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! So wouldn’t it be nice to explain what you like to do in French?
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. Regardless of how much you enjoy these activities, knowing who to describe sports and hobbies in French is an ideal way to practice your language skills. Once you know a solid list of hobbies in French, you can begin expanding on them and describing more details about them and how they fit into your daily life.
Are you ready to learn how to describe hobbies in French? Check out the list below for some common words and phrases used when describing what you do for fun. From helping you explain your preferences to using this vocabulary in context, our guide to French activities will do wonders for your language skills.
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. Being able to describe what you like doing in French is also a great way to describe yourself in this language. For example, if you love going on vacation, you are most likely an avid traveler.
But first, you need to learn how to describe what you like to do in French.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
- Faire du vélo → To ride a bike
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.
Once you get a handle on explaining your preferences when it comes to your favorite and least favorite hobbies in French, you can begin stringing sentences together and building conversations. For instance, after expressing what you like to do, you may want to ask someone’s preferences on the topic.
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
Now that you have a list of hobbies in French to play with, you can begin adding more specific details to these activities. Maybe you love to read and you do it every night before bed. Or perhaps you dislike playing golf, so you prefer to never do so.
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. This lets you tell a more complex story.
- 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. You can even start a diary, describing all the activities you did over the course of the day. Did you go for a swim like you do every day? Or did you go jogging for the first time in months? Not only will you practice using the terms and phrases you are learning, but you’ll soon find room to add more French activities to your vocabulary.
While understanding how to describe French activities is a great way to expand your language skills, nothing beats studying with a professional teacher. When you sign up for French lessons, you will receive one-on-one instruction from a private French tutor. Looking for an even more convenient way to practice your French? Join our online French lessons, which invite you to learn wherever and whenever you have internet access. Mastering French has never been easier.
Have fun, and a tout à l’heure!
Photo by Pepe Pont