Sports in Spanish: List, Phrases and Conversations

Most of us have a favorite sport or “deporte”, even if we do not play it that often. This lesson will introduce some of the vocabulary for sports in Spanish, and more than a list of sports, we learn how to form basic sentences with sports in Spanish and see them in use through real conversations. Comencemos…

Vocabulary: A list of common sports in Spanish – Los deportes en español

We will begin the lesson by watching a short video introducing the vocabulary for sports in Spanish, “los deportes”. This video includes a list of basic sports in Spanish that we will be using later in the conversation samples. As usual, there are also some tips about the way the vocabulary is used in real situation and each picture has a statement related to the sport on it. If you have trouble getting the message of any part of the video, please active the captions (cc) below.

Common questions and Spanish sports phrases

We will review the vocabulary presented in the video with some conversations using common questions and Spanish sports phrases. Regarding questions, to ask “what is your favorite sport” in Spanish, you can use the question “¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito?”, or being more specific, “¿Te gusta el + deporte? (Do you like…?). In order to say your favorite sport in Spanish, you can use the phrases: “Mi deporte favorito es + deporte” or “El deporte que más me gusta es el/la + deporte”.

Generally speaking, you will need some of the following verbs when talking about sports in Spanish: GANAR (to win), PERDER(to lose), JUGAR (to play), PRACTICAR (to practice), QUERER(to want), GUSTAR (to like), PREFERIR (to prefer), IR (to go) and VER (to watch). Here are some basic examples of Spanish sports phrases using these verbs, some of which are also included in the conversations.

  1. ¡Gané! (I won)
  2. ¡Mal perdedor! (Sore loser)
  3. ¿Por qué no jugamos…? (Why don’t we play…?)
  4. ¿Qué quieres jugar? (What do you want to play)
  5. ¡Vamos! ¡Si se puede! (Let’s go! You can do it!)

Listen to these examples and try to identify the words for sports in them as well as other interesting sports phrases.

Conversations about sports in Spanish

Carlos: ¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito Leo?
Leo: Uhmm… me gustan varios deportes, pero mi favorito es el fútbol.
Carlos: A mí me gusta más el béisbol ¿Por qué te gusta el fútbol?
Leo: Porque es un deporte fácil y divertido. Siempre me divierto mucho jugando con mis amigos.
Script translation: My favorite sports in Spanish
Carlos: What is your favorite sport Leo?
Leo: hmm … I like several sports, but my favorite one is soccer.
Carlos: I like baseball more. Why do you like football?
Leo: Because it’s an easy and fun sport. I always have so much fun playing with my friends.
Carlos: Leo, ¿quieres jugar baloncesto?
Leo: Si, claro vamos a jugar, pero después jugamos tenis ¿sí?
Carlos: Por supuesto, aunque ya sabes que siempre gano
Leo: Esta vez no te dejaré ganar… De todas maneras yo siempre gano en tenis de mesa.
Carlos: Pero es porque haces trampa
Conversation translation: Sports phrases in Spanish
Carlos: Leo, Do you want to play basketball?
Leo: Yes, sure let´s play, but we´ll play tennis later, right?
Carlos: Of course, although you know I always win
Leo: This time I will not let you win … Anyway I always win in table tennis.
Carlos: But it’s because you cheat

Definite articles and adjectives to describe sports in Spanish

Definite articles for sports in Spanish

Focusing a bit on the grammatical structure, you should know that we use the definite articles such as EL and LA before most sports in Spanish, especially when they are mentioned individually. EL is used for sports in masculine form such as FUTBOL, TENIS and so on, whereas LA will be used for sports in feminine form like NATACIÓN as in the sentences “Me gusta el fútbol” and “Prefiero la natación”. Make sure not to use EL or LA when the name of the sport is used after the verbs JUGAR and PRACTICAR, so something like “I play hockey” would be translated as “Juego jóquey” not “Juego el jóquey”. 

Using adjectives to describe sports in Spanish

You can use some adjectives to describe sports in Spanish including DIVERTIDO, ABURRIDO, INTERESANTE, ENTRETENIDO, FÁCIL, DIFÍCIL, CANSADO and others. This way you can share your opinion about a particular sport, e.g. “El béisbol es divertido” (baseball is fun). In general, there are different tenses involved in a conversation about sports including expressions in the present tense like “Es un deporte divertido”, in the past tense like “Olvidé ver el partido” (I forgot to watch the match) or the future tense like “Vamos a jugar tenis después”. Please check the examples below and check how both definite articles and adjectives can be used to describe sports in Spanish.

