Confusing Words English Lesson: Hang Out Vs. Play

Michael Happy English! 10 Comments

Happy loves to play at the beach!

Happy loves to play at the beach!

How do you like to spend your leisure time? Hang out and play have a similar meaning, but are used differently in English. Let’s have a look at these words today.

Play is the action of children and pets. When children spend their free time, they play. Children play with each other, and adults play with their pets:

  • When I was young, I used to play with toy trucks in my backyard.
  • The children are playing in the park.
  • I play with my dog every night when I get home from work.

Hang out is the action of adults. When adults spend their free time, they hang out.

  • I like to hang out at home on the weekends and relax.
  • Jack said he was hanging out with his friends from high school last night.
  • Where do you like to hang out in the summer time?

We also can use hang around, and often use hang around + place.

  • I used to hang around the pizza shop when I was a kid.
  • We love to hang around the beach in the summer.

Be careful! Using play as an adult sounds juvenile and immature. “I played with my friend today” sounds like two people sitting on the floor pushing toy cars…

Where do you like to hang around? Did you hang out last night somewhere? Leave a message and let me know.

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If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them.

Thanks for studying today!

  • Bhaskar

    If I get free time, I love to hang out with my friends rather than just hanging out at home watching TV.

    • Michael

      Hanging out with friends is much better than hanging out alone :)

  • Hessam

    I only want to thank you for your useful website and all informative articles…
    You are one of the bests in the world :)

    • Michael

      Hessam, thanks so much for your kind comment. I appreciate that :-)

  • sissi

    Thank you.I love your lessons.I’m a big fan.

    • Michael

      Thanks Sissy! :)

  • lilele

    I love to hang out on picnic with my friend but it’s so hard because our free time doesn’t concur with each others.
    Thank you again for all helpful lessons.

    • Michael

      Thanks Lilele! FYI, usually we say “at a picnic.” I hope that helps!

  • soraya

    Michael,great work.
    You lessons are helping my students a lot!!!
    You explanations are really good!!!
    Thanks a lot

  • Francisco Javier

    I love that dog!