Discussion in 'English Only' started by Savoir, Oct 6, 2006.
Is it common or correct to say "play bowling?" Or is "go bowling" more common? Thanks.
"Go bowling" is the much more common phrase. In fact, "play bowling" is not said at all, to my knowledge.
I "go bowling" at a bowling alley. I "bowl", I do not play "bowls" (ie. I play Monopoly or play cards but I don't play bowls).
I play lawn bowls.
Ah, there's that regional thing again! Many senior citizens in Canada do, as well, but they "go lawn bowling".
Thanks, everybody. I'd like to know if people in the UK say "play bowling". I'd like to know about the regional differences.
How about "play bowling games"? Is it common to say so?
It is weird.
I play bowls but I go bowling.
I can not explain the difference.
It sounds odd to say play bowling or go bowls.
Yes, I heard that a lot when I was in England
"What are you doing this evening?"
"We're going to the bowling alley".
After thinking about it a bit, I noticed that activities that end in an -ing are usually preceded by "to go" when you intend to go do that activity...
- Go swimming
- Go fishing
- Go bowling
- Go riding a horse
And logically it makes sense because it's just like saying "I'm going (to the pool) to swim" or "I'm going (to the bowling alley) to bowl" or "I'm going (to the lake) to fish". This is exactly why I believe we use "to go". "Bowling" primarily represents the act of playing this particular game, not the game itself (necessarily), as evidenced in my explanation. (Assuming that's true, then I don't believe there is a word solely for the game itself.)
Thanks to all who have replied.
<Added to this thread. Nat, moderator>
People usually say ‘go bowling’. I wonder if I could also say ‘play bowling’.
For example, “What are they doing?” “They are playing bowling.”
"To bowl" is a verb, so we would simply say "they are bowling." You could say "They are playing baseball/soccer/tennis," though, because "to baseball," "to soccer" and "to tennis" are not verbs.
Separate names with a comma.