Everybody like to win whether it’s a football game or a game of cards. You get an adrenalin rush (good feeling) and it lasts a long time. There are many ways in English to talk about winning, to express those emotions and to congratulate other winners.
Common mistakes made are with the verbs to win and to beat. These mistakes are made by native speakers and those learning English as a foreign language.
For example, you can say:
I won the match yesterday, I will win tomorrow and I am winning at the moment.
BUT you cannot say:
I won the other team or we will win the other team tomorrow or we are winning the other team today.
Instead you can say:
I beat the other guy, we will beat that team tomorrow and we are beating them at the moment.
ex. My team were playing a big game and at half time (interval) we were winning 2-0. However, in the second half we lost our momentum and the other team scored 3 goals. We were beaten 2-3.
Here are some other words and phrases to talk about winning in English:
Come out on top – to be victorious
ex. Michael was boxing a much bigger kid. He was taller and heavier.He eventually came out on top and won the fight.
Get the upper hand – get an advantage
ex. It was a struggle for both competitors but the guy from Turkey eventually got the upper hand and won the fight.
To seal victory – to make a victory inevitable (certain)
ex. It was a very even contest of rugby. Both teams were giving it everything (100% effort). However, the team in Red sealed victory with a last minute goal.
A knock out punch – This can be a literal meaning as in a boxing match where one boxer knocks out his opponent and wins the fight or we can use it metaphorically.
ex. Both teams were trying to win the game in normal time to avoid extra time. United in black shirts provided the knock out punch deep into injury time when they scored a penalty after a handball incident inside the penalty area.
Spectators are always more anxious than the players or competitors. They are always relieved when their team is number one stay top of the league and remain ahead of the posse (ahead of the other teams chasing them)!
Phrases and words like “well done” or “congrats” (congratulations) are common expressions used for the victors (winners) or a US term “you’re the man” is heard at lots of sports events like golf and tennis.
Spare a thought (think for a little while) about the unfortunate loser. For every winner there is a loser or runner up and they are soon forgotten. “Hard luck” or “better luck next time” or “tough” are all the loser hears.
Remember that great song by Queen “We are the Champions, We are the Champions…”
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