Learning to speak English? Our Everyday Conversations help you practice. Click the audio link to hear a native speaker pronounce each word while you read. Key terms are explained, in your language, at the end of each conversation. Today’s conversation is about sports.

Phil: What time is that soccer game on? I thought it started at noon.

Jack: We must have had the wrong time. Oh, well … soccer’s not my favorite sport anyway. I much prefer basketball.

Phil: Oh, really? I thought your favorite sport was tennis. I’m a big fan of basketball too.

Jack: How about a game sometime?

Phil: Sure thing! Why don’t we go shoot some hoops now since the soccer game isn’t on?

Jack: Excellent idea. Let’s go.

Language notes

  • What time is that soccer game on? means “When does the soccer game start?” “What time” plus something plus “on” is a common expression used to ask about the start time of a TV show or a movie.
  • I much prefer basketball here means “I like basketball a lot more than soccer.” Notice how “much” is stressed to show that the speaker really likes basketball.
  • Oh, really? Notice the rising intonation on “really.” This shows that the speaker is surprised. He thought that Jack liked tennis the best.
  • I’m a big fan of basketball is a way of saying “I like basketball very much” (“to be a fan of” is a casual expression used to describe something you really like).
  • How about a game here means “Let’s play a basketball game.”
  • Sure thing! This is a casual expression used to mean “OK.”
  • Shoot some hoops means to play an informal game of basketball. This is a casual expression used between friends.
Ready to learn more English? Our materials can help. And the U.S. Department of State has great resources for English teachers and students of all levels.