How to Talk About Chores in French

Chores are no fun but someone’s got to do them. 

We spend so much time doing chores, we might as well make it more interesting… and informative.

Learn how to talk about different kinds of chores in French, and make language learning a part of your house cleaning routine!

Contents

How to Say Common Chores in French

The standard word for “chores” in French is corvées .

Corvées refers to chores or tasks that are often perceived as routine or obligatory, particularly in relation to household duties. This includes cleaning, cooking and other domestic duties. 

Besides corvées, you can use some more specific terms when you’re talking about chores in French: 

  • Tâches ménagères — Household tasks or chores, specifically related to maintaining a clean and organized home.
  • Travaux domestiques — Domestic work, referring to various tasks performed within the household, including cleaning, cooking and other routine activities.
  • Devoirs quotidiens — Daily duties, emphasizing the regular and routine nature of the tasks involved in maintaining a household.
  • Besognes — Errands or chores, indicating tasks that need to be accomplished or responsibilities to be fulfilled.

French Vocabulary for Specific Chores

Doing the Laundry

It’s laundry day! Here are some vocabulary words related to doing the laundry in French: 

FrenchEnglish
Laver To wash
Sécher To dry
Repasser To iron
Machine à laver Washing machine
Sèche-linge Dryer
Corbeille à linge sale Laundry basket
Étendre To hang (clothes)
Pinces à linge Clothespins
Cintre Hanger
Linge propre Clean laundry
Trier le linge To sort the laundry
Cycle de lavage Wash cycle
Boule de séchage Dryer ball
Assouplissant Fabric softener
Lessive Laundry detergent
Étendoir Drying rack
Fer à repasser Iron
Planche à repasser Ironing board
Plier les vêtements Fold clothes

Cooking

Cooking is my own personal favorite chore. It’s the only chore that I actually enjoy doing. Fire up the stove and learn how to talk about cooking in French with these common words:

FrenchEnglish
Cuisiner To cook
Faire la vaisselle To do the dishes
Préparer To prepare
Couper To chop
Émincer To slice
Hacher To mince
Mélanger To mix
Battre To beat
Cuire To bake or cook
Faire bouillir To boil
Faire mijoter To simmer
Griller To grill
Frire To fry
Éplucher To peel
Assaisonner To season
Goûter To taste
Servir To serve
Sortir les ingrédients To take out the ingredients
Vider le lave-vaisselle To empty the dishwasher
Nourrir les animaux de compagnie To feed the pets

Cleaning 

Clean up your French with these cleaning-related words:

FrenchEnglish
Nettoyer To clean
Balayer To sweep
Balai Broom
Poubelle Trash can
Passer l'aspirateur To vacuum
Épousseter / Faire la poussière To dust
Chiffon Duster
Passer la serpillière To mop
Serpillière Mop
Laver les vitres To clean the windows
Faire les lits To make the beds
Changer les draps To change the sheets
Vider les poubelles To empty the trash bins
Désinfecter To disinfect
Organiser To organize
Récurer To scrub
Passer le chiffon To wipe down surfaces
Ranger les affaires To tidy up belongings

Outdoor Chores

While chores are typically an indoor activity, some tasks, like the following, have you heading outside:

FrenchEnglish
Jardiner To garden
Tondre la pelouse To mow the lawn
Tondeuse à gazon Lawn mower
Ratisser les feuilles To rake the leaves
Arroser les plantes To water the plants
Désherber To weed
Planter des fleurs To plant flowers
Tailler les arbustes To trim the bushes
Ramasser les débris To pick up debris
Nettoyer la terrasse To clean the patio
Vider les gouttières To clean the gutters

Common Errands

Errands aren’t quite the same as chores. While chores are routine tasks completed in or around the home, errands are typically one-off or less routine tasks that are done outside of the house. They’re pretty similar, though, in that they have to be done even if you don’t always feel like it. 

Here are a few common errands and how to say them in French: 

FrenchEnglish
Retrait en pharmacie Pharmacy pickup
Nettoyage à sec Dry cleaning
Dépôt de recyclage Recycling drop-off
Faire des courses To go grocery shopping
Aller à la poste To go to the post office
Envoyer du courrier To send mail
Promener le chien Take the dog for a walk
Entretien de la voiture Car maintenance
Aller au lavage de voiture To go to the car wash
Faire le plein d'essence To refill your car's gas
Rendre des livres à la bibliothèque To return books to the library
Rendez-vous chez le coiffeur Hair salon appointment
Rendez-vous médical Doctor appointment
Rendez-vous chez le dentiste Dentist appointment
Aller à la salle de sport To go to the gym
Payer les factures To pay bills

How to Talk About Chores in French

Now you know the names of various chores in French. But how do you actually talk about them?

You could discover how to use all the words in this post by seeing them in use in the authentic videos on FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Here are a few typical sentences you might use when talking about chores:

You don’t have to do everything alone. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need a hand, you can always ask for help. Here are some useful phrases for that:

Or, if someone else needs help, you can lend a hand with these French sentences: 

At the end of the day, you might just want to complain. It’s okay, I won’t judge you. Get it out of your system with these French phrases:

 

Conjugate as you clean with all these words for chores in French!

And one more thing...

If you like learning French vocabulary on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

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FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews and web series, as you can see here:

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FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive subtitles.

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Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with FluentU's adaptive quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning and play the mini-games found in the dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."

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As you study, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a 100% personalized experience.

It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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