Talking about free time in Spanish using 'jugar' and 'hacer'

Talking about sports

To find out what sports somebody does, ask ¿Qué deportes haces? - What sports do you do?

The verb jugar (to play) is typically used for sports played with a ball.

Don't forget to use al after the verb.

For example:

  • Juego al hockey - I play hockey.

  • Mi hermano juega al fútbol - My brother plays football.

  • ¿Juegas al rugby? - Do you play rugby?

A verb is a ‘doing’ word or an action, for example ‘play’, ‘run’, ‘read’.

You can use the following table to talk about some further sports. Can you say what sports you do? What about your friends or family?

juego alI play
juegas alyou play (s)
juega alhe/she plays
jugamos alwe play
jugáis alyou play (pl)
juegan althey plays
tenis de mesatable tennis
Juego al fútbol

Use the verb hacer (to do) for all other sports.

For example:

  • Hago boxeo - I do boxing/I go boxing.

  • Mi amiga hace natación - My friend does swimming/goes swimming.

Use the language in the table below to say what activities you do, or what your friends do.

hagoI do
hacesyou do (s)
hacehe/she/it does
hacemoswe do
hacéisyou do (pl)
hacenthey do

Playing an instrument

To talk about playing an instrument use the verb tocar:

  • ¿Tocas el violín? - Do you play the violin?

  • No, toco la guitarra - No, I play the guitar

Talking about weekend plans

To discuss free time plans, ask ¿Qué haces en tu tiempo libre? - What do you do in your free time?

Use the present tense to reply. You can also add frequency words, such as days of the week, to make your answers more interesting.

For example:

  • Todos los domingos juego al fútbol - Every Sunday I play football.

  • A menudo, después del colegio, juego a los videojuegos - Often, after school, I play videogames.

  • Siempre toco la guitarra con mis amigos - I always play the guitar with my friends.

  • De vez en cuando voy al centro comercial - From time to time I go to the shopping centre.

Describing likes and dislikes

To find out what someone likes to do in their free time, ask ¿Qué te gusta hacer en tu tiempo libre?

When replying, start by giving your opinion (such as me gusta or prefiero) then add the activity you do, in the infinitive form.

For example:

  • Me gusta salir con mis amigos - I like to go out with my friends.

  • Me encanta pasear al perro - I love to walk the dog.

  • Prefiero chatear con mis amigos - I prefer to chat to my friends.

  • No me gusta escuchar audiolibros - I don’t like to listen to audiobooks.

  • Detesto/odio jugar al rugby - I hate to play rugby.

Infinitives are the basic form of a verb before any changes for tense or people are made.

Say what you like to do by using the opinions above, followed by an activity in the infinitive from the table below. Can you also say what you don’t like to do?

jugar a los videojuegosto play video games
ver vídeos en líneato watch videos online
colgar fotos en las redes socialesto post photos on social networks
ir al cineto go to the cinema
descargar películasto download films
hacer nataciónto go swimming/do swimming
tocar la guitarra/el pianoto play the guitar/piano

Saying why you like doing certain activities

To discuss reasons why you like to do different activities, ask ¿Por qué? (Why?)

Notice that the question word ‘why’ is por qué and the answer ‘because’ is porque.

  • ¿Por qué te gusta salir con tus amigos? - Why do you like to go out with your friends?

  • Me gusta salir con mis amigos porque es divertido - I like to go out with my friends because it is fun.

  • ¿Por qué no te gusta ir al centro comercial? - Why don't you like going to the shopping centre?

  • No me gusta ir al centro comercial porque es aburrido - I don´t like to go to the shopping centre because it is boring.

  • ¿Cuál es tu deporte favorito? ¿Por qué? - What is your favourite sport? Why?

  • Me encanta el hockey porque es rápido - I love hockey because it is fast.

Click on the downloadable vocabulary list for more useful words to help you talk about what activities you like doing.

Free time - extra vocabulary

Have a go at this activity to see how much you know about free time activities.


Watch the video and test your understanding of talking about free time in Spanish in this short quiz!