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.
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
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.
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.