Build Your French Vocabulary: What Do You Do For Fun?

French Vocabulary

Have some fun with your French when you practice talking about your favorite activities. Tutor Emmanuel N. is here with all the vocabulary you’ll need…

Bonjour, everyone! We all have our own hobbies and activities that we love to do – sometimes on a daily basis. For many of us, learning French happens to be one of these activities!

If you’re looking to expand your French vocabulary, be sure to learn some words to describe the types of activities you do in your everyday life. Some of these may be things you love to do, while others aren’t quite so fun.

Check out the list below for some common words and phrases used when describing what you do for fun:

French Vocabulary for Activities We Enjoy

Whether relaxing at the beach, catching up on our favorite TV shows, or going on a family vacation, we all have activities that we love and enjoy. Here are a few French vocabulary terms to describe common activities many of us enjoy.

  • Regarder la télé  Watch television
  • Parler au téléphone Talk on the phone
  • Lire To read
  • Faire de l’équitation Go horse riding
  • Faire de la natation → Go swimming
  • Faire du sport Do sports
  • Voyager Travel

French Vocabulary For Activities We Don’t Enjoy

However, there are also things we hate doing or rarely do. While some of us may like faire les magasins (to go shopping), others of us hate it. Some of us love sortir avec les copains (to go out with friends), while others prefer to spend time alone. Either way, we all have activities that we just don’t like doing. Check out some examples below:

  • Faire le ménage Housework/chores
  • Faire de devoirs Do homework
  • Étudier → Study
  • Jouer au golf Play golf
  • Faire du jogging Go jogging

Using French Vocabulary in Context

When it comes to the activities we enjoy or don’t enjoy, in French, we always put “J’aime ou je n’aime pas” (I like or I don’t like) before the activities that we either enjoy or don’t enjoy. For example, maybe tu aimes danser (you like to dance), but tu n’aimes pas écouter de la musique (you don’t like to listen to music). Or, maybe tu aimes jouer au foot (you like to play soccer), but tu n’aimes pas jouer aux cartes (you don’t like to play cards).

Here are some more examples:

  • J’aime sortir avec les copains. – I like to go out with my friends.
  • Vous aimez voyager ou faire du sport? – Do you [formal] like to travel or do sports?
  • Elles n’aiment pas étudier. – They [girls] don’t like to study.
  • Il n’aime pas faire les magasins. – He doesn’t like to go shopping.
  • Nous aimons chanter. – We like to sing.
  • Elle n’aime pas tellement jouer au tennis. – She doesn’t really like to play tennis.
  • J’aime surtout fair du ski nautique. – I especially love to water ski.
  • Ils n’aime pas beaucoup faire de la photo. – They [boys or boys and girls] especially don’t like to take photos.

Additionally, if you want to ask someone if they like to do something, you just say, “Est-ce que vous/tu aimez/aimes…” (Do you like to…), and then add in the activity. For example:

  • Est-ce que tu aimes jouer à des jeux video? (Do you [informal] like to play video games?)
  • Est-ce que vous aimez faire de l’athlétisme? (Do you [formal] like to do athletics?)

Describing How Often You Perform an Activity

If you want to mention how often you do any activity, here are some French vocabulary words to describe the frequency with which you perform a particular activity.

  • Jamais Never
  • De temps en temps From time to time/occasionally
  • Souvent Often
  • Rarement Rarely
  • Tous les jours → Every day
  • ____ fois par semaine  ____ times a week
  • Une fois/deux fois/trois fois par semaine Once/twice/three times a week
  • Quelquefois Sometimes

For the most part, these frequency words and phrases come after the verb and before the activity itself. For example: “Je ne fais jamais du sport” (I never play sports) or “Je fais souvent de la natation” (I often go swimming) or “Je joues quelquefois au foot” (I sometimes like to play soccer).

However, de temps en temps and  ___ fois par semaine go at the end of the sentence. For example: “J’aime écouter de la musique de temps en temps” (I like to listen to music occasionally) or “J’aime faire du jogging deux fois par semaine” (I like to go jogging twice a week).

Now that you know how to talk about the activities you like and don’t like doing, time for some devoirs. If you want your French to improve, you have to practice. So, how about writing down what you like to do and how often you do it in French. Then, say what you don’t like to do and how often you do or don’t do those activities.

Have fun, and a tout à l’heure!

Emmanuel Noriega
Post Author:
 Emmanuel N.
Emmanuel N. teaches online Spanish and singing lessons. He earned his B.A. in psychology from California State University, Fullerton and has been teaching lessons since January 2015. Learn more about Emmanuel here!

Photo by Pepe Pont

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