A whale of a time: talking about enjoying yourself

A little boy having fun swinging on a whale toy at the playground
marcduf/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Liz Walter

I thought it would be nice to talk about something cheerful today, so this post is about having fun!

The most common way to say that you enjoyed an experience is to say you had a nice/good/great time or enjoyed yourself (one of the first reflexive verbs students usually learn in English!):

Did you have a nice time in London?

Thanks for dinner on Saturday. We really enjoyed ourselves.

When we talk about things people often enjoy, we can use slightly informal phrases such as be into something or go in for something. If the thing they enjoy is exciting, we might say they get their kicks from it or that they get a kick out of it:

Ben’s really into skydiving.

I don’t really go in for water sports.

I get a kick out of seeing my pupils succeed.

More formally, we delight in or relish things or take pleasure/delight in them. Remember to use a noun or an -ing verb after these words:

He delighted in good conversation.

She relished her role as Queen Victoria.

She takes great delight in cooking huge meals.

If you savour (UK)/ savor (US) a situation, you enjoy it slowly and as much as possible. Similarly, you might drink in or soak up the sight or sound of something you enjoy, or revel in or bask in a situation that makes you feel good:

We walked around, savouring the atmosphere.

They were drinking in the sights of the market.

She revelled (UK)/reveled (US) in the fame her novels brought her.

There are several phrases that describe an extremely enjoyable experience or event. For example, you might say that you had a whale of a time, a ball or the time of your life, or describe the experience as a blast:

The children had a whale of a time on the trampoline.

It was such a great party – we had a ball!

Look at Peter – he’s having the time of his life!

The holiday was a blast!

If you let your hair down, you behave much more freely than usual in order to have fun, and if you paint the town red you go out to have fun that usually involves drinking alcohol:

Come out with us tonight. Let your hair down a bit!

Their exam results had arrived and they were painting the town red.

I know that readers of these posts are into English and delight in learning new words and phrases, so I hope you will have found some useful ones here!

17 thoughts on “A whale of a time: talking about enjoying yourself

    1. Mohammad Alamgeer

      I take delight in going through superbly and succinctly co-ed piece by a body of highly research and get a kick out of it whenever I get to look up to it.

  1. Venkata Ramana Manipatruni

    Delight in something should be used for something unpleasant I think. In the example, it was used in a positive context. Is it right?

    1. Denis

      That’s a good point. The definition of ‘delight in sth’ is ‘to get a lot of pleasure from something, especially something unpleasant’. However, I’m inclined to believe that ‘especially’ doesn’t mean ‘only’ in this case.

  2. VXTD

    I delighted in reading your article. Although some people think that learning foreign languages such as English are arduous and monotonous and tedious, I think it’s just because they haven’t found the felicitous method. If they proceed from an ‘English learner’ to an ‘English user’, they can enjoy themselves and get a kick out of the learning process.

  3. Orlando González

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge it was a blast for me I mean I got a kick out of this Madam. Thank you so very much

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