moreover,i did research on YouTube and I couldn't find any video on youtube.

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