Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

How to Make Small Talk with Americans About Baseball

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 @ 08:26 AM

how to talk to americans about baseball in EnglishBaseball! It's arguably the  most popular sport in the United States.

What does that mean for you?

Well, if you plan to make small talk with your American colleagues on Mondays between April and October, you should know a few key vocabulary words to talk about baseball.

In today's lesson, you will learn those key vocabulary words and you will improve your listening skills with a real conversation between two Americans talking about baseball. Good luck!



Phrases to start the conversation


  • How was the game?
  • How'd your team do this weekend?
  • Did you see the game on TV last night?
  • What ended up happening in the baseball game last weekend?



Key baseball vocabulary


  • boston red soxThe seventh-inning stretch: This is a period of time late in the game, between the seventh and eighth innings when the fans get up and stretch, get some food, and take a break


  • The wave: The fans in the stadium stand up and wave their hands in the air to create a wave that goes around the entire stadium


  • Home run: This happens when a ball is hit out of the field and the hitter scores a run as well as his teammates who are on base


  • Inning: A period of play during the game, most games last for nine innings


  • To steal a base: To run from one base to the next while the player is not hitting the ball


  • Base: There are 4 bases in baseball and if the player is standing on the base, he is considered safe



Test your Listening


1. Which of these activities was NOT mentiond as a Fenway tradition/ritual?

  • A- Seventh inning stretch
  • B- Drinking beer and eating fatty food
  • C- Taking pictures with a rock singer at the game


2. What do people do during the seventh inning stretch?

  • A- They get the kinks up in their necks
  • B- They get the kinks out of their backs
  • C- They get kicked out of their seats


3. What did Vin say about Fenway Franks?

  • A- They are underpriced and served hot
  • B- They are part of what makes the experience at Fenway special
  • C- They now have a low calorie version of them that wasn't available in the seventies


4. How are the fans different today than they were in the seventies?

  • A- They enjoy the game more these days
  • B- They protect themselves from the sun better
  • C- They don't do the wave as often as they used to


Answers: 1- C, 2- B, 3- B, 4- B



Was this lesson helpful for you? Please let me know by leaving a comment below or send me an email at

Now get out there and make small talk with your American friends and colleagues! Good luck



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Photo credits: Keith Allison

Topics: English Lessons, United States Culture, Vocabulary Workshop, Cultural Competence

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