Talking about personal interests

In this video, Emir asks Paul about his hobbies. Listen to the language they use for talking about personal interests and practise saying the useful phrases.

Do the preparation exercise first. Then watch the video and do the exercises to check your understanding and practise the language.


Ana: Hi! I'm Ana. Welcome to What to Say

Do you know what to say when you talk about your personal interests? Listen out for useful language for talking about personal interests. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Emir: Hi, Paul. I made you a cup of tea. Just how you like it, milk and two sugars.

Paul: Oh, thanks, Emir.

Emir: You're welcome. So what do you do when you're not working?

Paul: Oh, umm, not much. I'm always really tired in the evenings and at weekends.

Emir: Haven't you got any hobbies?

Paul: Well, I've recently started doing meditation.

Emir: I didn't know you did meditation. I do too!

Paul: Oh, right. So, um, how often do you practise? 

Emir: Most mornings usually, but if it's really busy, then sometimes it's hard to find time. 

Paul: Yeah, I know what you mean. I normally meditate once or twice a week. I never have enough time to do it more than that.

Emir: What are you doing now?

Paul: Nothing much, just drinking my tea … 


Ana: Hello again! Now that's something you don't see in the office every day! So, did you notice the useful phrases used for talking about your personal interests? Listen to me and then repeat.


What do you do when you're not working?

I didn't know you did meditation.

I do too!

How often do you practise?

Most mornings, usually.

Sometimes it's hard to find time.

I normally meditate once or twice a week.

I never have enough time.


Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you talk about your personal interests in English. Bye for now! 

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Worksheet114.65 KB

Language level

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Mon, 29/11/2021 - 16:03


When I have free time I walk inside the road and meeting new people. I love to talk with new people.

Submitted by Abdoezz99 on Mon, 29/11/2021 - 12:19


I often in my free time i go to the gym with my friend and I also study some English for an hour and I recently started drawing that's seems good for me.

Submitted by ANOUAR on Tue, 16/11/2021 - 13:35


I study economics, I want to open my own business so I need to know how can I run and manage it

Submitted by Fernando Júnior on Tue, 16/11/2021 - 01:58


I've recently started studying English. I do it during the week. I don't have enough time to study more than that. It's hard to find the time, but I can say that I've been having progress.

Submitted by nikta on Tue, 09/11/2021 - 07:11


when I'm not working, I usually dance. because after that I full of energy. recently I want to try meditate too.

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Fri, 15/10/2021 - 14:10


i normally surfing facebook, listening a song and especially i love sleeping

Submitted by Fernanda Morei… on Sun, 10/10/2021 - 02:28


when I am not working i usually read books, play video games and watch movies. But I have recently started to doing some cool hobbies, like making origamis, writing and playing the violin!

Submitted by Samqaid on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 23:19

when I'm not working. read books. use internet, check my emails. check facebook. I sometimes sat with myself and doing a meditation to review my dreams and set up my goals in the current life Looking at problems and try to work it out

Submitted by Mai Khin Nway Shein on Sun, 25/04/2021 - 12:49

When I am not working, I study English, do workout, watch movies and surfing the internet.

Submitted by Nader Ahmed on Sun, 04/04/2021 - 16:50

When I'm not working, I've chatted with my family, and recently I've started to study English with your website. Thank you for your help.

Submitted by MikhailZatopliaev on Wed, 24/03/2021 - 22:37

When I am not working I am teaching economics. It is so hard to find more time for my family, for my friends, for rest, so I week up very early for that.
That's really awesome, I recently started to study economy again, also I'm from the Dominican Republic.

Submitted by Cindymyriam on Thu, 11/03/2021 - 17:54

When i'm not working, i watch movies in my phone or my computer or on tv with my parents, i listen to music and after that, i prepare my courses.

Submitted by Brenda Patrici… on Mon, 08/03/2021 - 16:01

I practise English every morning and I read books most evenings, but after watching the video, I will meditate again.

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Sat, 06/03/2021 - 12:35

Most probably when I am not working, I will do exercise in the evening. In the morning I will collect some useful articles from newspaper and I kept that for my references.

Submitted by andresalame on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 11:28

I'm always really tired too, because I'm recently working a lot!

Submitted by Letis on Tue, 09/02/2021 - 02:17

I really don't have much free time, but when I can I like watching tourism videos on Youtube. Also, I try to improve my English.

Submitted by Leila77 on Wed, 03/02/2021 - 17:29

When I am not working, I read books, I watch TV, or I learn something new like what I am doing now: learning English.

Submitted by tenedos on Sun, 31/01/2021 - 12:09

Lots of things. Reading novels, listening to Music, watching tv series or solving puzzles are my favourite leisure time hobbies.

Submitted by German on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 23:51

When I'm not working I watch movies, read books and I do exercise.

Submitted by Minthanttin on Fri, 15/01/2021 - 03:36

I usually watch YouTube videos about personal finance and motivation.Sometimes, I use Facebook and chat with my friends.

Submitted by SNM on Wed, 06/01/2021 - 10:43

Emir: I didn't know you did meditation. Task 3: I didn't know you go swimming. Could you explain why in the first sentence Emir used "you did meditation" instead of "you do meditation", please? Are they both correct? Thanks

Hello SNM,

Both 'do' and 'did' are possible here. 'Do' makes it clear that the person does mediation now (in the present), while 'did' is more ambiguous: it could refer only to mediation in the past or it could mean that the person still does meditation now.

