French Daily Routine Vocabulary & Phrases

la routine quotidienne

Here you’ll find a list of vocabulary words and phrases which will allow you to describe your daily routine in French. Note that there are a lot of reflexive verbs used in this lesson, such as “je me lève”. Thus, it’s a good idea to learn and master these verbs. We’ve broken the lists down into the following categories: morning routines, midday routines and evening routines.

Morning routine

The following list describes all the activities we do in the morning including getting up and getting ready for school or work. This list contains many reflexive verbs. Note the subtle differene: ‘Je me réveille’ means I wake up while ‘Je me lève’ means I get up. For brushing your teeth you can say both ‘Je me lave les dents’ and ‘Je me brosse les dents’.

  • to wake up se réveiller
  • to get up se lèver
  • early tôt, / de bonne heure
  • late tard
  • to sleep dormir
  • to sleep in faire la grasse matinée
  • to be early, late être en avance, late
  • to hurry, rush se dépêcher
  • to wash yourself se lave
  • to take a shower prendre une douche / se doucher
  • to brush your teeth se brosser / laver les dents
  • to put on makeup se maquiller
  • to get dressed s’habiller
  • to change clothes se changer
  • to put on your shoes se chausser
  • to have a coffee prendre un café
  • to have breakfast prendre le petit-déjeuner

example sentences

  • Je me lève à sept heures. I wake up at 7am.
  • Je m’habille et je me maquille. I get dressed and put on my makeup.
  • Je me douche et après je me rase. I take my shower and after I shave.
  • Je prends une douche avant de prendre le petit-déjeuner. I take a shower before having breakfast.
  • Je prends un café et je me dépêche un peu. I have a coffee and I hurry a bit.

Midday activities

The following list describes activities we do from the moment we leave the house to the moment we get home. Note the use of the verb, ‘partir’, which means to leave. ‘Je pars de la maison’ means I leave the house. The verb ‘sort’ means to go out. ‘Je sors de la masion a 8h00’ means I go out (of the house) at 8 o’clock. Many people are curious about how to say commute. The noun for commute is ‘le trajet’, or literally a trip. The verb for ‘to commute’ is ‘faire la navette’.

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  • to leave the house partir de la maison
  • to take (for transportation in this context) prendre
  • …the metro le métro
  • …the bus le bus
  • …the car la voiture
  • …the train le train
  • to drive conduire
  • to go aller
  • …to work au travail
  • …to the office au bureau
  • …to school à l’école
  • …to the library à la bibliothèque
  • …to the gym à la salle de sport
  • …to the café to the café
  • …to a restaurant au restaurant
  • …to a friend’s house chez des amis
  • …to the doctor chez le médecin
  • …to the dentist chez le dentiste
  • to have lunch déjeuner
  • to work travailler
  • to study étudier
  • to go grocery shopping, run errands faire les courses
  • to go to the market aller au marché

example sentences

  • Je pars de la maison à huit heures. I leave home at 8am.
  • Je prends le métro pour aller au travaille. I take the metro to work.
  • Je déjeune avec mes collègues. I have lunch with my colleagues.
  • J’ai rendez-vous avec mes clients. I have a meeting with my clients.
  • Je vais à la salle de sport après le travail. I go to the gym after work.
  • Je fais les courses pour la famille. I go grocery shopping for the family.

Late-afternoon/evening routine

The following vocabulary can be used to describe activities we do from the moment we leave work or school to the moment we go to bed. Note that the verbs rentrer, revenir and retourner all mean to return (home) and can be used synonymously. Hence, ‘Je rentre à la maison’, Je reviens à la maison’ and Je retourne à la maison’ all mean I come home. The word, ‘chez moi’ can also be used: ‘Je rentre chez moi’. Here’s a complete lesson covering chez.

  • to come home rentrer/revenir/retourner à la maison
  • to prepare a meal préparer un repas
  • to have dinner prendre le dîner
  • to cook faire la cuisine
  • to set the table mettre la table
  • to serve the meal servir le repas
  • to clear the table débarasser la table
  • to do the dishes faire/laver la vaisselle
  • to do the laundry faire la lessive
  • to iron repasser le linge
  • to do household chores faire le ménage
  • to clean nettoyer
  • to sweep balayer
  • to relax se reposer, se détendre
  • to take a nap faire une sieste
  • to read lire
  • …a novel a novel
  • …a newspaper le journal
  • to listen écouter
  • …to music de la musique
  • …to the radio la radio
  • to watch TV regarder la télévision
  • to go to bed aller au lit
  • to go to bed se coucher
  • to fall asleep s’endormir

sample sentences

  • Je retourne/rentre chez moi. I go home.
  • Je retourne/rentre a la maison. I go home.
  • Je fais le ménage. I do household chores.
  • Je me repose un peu. I rest a bit.
  • Je prepare le dîner. I make dinner.
  • Je regarde la télé et je lis un roman. I watch TV and read a novel.
  • Je me couche à vingt-et-une heures. I go to bed at 9pm.
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