Vocabulary Building With Collocation Lists of Sports

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Introduction to Collocation Lists

Youth soccer players during a practice.
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Vocabulary is generally used in groups of words that go together. This is often referred to as 'chunking', another common term for this is collocation. Think about the noun 'money':

'Money' combines with verbs:

  • save money
  • spend money
  • pay money
  • etc.

Money combines with adjectives:

  • prize money
  • play money
  • pocket money
  • etc.

Money combines with other nouns:

  • money management
  • money supply
  • money order
  • etc.

Here's a page for more information on collocations with money as well as example sentences to provide context.

This article provides collocation lists for nouns related to sports using three common collocations in each category for each noun.

You will find collocation lists with the following sports:

  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Basketball

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Skiing

Man and woman skiing downhill
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3 Verbs + Skis

  • put on
  • remove
  • rent

Example Sentences:

  • Let's put on the skis and hit the slope.
  • I removed my skis and went into the lodge.
  • I rented skis for the weekend.

3 Adjectives + Skis

  • alpine
  • back-country
  • powder

Example Sentences: 

  • Most alpine skis are expensive.
  • Back-country skis are not very common these days.
  • You should buy powder skis if you plan to ski off the groomed trails.

Ski + 3 nouns

  • pole
  • resort
  • slope

Example Sentences: 

  • Make sure your ski poles are long enough.
  • We've never been to that ski resort before.
  • Let's go over to that ski slope and give it a try.

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Soccer

Soccer players training on field
Paul Bradbury / Getty Images

3 Verbs + Soccer

  • play
  • watch
  • enjoy

Example Sentences: 

  • He doesn't play soccer.
  • They like watching soccer on the weekends.
  • Do you enjoy soccer?

3 Adjectives + Soccer

  • amateur
  • professional
  • youth

Example Sentences: 

  • Amateur soccer is extremely popular in the US.
  • Professional soccer has yet to become successful in the US.
  • Are there any youth soccer teams in this town?

Soccer + 3 Nouns

  • ball
  • field
  • fan

Example Sentences

  • We need a new soccer ball.
  • The soccer field was very muddy.
  • The soccer fan sold his car to buy tickets to the World Cup.

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Tennis

Tennis ball on tennis court
Iv?n Ram?rez / Getty Images

2 Verbs + Tennis

  • play
  • watch

Example Sentences: 

  • I've played tennis for more than twenty years.
  • When I watch tennis, I usually want to go play.

3 Adjectives + Tennis

  • doubles
  • singles
  • competitive

Example Sentences: 

  • I play doubles tennis on Wednesday evenings.
  • Most singles tennis is more exciting to watch than doubles tennis.
  • Not everyone who plays competitive tennis earns money.

Tennis + 3 Nouns

  • ball
  • racket
  • court

Example Sentences: 

  • I'll buy a new can of tennis balls for the match.
  • Peter usually needs to buy a few tennis rackets every year.
  • Have you booked the tennis court for tomorrow?

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Golf

Mixed race woman playing golf on golf course
PBNJ Productions / Getty Images

3 Verbs + Golf

  • play
  • take up
  • watch

Example Sentences: 

  • Jerry has played golf since he was ten years old.
  • I took up golf three years ago.
  • I love watching golf on TV on the weekends.

3 Adjectives + Golf

  • mini
  • championship
  • pro

Example Sentences: 

  • Most people play mini golf with children.
  • Championship golf is only for the very rich.
  • Pro golf is extremely popular in South Africa.

Golf + 3 Nouns

  • course
  • club
  • glove

Example Sentences

  • There are four golf courses within five miles of our house.
  • Golf clubs can be very expensive.
  • Make sure to wear a golf glove when you play.

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Basketball

Coach watching basketball player during practice in gym
KidStock / Getty Images

3 Verbs + Basketball

  • play
  • coach
  • watch

Example Sentences: 

  • Jane played on her high school basketball team.
  • Have you ever coached basketball?
  • My family enjoys watching basketball on TV.

3 Adjectives + Basketball

  • college
  • pro
  • varsity

Example Sentences: 

  • College basketball is extremely competitive in the US.
  • Pro basketball players can earn millions of dollars per season.
  • Varsity basketball teams receive a lot more money than junior-varsity basketball teams.

Basketball + 3 Nouns

  • court
  • player
  • team

Example Sentences: 

  • Our high-school has a new basketball court.
  • The basketball player was traded to a different team.
  • The local basketball team is awful.