Describing Hobbies in French

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: AJ Dana-Yoblonski

Dual citizen of France and Canada. Journalist - French print media (L'Obs, Paris Match, Le Parisien, ...) / Private tutor (grammar: English, French, Latin; literature) / Institutional communications officer

What is the best way to start a conversation? Talking about your hobbies! In this lesson, we'll go over the basic vocabulary used to describe hobbies in French.

Degrees of J'aime

You're at a fancy restaurant with your colleagues Paul and Martin. You feel a bit nervous as you've just met them today on your first day of work in Bordeaux. They invite you out on your lunch break in order to get to know you. Be prepared, the French are curious, and they usually start a conversation by asking questions, which is exactly what Paul and Martin do after the waiter takes your order.

  • Qu'est-ce que tu aimes faire pendant ton temps libre? (What do you like to do in your spare time?)

The most basic way to begin your answer is:

J'aime + infinitive verb

  • J'aime lire (I like reading.)

J'aime + noun

  • J'aime la lecture (I like reading .) Lecture is the noun derived from the verb lire.

Of course there are many other things you enjoy doing! You enjoy them all differently, but you do have a couple of faves. How do you express different degrees of appreciation?

French Meaning
J'aime I like, I enjoy
J'aime beaucoup I like a lot
J'adore I love
Je suis passionné par + noun I am passionate about + noun

If you wish to remain more neutral, you can simply say:

Je consacre mon temps libre à la lecture (I devote my free time to reading.) Literally, to the act of reading.

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  • 0:04 Degrees of ''J'aime''
  • 1:28 Hobbies: ''Les Loisirs''
  • 2:57 Giving Details
  • 3:39 Lesson Summary
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Hobbies: Les Loisirs

So besides reading, quels sont tes loisirs? - what are your hobbies? - Paul and Martin ask. You answer: J'adore. . . Let's look at some vocabulary words to describe hobbies you could use to fill in the blank.

French Meaning
un loisir a hobby
aller au cinéma to go to the movies
aller au musée to go to museums
jouer au théâtre to play (theatre)
me promener dans la nature (reciprocal verb) going for nature walks
peindre to paint
dessiner to draw
écouter de la musique to listen to music
jouer de la musique to play music
jouer aux échecs to play chess
faire de l'équitation to do horseback riding
jouer au tennis to play tennis
faire du sport to do sports
voyager to travel

You could also use the following grammar scheme:

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