I need to make a diagram and I got stunted on the verb to use for a club. In this case, 'club' is supposed to be as wide a term as possible, so it could mean anything from a book club to swimming practice (at an actual sports club, for example) or even to Sunday School (assuming it as a religious 'club activity').

I've got:

(Person A) works at (work place)
(Person A) studies at (school)
(Person A) volunteers at (association)
(Person A) ???? at (club)

I know the expression to use would be 'is a member of', but I need an action verb. For now, I'm stuck with 'participates' but it doesn't feel right.

  • If it’s Sunday School, you wouldn’t use ‘is a member of’ – that wouldn’t be called a ‘club’ to begin with. You can belong to a club, but again, only if it’s an actual club with memberships and such (or a library, but that’s slightly different). Apr 2 '19 at 23:37
  • @JanusBahsJacquet: Yes, I'm aware of that. Unfortunately, my diagram requires me to be a little too 'liberal' in the definition of a club. Apr 2 '19 at 23:43
  • @JanusBahsJacquet In my Sunday School class, we have people who are members of the class and people who are visiting. Some of the visitors are members of the church, and some are visiting. Why do you say a person wouldn't be a member of a Sunday School?
    – jejorda2
    Apr 3 '19 at 13:21
  • @jejorda2 Simply because I have never in my life heard of a student at a school being described as a member of that school. Not even Sunday School. I would express your situation as the class having permanent/regular and visiting students/pupils. Apr 3 '19 at 13:23
  • @JanusBahsJacquet There are hundreds of thousands of hits for "Sunday School Member" on Google, including standard printed forms with the common term: christiansupply.com/product/446212/…
    – jejorda2
    Apr 3 '19 at 13:31

If an action rather than a stative verb like belong to is required, I'd suggest:

  • (Person A) goes to (club)

This does not denote an action performed within the club premises but indicates that the person takes part in activities carried out there.

  • Alas, it's two words.
    – Alfe
    Apr 4 '19 at 10:21
  • 1
    @Alfe All OP's verbs are accompanied by the preposition "at". For your information, "to" is a preposition.
    – Gustavson
    Apr 4 '19 at 11:09
  • We already knew that the word "to" is a preposition of course. What did you try to convey?
    – Alfe
    Apr 4 '19 at 11:21
  • I just answered your comment which seemed to criticize my reply as containing one more word than requested.
    – Gustavson
    Apr 4 '19 at 11:30
  • I read the Q so that it seems to prefer a transitive verb like "attends" which comes without a second one (like the preposition "to" or "at"). I just wanted to express my disappointment that this otherwise nice answer ("goes") needs a second word ("to") to work. I didn't mean to upset you.
    – Alfe
    Apr 4 '19 at 12:11


There isn't a really good answer for this, since there's not a strong word for what exactly you do at a club. And frankly, that's understandable, because clubs have so very any different activities. For instance if it's a flying club, you could have

Joe flies at the club

However, what's usually the case with clubs, is that you show up and then do whatever the club does. So this is a viable catch-all:

Joe attends the club

  • I almost chose yours, but I made a list of all the things I categorised under the term 'club' and there are a few where 'goes to' feels a bit more natural. Still a great answer. Apr 4 '19 at 17:54


Joe participates in the Drama Club and the Chess Club.

(I suppose it's possible to be technically a member of a club but never actually participate in any of its activities, but I'm going to overlook that since I can't think of a word that would cover that situation :))

  • I agree with you @Jeremy Friesner Any deviation from 'participates' or 'patronizes' would have to associate the word with the type of activity club performed at the club.
    – GoodJuJu
    Apr 3 '19 at 10:47
  • 1
    "Works", "Studies", and "Volunteers" all imply some form of participation in an activity while there. In my opinion, this makes for the best answer.
    – Erin B
    Apr 3 '19 at 18:54

I think the best verb for this, which has two senses that apply, is patronize:

1 : to act as patron of : provide aid or support for
// The government patronized several local artists.
3 : to be a frequent or regular customer or client of a restaurant
// much patronized by celebrities

In terms of a club, if you are a member, then you have paid your dues in order to support it (following the first listed sense of patronize) and be able to have access to it as a customer or client (the other listed sense of patronize).

In your sentence, the preposition would be dropped:

(Person A) patronizes (club).

  • 3
    I'm not sure that patronize would be the best term here. At least in American English, the overwhelming usage of the word is related to another definition: 1. treat in a way that is apparently kind or helpful but that betrays a feeling of superiority.. Apr 3 '19 at 17:13
  • 1
    @Gilbrilthor This answer's sense of patronize is also common in American English. But regardless, it's not the case that someone who patronizes a club is necessarily a member. You don't usually need to be a member of a night club to patronize it, for example, and most night clubs don't have a notion of membership anyways. Apr 3 '19 at 20:41
  • 1
    @JustinLardinois Quite right. The first sense (of membership) applies to private clubs that require a fee to join. The other sense applies to public clubs (like night clubs) where you don't need to pay a particular fee. The question doesn't specify what type of club it is—in fact, it says it should be interpreted as generally as possible. However, patronize applies to both types of club, so it works in every case. Apr 3 '19 at 20:48
  • 3
    This doesn't work for me, and not for the reason @Gilbrilthor mentioned. I'm an AmE speaker, and patronizing an establishment is perfectly idiomatic. The problem is that, to me anyway, patronizing implies spending money. If you're a patron, you're a customer. That doesn't work for (most) clubs IMO. You attend a club, not patronize it.
    – user91988
    Apr 3 '19 at 21:44
  • "In your sentence, the pronoun would be dropped:" You seem to have mistyped "pronoun" for "preposition". Apr 4 '19 at 1:23

Perhaps Groucho Marx said it best? (Emphasis mine)

I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member

Another I've heard is "active member," "active with," or simply "active"

She's active with the Latin club
She's active in the Latin club
She's active Latin club (slangish)
Active duty assumes military.

Also, a bit more humorous with implied advocacy is card-carrying member. This is beyond membership; it’s for those committed to the point where they carry a current (dues paid) membership card in their wallet/pocketbook:

She's a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association

..she religiously attends and is an active participant in all events, including the regularly held third-Tuesday-night-of-the-month business meeting from 7-10pm. People like this will often happily produce and showcase said membership card upon request, and proselytize upon the virtues of their organization. :^)


(Person A) belongs to (club) would be acceptable I think.

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