When you want to get to know someone, ask about their hobbies and interests. Talking about hobbies means you can share details about yourself - and discover shared interests and free-time activities.
Here are some phrases you can use:
Questions you can ask
What do you like doing?
What sort of hobbies do you have?
What do you get up to in your free time?
How to reply
In my free time I...
When I have some spare time I...
When I get the time, I...
I relax by watching TV / listening to music, etc.
My hobbies are bird-watching / playing sport, etc.
I'm interested in (+ noun / gerund)
I'm keen on (+ noun / gerund)
I'm into (+ noun / gerund)
I enjoy (+ noun / gerund)
You can add "really" or "quite" after "I'm..." for emphasis.
"I'm really keen on football."
"I'm really into geneaology."
Talking about hobbies in more detail
You can give more information about your hobbies and interests:
"I like arts and crafts. I'm a creative / practical person, and like doing things with my hands."
"I'm an outgoing person, and like socialising / hanging out with friends."
"I enjoy being physically active, and spend a lot of time playing sports and team games."
Saying why you like your hobby
You can also explain why you spend time on your hobby to make the conversation longer and more interesting.
"I really enjoy going to the gym because..."
...it keeps me fit.
...it gets me out of the house, you know!
...it's sociable. I've met lots of new people.
...it gives me something interesting to do with my time.
...it's not very expensive, and anyone can do it!
"My hobbies are all creative..."
... I've always enjoyed painting and drawing.
... Because my job is technical, it's good to spend time doing something completely different.
... I enjoy spending time making things like clothes.
More words that you can use to describe your hobbies:
Like doing vs like to do
We use like + gerund (ing form) to talk about general likes:
I like fishing.
We use like + infinitive to talk about more specific likes:
I like to go fishing at the weekend.
If you want more information for talking about what you like or dislike, check out this page.
Talking About Hobbies Quiz
Level: Elementary and above
- Spare time = free time. (''In your own time'' means ''no rush to answer the question''.)
- You ''have the time'' or ''get the time'' to do something. (''Make the time'' = find time to do something special or necessary. For example, ''You'll need to make time to study or you might fail the exam.'')
- Remember: ''interested in'' something.
- If you're into something, you really like it. For example, I'm into sports, skiing, running. We usually say this for active hobbies, rather than activities like watching TV.
- A sport can keep you active or fit. (Being athletic = able to run fast.)
- Sociable (pronunciation = soash-a-bul) means a person who likes spending time with friends. Friendly means someone who smiles and is easy to talk to.
- People are usually artistic, while lots of hobbies are creative.
- The noun is ''patience'' and the adjective is ''patient''. (A patient is also someone who is in hospital or who needs to go to the doctor.''
- If something is ''unusual'' it is different from other things.
- If something is fascinating it is very interesting.