Your spare time

Take a moment to imagine that you’re having a nice conversation with a new friend or French conversation partner. So far, you’re proud of your French skills. You’re still getting to know each other, but the conversation is going well. Then, the person asks you:

Quels sont tes loisirs?”

What are your hobbies?

What do you say?

If you truly want to be able to talk to and connect with French speakers, you’ll need a bit more than polite phrases, introductions, and small talk to get there. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a beginner, it’s easy to get caught up in learning the basics and forget to figure out how to talk about yourself. But how else are you going to find a conversation partner who shares your interests and can speak French with you?

The best way to get started is by learning how to talk about some of your hobbies. As you continue learning and practising, you’ll find it easier to connect with others and learn French vocabulary that’s relevant to you.

What do you like?

Do you have a favorite activity, or un passe-temps favoris? You can begin your sentence with a simple “I like…” as in J’aime apprendre le français.

You could also choose to talk about les loisirs, which means both spare time and pastimes. For example, I like to listen to music and sing. So, I could say, “J écoute la musique et chanter pendent mes loisirs” or “Mes loisirs sont écouter la musique et chanter.”  

For some hobbies and interests, you can also use faire or simply use the verb form. For instance, if you like to cook, you can say “Je fais la cuisine” or “Je cuisine”.

What do you do?

Learning how to introduce your hobbies is simple enough. The real trouble is trying to remember all the vocabulary related to your interests.

Here’s a short list to get you started.

Are you athletic?

You might want to talk about playing sports. Keep in mind that you use the construction jouer + au when talking about sports or a game, as in the sentence: J’aime jouer au tennis en été.

Jouer au…

Le basket – Basketball

Le football or le foot – Football/ Soccer

Le tennis – Tennis

Hockey – Le hockey

Some activities don’t require the use of jouer au.

Faire du jogging – Jogging

Danser – Dancing

hobbies

Are you musical?

Whenever you talk about playing music or musical instruments, you want to use the construction jouer + de, as in the sentence: Je joue du piano.

Jouer de…

Le piano – piano

La guitare – guitar

Le violon – Violin

La batterie – Drums

Écouter la musique – Listen to music

Are you creative?

Dessiner – Drawing

Peindre or Faire la peinture – Painting

Écrire or Faire de l’écriture – Writing

Do you like the outdoors?

Jardiner or Faire du jardinage – Gardening

Chasser or Faire la chasse – Hiking

Voyager – Traveling

Do you prefer to stay indoors?

Lire or Faire de la lecture – Reading

Jouer aux jeux vidéos – Play video games

Faire le tricot – Knitting

Do you have any other hobbies?

Remember that if you want to be able to talk more about the things you enjoy, learning relevant vocabulary and practising what you learn, preferably with a native speaking teacher, is essential.