Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Sports is a very common IELTS topic!

This could come up anywhere on IELTS Speaking and Writing.

Even if your topic isn’t directly sports, there are many sports idioms you can use on IELTS Speaking!

Listen to today’s sample answers and practice answering yourself!

In addition, use these sports idioms to boost IELTS Speaking scores.

For all the strategies you need for 7+ on IELTS, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

Do you follow any professional sports teams?

You might be asked about professional sports.

  • Don’t care a lick: this means you don’t care at all

If you love a sport and follow a team, let your excitement show!

Use that native, interesting intonation!

If you don’t care about sports, you’ll need to have something to say!

Tell a story about a friend or family member who loves sports!

Sample Answer #1: What is your favorite sport?

Notice Jessica’s intro to her answer.

Soccer, hands down! 100%! Far and away!

This is great native intonation you can shadow.

You can hear how excited she is about it!

Let emotion show in your voice!

Sample Answer #2: Describe a sporting event you attended

Listen to how Aubrey sets up her story.

She shares where she went and why.

You get a feeling for the excitement of the game.

You have no idea that violence will ensue!

Then notice the visuals and imagery from the details.

Definitely share a lot of details in your Part 2 answer!

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Sample Answer #3: Why are some sports fans so passionate?

Jessica shares details about the stereotypical sports fan.

  • come to blows: fighting
  • fisticuffs: noun to describe a hand-to-hand fight

She uses a great strategy when your answer is basically, “I don’t know.”

She doesn’t understand why sports fans can be so crazed!

However, you can’t just say, “I don’t know.”

Instead, share details about a stereotype like Jessica did!

Then, explain why you don’t understand it!

Use sports idioms!

Why are sports in so many of our idioms in English?

Sports are so ingrained in our culture and when something is in the culture, it seeps into the language.

It’s important to get these idioms because it shows you follow along with the culture as well. 

Even if you aren’t a sports fan, you can appreciate the use of these idioms.

These are terms that are truly a part of everyday conversations.

These are the things that you can bring up or use in conversation that help you to connect and talk with natives.

When it’s a part of the culture, then it’s something that you may use quite often once you get used to it.

Use sports vocabulary!

There are a lot of common sports terms.

It helps to see what the most common sports terms are, and to see how they are used.

We’re going to look at some common sports terminology, and then look at how they can be used in everyday conversation.

–A low blow: This comes from boxing, and it means something REALLY too rude or mean.

Maybe you’re arguing with someone and they say something that goes too far.

This is a low blow.

-Out of left field: This comes from baseball, and it means out of nowhere.

You may hear something or learn something that hits you rather unexpectedly.

It’s usually a surprise that you were not prepared for.

–Slam dunk: This comes from basketball, and it means that something went really well. 

You feel that you mastered something or that it went better than expected.

I got a 90 percent on my test!

Wow, slam dunk!

Have someone in your corner: This comes from boxing, and it means that someone helps you between rounds.

It ultimately means that someone is on your side, particularly during a time of need.

I’m so lucky to have you in my corner. I couldn’t do this without you.

There are SO many sports idioms, and these are just a few.

Why do you need idioms?

This is a great way to boost your IELTS Vocabulary score to 7+.

You must use idiomatic language for a 7+ on IELTS Writing and Speaking.

The tricky thing about idioms is it is easy to misuse them.

They must be exactly accurate and used word for word.

Otherwise, the meaning is lost and it’s unclear that you’re using an idiom.

Practice using idioms so you can get the score you need on IELTS.


There is a very good chance you’ll be asked a question about sports somewhere on IELTS Speaking.

Be ready with today’s sample answers, idioms and vocab!

A great way to boost your IELTS Vocabulary score is to use more interesting idioms!

Learn these great sports idioms and terms to avoid repetition!

Practice using interesting vocab for a 7+ on IELTS Speaking and Writing.

For more strategies and template sentences for every essay type, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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