He's out on the court

Greg: Hey, Steve! What are you up to?
Steve: Oh, hi, Greg. I’m looking for something for Father’s Day.
Greg: Well, any of these would be great. Does your dad play a lot?
Steve: Yes, he’s out on the court almost every weekend. He loves to be outside, and he loves to exercise.

Question: The sentence “he’s out on the court”, what does “out” mean here? Is it okay that I just say he’s on the court almost every weekend? Are there any differences?

Thank you!!!

“He’s out on the court” means “He’s playing tennis” (or basketball or any other sport that is played on a court). It could be that he plays tennis outside or inside (it’s not really clear), but he’s playing tennis. He’s not here; he’s playing tennis on the tennis court. He’s out (away from here) on the (tennis) court. Or basketball court or whatever.

Only by saying, “He loves to be outside” is it clear that he is playing outside.

If you just said “He’s on the court almost every weekend,” people might think you’re talking about a court of law.

If someone played baseball (or any other sport that is played on a field), you might say the same kind of thing. “He’s out on the field almost every weekend.”

Or golf (or any other sport that is played on a course): “He’s out on the course almost every weekend.”

It’s not easy to explain, but ‘out’ indicates some sort of physical movement or activity. He’s not just located ‘on the court’ but he’s ‘out on the court’ doing something. When you “go out,” you’re not just leaving your home and going outside, but you end up engaging in some kind of activity which may be indoors or outdoors. “They are going out to see a movie.”

I don’t want to mislead you, though. You could say, “He’s on the court almost every weekend” in the context of that conversation and be perfectly understood. But ‘out on the court’ adds that extra element of activity. He’s out there playing on the court almost every weekend.


Yes, “out on the court” means “on the court”. There is no difference in meaning.