How to Talk about Winning in English

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 of how to talk about winning in English, to express those emotions and to congratulate other winners.

How to talk about winning in English. Difference between Win and Beat. #learnenglish #englishlessons #tienganh #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

How to Talk about Winning in English

For example, you can say:

I won the match yesterday.

I will win tomorrow.

I am winning at the moment.

BUT you cannot say:

I won the other team.

We will win the other team tomorrow.

We are winning the other team today.

Instead you can say:

I beat the other guy.

We will beat that team tomorrow.

We are beating them at the moment.

Example: 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.

Difference between BEAT and WIN - Video Lesson

Here are some other words and phrases to talk about winning in English:


to be victorious

Example: Michael was boxing a much bigger kid. He was taller and heavier.He eventually came out on top and won the fight.


to get an advantage

Example: It was a struggle for both competitors but the guy from Turkey eventually got the upper hand and won the fight.


to make a victory inevitable (certain)

Example: 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.


an action or event that causes defeat or failure

This also has 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.

Example: 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 (one step ahead of someone or something)!

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…”

English Vocabulary about Winning - Infographic

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More Information

For more information on English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and Grammar Rules, check out the following links:

Phrasal Verbs with OVER

English School Vocabulary

English Vocabulary about Football

Free resources are always available at British Council Learning English.

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