Do you like “working out?”
What do you do to “warm up” before exercising?
Do you like to walk, dance or run?
in today everyday grammar, we will see how we can express our ways of exercising. You will learn common phrasal verbs to describe our actions and gerunds for types of exercises.
Let’s start with phrasal verbs.
Phrasal verbs have a verb and either a preposition or an adverb called particle. A particle is a short word. Particle verbs can consist of one particle or two. A phrasal verb has a different meaning than a single verb. Phrasal verbs can often be separated from the phrasal by a noun or pronoun.
Some of the most common exercise sentences in English are phrasal verbs.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
“To train” is a transitive verb. i.e. doing physical exercise to make your body strong or healthy. A transitive verb can take a direct object.
She works her legs every day at the gym.
“Warming up” means preparing for exercise by doing light exercises to increase your heart rate and warm up your body.
Emily warms up by walking on the conveyor belt.
“Cool down” is the opposite of warm up. After strenuous exercise, you need to cool down your body to let your heart rate drop naturally.
I like to cool off by stretching my muscles.
“To work” means to get rid of stressemotions, energy or food by doing physical activity.
I need to work on this apple tart I had at Thanksgiving. Let’s go to the gym!
I had such a stressful day at work, I can’t wait to shake that off in dance class tonight!
“Trying (for)” means you are competing for a spot on a team.
Tatiana tried football team in August. She will play her first match this weekend!
“Passing out” means you feel sick and fall or pass out.
If I don’t drink enough water before I do an intense workout, I always feel like I’m going to pass out.
She passed out near the end of the finish line because she was dehydrated.
“Give up” means you stop what you’re doing and don’t continue.
He had to stop playing basketball last year after injuring his knee.
Gerunds are formed from verbs, but they function like a noun in a sentence. We use the -ing ending to create a gerund. Gerunds express actions or states of being. There are several gerunds that we use to express types of exercises.
For example, “to walk” is a gerund.
We take the base form of the verb and add -ing.
Walk + finish -ing = walk
Walking is one of the best activities for your health.
Other common gerunds for practice include:
“Jogging” it’s like running but with an easier pace.
Tyler likes to jog on the weekends.
“Functioning” is faster and there may be more purpose behind it, such as planning a race.
Running a marathon is very hard work.
“Facelift” refers to a form of strength exercise where you lift heavy weights with your muscles.
Taylor started lifting weights last year.
“Dancing” is moving the body to music.
She loves dancing because it’s creative and it gets her heart rate up.
“Training” is exercising toward an event or goal.
Jo not only does bodybuilding, but she also trains in dance.
Spinning is indoor cycling.
There is spinning in this gym.
Let’s combine phrasal verbs and gerunds to create sentences describing exercise activities.
For example, you could say:
I warm up dancing.
Here, I use the preposition “by” to say how I warm up.
You could also say:
Dancing warms me up.
Here, the phrasal verb is divided by the personal pronoun “me”.
Today we looked at common expressions for exercise. We can use phrasal verbs like “practice” and “calm down” to describe our actions. We use a base verb plus a preposition to create a phrasal verb that can be split by a noun or a pronoun.
Another verb-like structure we looked at are gerunds. Gerunds work like nouns in sentences but are formed by placing the ending ing on verbs. Since gerunds describe actions, they are great for describing the exercises we do to stay happy and healthy.
Let’s end this report with some homework.
Are there other phrasal verbs or gerunds you use to describe the exercise?
Use phrasal verbs or gerunds to describe how you train. Try combining the two to create a sentence!
Share your results in the comments!
I am Faith Pirlo.
Faith Pirlo wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.
words in this story
conveyor belt – not. a machine with a moving part that you can walk or run on for exercise
stress – nm a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes physical or mental stress and may be involved in causing certain diseases
tart – nm a food consisting of a pastry crust and a filling, such as fruit or meat
dehydrated – adj. describes the removal of water or liquid from something, such as food
marathon – nm a long run of about 42 kilometers, a difficult task that lasts a long time
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