Which of the following sentences sound more natural?

  • I learned to raft on holiday.
  • I learned to go rafting on holiday.
  • 1
    You might want to share some thoughts or research so the question is not closed. :)
    – Lambie
    Mar 15, 2021 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Sports: the activity: to go rafting or to raft. to go skiing or to ski, to go surfing or to surf, to skate or go skating

learning it: to learn to raft
to learn to ski
to learn to skate

Though you can say: to learn rafting or to learn surfing, to learn to [do something] sounds more idiomatic.

You don't "learn" to "go" do a sports activity really. You learn how to do or play the sport.

  • Every dictionary I've checked says "learn to do something" For example, Cambridge says, [ + to infinitive ] I'm learning to play the piano. But, Longman does not list "raft" as a verb. That's why I wanted to ask this question. I'm still confused about "learn rafting" though. I've checked Longman, Oxford, Cambridge and Macmillan and I haven't found a single example like "learn surfing" or "learn rafting". For example, Macmillan says, "learn to do something: The children are learning to swim this summer."
    – jeepers
    Mar 15, 2021 at 19:20
  • 1
    @jeepers I answered your question: "learn to play the piano is RIGHT. "Learn to go verb[ing] is not. learn to ski, learn to raft, learn to read. **OF course, learn to swim, read, play, whatever. NO: learn to go swimming. No, no, no.
    – Lambie
    Mar 15, 2021 at 20:58

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