Learn English Vocabulary

Learn English Vocabulary

Football Vocabulary (aka footy)

Useful Vocabulary

Football pitch
The football pitch - The center spot | center circle | half-way line | touchline (aka sideline) | penalty area | penalty arc | corner arc | goal box | goal line |
Football pitch
The football player and kit - The football shirt(s) | shorts | sock(s) (often with shin guard(s) | boot(s) (aka footies)
The dugout
The manager and the coach sit in the dugout with any substitute players.
The dugout
Football matches are played at football grounds and stadiums.

In 2014 the World Cup was in Brazil. Who did you support?

Build Up

How do you play football?

The aim of the game is to score the most goals by the end of a game (match).

There are two goals at each end of the pitch. A team scores a goal by getting the ball into the opponent's goal.

For an official game there are eleven players on each team. A goalkeeper and ten other players who take various positions on the pitch. In an international match there are also 3 possible substitutes. They sit in the dugout with the manager and the coach and only play if another player is injured, or if the coach decides to let them play.

Each team wears a kit (uniform), and each player has a number. Different teams have different colours (strips), there is one strip for a home match, and another for an away match.

The start of a football match is called the kick off.

The ball is kicked using the foot (hence the name football), and apart from the goalkeeper (goalie), players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hand or forearm when the ball is in play.

The match is played on a pitch, which is measured in yards.

The corners of the pitch are marked using corner flags.

The pitch includes a penalty area (18 yard box) and the six yard box.

There is a referee and two assistant referees (linesmen) who oversee the game, and enforces all the rules.

If the ball is kicked out of play the other team can take a corner kick, or a throw in depending on where the ball left the pitch.

A match last 90 minutes: two halves of 45 minutes each. At halftime the teams swap ends. Additional time can be added on to the end of the game.

If anyone breaks the rules, they can be punished, the referee might show a player a yellow card (a warning), issue a free shot, or a penalty to the other team, or for the worst offences a player may be sent off (shown a red card), leaving their team a player short.

If the game is a draw by the end, the result can be decided by playing extra time, until one of the teams scores - a golden goal (it used to be called sudden death).  If there are no goals after both periods of extra time, it goes to penalties in a shootout.

The offside rule is really complicated. These guys have made a good stab at explaining it:-

Explore more visuals like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

Naturally Speaking

Making enquiries Making enquiries
Buying a ticket to a sporting event:
  • I`d like four tickets please.
    • Would you like front row seats?
  • That sounds great, but how much do they cost?
    • They`re £30 each.
  • Oh that's fine. I`d like to reserve four front-row seats for this Saturday`s match.
    • Ok, that`ll be £120.
  • Here you go.
    • Thank you. Here are your tickets.
Questions about sporting events
  • How much are the tickets?
  • How much is a season ticket?
  • Are we playing home or away?
  • Who`s playing today?
  • Who`s winning?
  • What`s the score?
  • How much time is left in the game?
  • They can't seem to put it in the back of the net.
  • Which half are we in?
  • Do you think this game will be a draw?
  • Do you think this team will go to the finals?
  • Who do you think will win?
  • It was an own goal.
  • He shoots! He scores!
  • Do you think your team will be relegated / promoted this year?


Mr Smith is discussing the football with his wife.
Sport  - Conversation
Mr. Smith: I`ve been thinking about exchanging our football tickets. Instead of going to Friday's game, I think we should go on Saturday. Then, John and his friend Mark could come with us because they wouldn`t have school the next day. What do you think?
Mrs Smith : I think that`s a great idea. I didn`t really like the idea of keeping John out of school just to got to a football match.
Mr Smith: I know. So, shall we swap them?
Mrs Smith: Well, first, let me check with Mark`s parents to see if he`s free on Saturday.
Mr Smith: OK, go for it!
Mrs Smith: (Dials the phone)
Hello Mark. It`s Joan, Joan Smith, John`s mother. I was wondering are you free this Saturday? And if you are would you like to come to the match with us?

Yes, I'm free and I'd love to, but I'll have to check with my parents.
Yes, they say it`s fine. I can go. Could you give me a lift though?

Mrs Smith: That`s great! John will be glad, and of course we can pick you up. How does 2pm sound?
Mark: Sounds great. I`ll look forward to it.
Mrs Smith: OK, we`ll see you on Saturday and John will see you at school tomorrow. 
Mark: .OK, thanks Mrs. Smith. I can`t wait!
Mrs Smith: OK Mark, we`ll see you then. Have a good evening, give my regards to your mum and dad.
(Hangs up the phone)
Mr Smith: So, is he coming?
Mrs Smith: Yes. Let`s go and change those Friday tickets.

Games and Tests for this Vocabulary Unit

All these games and tests open in a new window.

Football Crossword
Dictation Test - Elementary
Dictation Test - Intermediate
English Vocabulary