Leo: ¿Qué estás viendo en la televisión?
Carlos: Estoy viendo un partido de jóquey… Ambos equipos son muy buenos.
Leo: ¿Quién es ese jugador?
Carlos: Él es Marcos, el capitán del equipo rojo.
Read translation: watching sports
Leo: What are you watching on TV?
Carlos: I’m watching a hockey game … Both teams are very good.
Leo: Who is that player?
Carlos: He is Marcos, the red team captain.
Leo: Oye Carlos, ¿Por qué no jugamos voleibol?
Carlos: pero Leo, está haciendo calor… Mejor jugamos después ¿No quieres ir a nadar?
Leo: No soy muy bueno para la natación… No puedo nadar.
Carlos: No te preocupes, yo te enseño… Recuerda que hoy vamos a ver la final de futbol americano.
Leo: Es cierto, se me había olvidado.
Read translation: Playing sports
Leo: Hey Carlos, why don’t we play volleyball?
Carlos: But Leo, it´s hot … We´d better play later, don´t you want to go swimming?
Leo: I’m not good at swimming … I can not swim.
Carlos: Don´t worry, I’ll teach you … Remember that today we will see the football final.
Leo: That’s right, I forgot that.
Leo: uhmm ¿Cómo se llama ese deporte?
Carlos: Se llama fútbol rugby y es bastante común en Inglaterra.
Leo: Ahh que interesante. Hay muchos deportes divertidos ¿verdad?
Carlos: Si, muchas personas practican boxeo, ciclismo, golf y otros deportes entretenidos y saludables.
Read translation: describing sports in Spanish
Leo: hmm What do you call that sport?
Carlos: It’s called rugby football and it is quite common in England.
Leo: Ah interesting. There are many fun sports, aren´t there?
Carlos: Yes, many people practice boxing, cycling, golf and other entertaining, healthy sports.

Listening Activity No. 1: Talking about sports in Spanish – Hablando sobre deportes

Listen to two friends talking about their favorite sports in Spanish. Take notes of the information you consider important and listen carefully to identify the phrases presented in the sample conversations plus the ones below. Press “Play” to listen to the conversation.

Key expressions in the conversation:
1. “No soy tan bueno en” means “I am not that good at”
2. “Te apuesto a que…” means “I bet that”
3. “¿Me estás retando?” means “Are you challenging me?”

What's your favorite sport? – ¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito?

We hope you found that conversation easy. It is time to test your ability to understand what is being said in the audio. Please listen to the conversation again and then choose the right answer for each question. You will receive a nice tip every time you find a correct answer. Press “Start” to begin the quiz.
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Conversation script: My favorite sports in Spanish
Carlos: Oye Leo… Estoy aburrido. ¿Quieres jugar fútbol conmigo?
Leo: Si claro, vamos a jugar. Eso sí, no soy tan bueno jugando como tú.
Carlos: Si quieres mejor jugamos beisbol o voleibol…
Leo: No, juguemos un partido de fútbol… No creas que vas a ganar fácilmente
Carlos: ¿Viste el juego de basquetbol en la televisión ayer?
Leo: Si, estuvo muy bueno… ¿Te gusta el baloncesto?
Carlos: Un poco. Mi deporte favorito es el fútbol, pero también me gusta el boxeo, el futbol americano y el jóquey.
Leo: Pues el deporte que más me gusta a mi es la natación, pero también soy bueno para el tenis y el tenis de mesa…
Carlos: Ahh… ¿en serio eres bueno en tenis? Te apuesto a que no me ganas en un partido…
Leo: ¿Me estás retando? Esto va a ser divertido

Listening practice No. 2: Completing a conversation about sports in Spanish.

Here is a last conversation using some of the Spanish sports phrases and questions presented in this lesson. Some parts of the conversation are missing so it is your job to listen and complete them. Press PLAY to listen to the audio.

Listening Quiz: A conversation about Sports in Spanish

Listen to the conversation about sports in Spanish again and write the missing parts in this short quiz. ¡Buena suerte!


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