Similarly, in the second sentence 'went' could be used in place of 'go'.



The LearnEnglish Team 

Submitted by AsmaaMostafa on Sun, 03/01/2021 - 08:06

I wake up after the sun rises and prepare my healthy breakfast then do aerobic exercise that makes me happy and active on all day because it helps lungs to breathe better and take a suitable amount of oxygen.

Submitted by AsmaaMostafa on Sat, 02/01/2021 - 23:15

I wake up early and prepare my healthy breakfast then I began aerobic exercise It makes me happy at all the day because it helps the lungs to breathe better and gives them a suitable amount oxygen also I can be fitness.

Submitted by Khin Yee Mon Khaing on Sat, 02/01/2021 - 04:00

I watch TV, listen to music sometimes I read some books and climb the hills. I do this most evenings and nights because I never have enough time more than that. How about you? I watch TV once or twice a day, especially at weekends.

Submitted by Ella on Sat, 19/12/2020 - 08:43

I read some interesting books and listen English songs. But mostly, I learn about English from British council. Thanks for posting useful videos. They are very interesting and useful for my four skills.

Submitted by Aliz on Sat, 19/12/2020 - 08:34

I can spend my spare time usefully. So I read the books and I listen to the song. Sometimes, I occupy my leisure time in the garden.

Submitted by gokmikail38 on Thu, 17/12/2020 - 16:42

ı am usually read a book and play games when ı am not workıng !

Submitted by Carlos Cabrera on Sat, 28/11/2020 - 08:59

I normally play football with my son and watch the movies or series in Netflix with my wife. The Sunday go to the church.

Submitted by Abhishek Kumar on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 07:16

I would like to spend time with family and friends when i am free.

Submitted by Sana Omar on Thu, 19/11/2020 - 15:00

I usually watch movies, I find it the best way to relax.

Submitted by O'Prata on Fri, 06/11/2020 - 06:47

I usually have some difficulties understanding Paul. For example, in the beginning, when Paul said he was always tired, I understood "... evening SAND at weekend" instead of "evenings AND at weekends" Other word I understood bad was when Paul said "Oh! Right!". I understood "Oh! Thrice!" (LOL!!!) I had to see the transcription in order to get the meaning of what he was saying. Thanks for the video.

Hello O'Prata,

You're quite right in how you explain this. It's one of the features of connected speech in English.

When a word ends with a consonant sound (such as /s/) and the next word begins with a vowel sound (such as /æ/), the consonant sound joins the following vowel sound:

evenings and at weekends

evening s➙an d➙at weekends


To practise this, you can try reading the script along with the recording. This will help you maintain a proper rhythm and encourage you to link words to fit the cadence and stress patterns of natural English. The familiarisation process will aid in understanding this kind of speech as well.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ye Min Oo on Fri, 23/10/2020 - 14:21

Not much, I always play guitar and sometimes I read English novels and sing songs. Recently, i have started drawing.

Submitted by Moon Wathan on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 17:25

not much, I always learn English or sometimes I watch the movies or I often read the novels. But I actually don't like to watch the movie. Now I have free time, I try to play the guitar because I am learning how to play the guitar about one month.

Submitted by togrul01 on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 21:29

Actually, I meet with my friends and go somewhere or watch a movie. Then I read a book. This book is Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment". Recently, I read it.

Submitted by Pola on Thu, 15/10/2020 - 17:55

Oh, not much, but I've recently started watching documentary videos and I practice it most evenings and at weekends, but if I really busy it's hard to find time to do it more than that.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 09:40

watching movies and reading novels

Submitted by Shiv on Fri, 09/10/2020 - 11:41

I Have started recently learning English language in my free time. Because i am really feeling occurred because my speaking is not well as others. I would try to speak English fluently. So when ever I get time using in learning English .how to talk people and how to understand the way of their speaking.

Submitted by manuloco on Wed, 23/09/2020 - 01:03

I've recently started play guitar for more time. I practice it more than twice a day for all week.

Submitted by Lena on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 17:59

Hi! I've got a question. In the video Emir says 'It's hard to find time' but in the task 3 we find the same phrase with the definite article in it ('It's hard to find THE time'). So why that?

Hi Lena,

These are both fixed expressions and you can use either form with no difference in meaning. It's purely a question of personal preference.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Ugulhan on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 09:03

I've recently started learning English hard. I hope I do that. I practice it more than twice a week.

Submitted by shelly on Thu, 17/09/2020 - 10:33

When I am not working, usually I study English for at least half an hour and do some exercise especially Yoga, because I like English and Yoga so much. Then sometimes I pay with my daughter or go outside for a short walk. At weekends I do some shopping in the mall or in the supermarket or go out for a short trip with my family.

Submitted by fariba on Wed, 16/09/2020 - 10:50

i watch TV , read books ,see movies and call my family.

Submitted by Sahayb on Tue, 25/08/2020 - 18:25

Hi I have question why Ana say word often with t ? I hope you’re understanding me and thank you

Hello Sahayb,

When the word 'to' is not stressed in natural connected speech it is often pronounced in this way. In fact, Ana's speech is a good model for this and if you listen carefully and try to speak in a similar way it will help you develop a natural English rhythm in your speech.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Saish on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 09:53

I have started recently learning German language in my free time. Since i have clients who are mostly speaking German language, I thought I should learn the language for better communication. I often spend an hour or so daily for learning the language. I am really enjoying the learning process, the language is beautiful and learning it with having known English helps me a lot.