I am having some issues with using the right verb (go, play, do) with the following activities:

to do boxing or to go boxing; to do archery; to do high jump; to do javelin; to do or to go bungee jumping; to go hang gliding; to go scuba diving; to do rock climbing; to go snowboarding; to go windsurfing

Thank you


2 Answers 2


The breakdown is fairly simple as a general rule. As with many things in English, there are oddities, but following this structure will see a person through most cases.

play -> for games, instruments (eg, play soccer, play chess, play capoeira**, play piano, play guitar)

go -> ~ing sports/extended actions (eg, go swimming, go bungie jumping, go dancing)

do -> crafts, martial arts, performances (eg, do ballet, do karate, do crochet, do capoeira**)

A person also does piano lessons (because in this context, piano is used as an adjective modifying lessons). However, it would be incorrect to say "I go playing piano." (Not incorrect, but has a different meaning than it would generally hold in the discussed context).

**Capoeira - This can take "do" if a person is unaware that Capoeira is a sport before it is a martial art. However, it is more correct (and technically only correct) to say one "plays capoeira". - It is Brasil's national sport.

There are other oddities like these, but they are best learned as encountered rather than trying to memorize them right off. By using the general rule, it will be easier to figure out the exceptions as they arise.


"BOXING" is an interesting word. "Boxing is a contact sport." The name of a sport, "boxing", is a noun. The word "boxing" is an action, (verb) that some people engage in as a sport. "I am to "box", (verb) at 7 PM in my first professional match." "I am "boxing", (verb) at 7 PM in my first professional match. Often the word engage works well. "I engage in the sport of "archery" weekly." Better though is, "I shoot archery...". "Jim does the javelin throw and high-jump." ("Does" pales in comparison to "competes in".)." In place of "does" and "go", I submit that finer words and phrases, such as: "enjoy", "recreationally participate in", "practice" "engage in", "compete in" are the reader's preference. One can make the name of the sport the verb too. "I SCUBA as often as I can." "I bungee-jump at the bridge." "I rock-climb and windsurf all summer."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.