I’m inviting you to a French house party!
It’s going to be a blast.
We’ll munch on some snacks.
We’ll rock out to some happenin’ tunes.
We’ll get our chitchat on.
Best of all, we’ll get a chance to talk—in French—about life at home.
What’s that? You’re not sure your French house vocabulary is up to snuff?
Fear not: This isn’t any ordinary house party invitation. It comes with une maison pleine (a full house) of words that you can use to describe your abode!
Why Study French House Vocabulary?
Whether you’re a beginner French student or several years into your French-learning quest, these household words will come in handy. Here’s why:
Universal and practical
When you learn French house vocabulary, you empower yourself with words to describe your life.
Home is a concept that’s near and dear to people’s hearts. It’s part of la vie quotidienne (everyday life).
Household life is a relatable topic. So, if you need to make small talk in French and you’re sick of talking about the weather, delve into your knowledge of house vocabulary to propel the conversation forward.
“At home” for beginners
French house vocabulary will help beginning learners feel more “at home” with the French language.
This fundamental vocab covers concrete concepts that you can immediately relate to. After all, what’s closer to home than talking about the rooms and objects in your own abode?
Home again for intermediate learners
If you’re an intermediate French learner, studying these words will give you a chance to review what may now be long-lost vocab.
You may have progressed into advanced grammar and moved far beyond bonjour (hello), but unless you get daily French conversation practice, chances are good that a few of these words may have slipped your mind.
And, even in your native language, there will always be words you haven’t encountered yet. It can’t hurt to refresh your memory or learn new vocab.
6 Ways to Practice French House Vocabulary
As all language learners know, just skimming vocab lists is not enough to make new words stick in your long-term memory.
So, before we break out the big list of French house vocabulary, let’s look at a few of the best ways to help you practice and retain it.
1. Get inQUIZitive
Try out a few fun quizzes to test your vocabulaire de la maison (house vocabulary) mettle.
Known for five or 10-minute quizzes on just about any topic, Sporcle has several French-language options. You can pause and resume the quizzes or take them over again to gauge your progress.
- Rooms of the House (ten questions; answer in any order)
- Household objects (type in the correct answers in any order)
- Bathroom items (clickable word match)
More academically-oriented than Sporcle, Quizlet offers multiple approaches to practicing and learning French house vocabulary. Try photo flashcards, multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank questions. Test your listening and spelling skills with audio and writing exercises. The units also include a space-themed game called Gravity, along with a timed word-matching game. Try out these various French house vocab collections.
This site offers 35 multiple-choice questions that’ll test your knowledge of French household words. The words are read aloud in French, and then you can choose from four possible answers. You can go at a leisurely pace since these quizzes aren’t timed.
Each quiz leads into the next; so just tap the right-side arrow to proceed when you complete one.
2. APPly yourself
Use everybody’s favorite hand-held learning tools to cement your knowledge of French house vocabulary.
Here are a few choices to get you started.
Memrise (iOS / Android)
Watch your mastery of French house words grow with Memrise. Once you’ve learned the words, challenge yourself with the breakneck pace of the Speed Review.
Based on spaced repetition and a combination of multiple-choice questions, putting words in the correct order and typing out target words, Memrise shows your progress with each word or phrase. Progress is displayed as a newly planted seed, a seedling and a flower in full bloom.
- “Around the House” section in the Introductory French Vocab course
- “French Home, House Vocabulary” course
While the “French Home, House Vocabulary” course has no audio—unlike most Memrise language courses—it will enrich your vocabulary with over 350 household words.
Mango Languages (iOS / Android)
Focus on listening and speaking skills with the “Household Rooms and Items” chapter of the Mango Languages French course.
You’ll start with a dialogue, which is then broken into more manageable phrases. With each phrase you hear, you’ll have the opportunity to record yourself repeating it. You can then compare your voice recording to the French spoken in the lesson.
Grammar notes on topics such as noun-adjective agreement are included in these beginner-level lessons.
McGraw-Hill Language Lab (iOS / Android)
The McGraw-Hill Language Lab app gives you access to flashcards based on several different textbooks, such as “The Ultimate French Review and Practice” and “Practice Makes Perfect: Complete French All-in-One.”
The “French Illustrated Dictionary” title starts with an “Around the House” section. Using illustrated flashcards, you can learn and review French house vocab in groupings such as “Apartment and House,” “The Kitchen” and “Computer Equipment.”
The app will re-test you on any flashcards that you miss. Scoring is done using the honor system.
3. Get the picture
Picture dictionaries are a wonderful way to teach words for concrete concepts like French house vocabulary.
Embellished with photographs, simple drawings or whimsical illustrations, you’re sure to find a dictionary that suits your style. Look for bilingual or French-only choices, depending on your learning level.
While many of these picture dictionaries are print books, several are available online or in e-book formats.
DK’s “First French Dictionary” has three chapters illustrating words used in la cuisine (kitchen), la chambre (bedroom) and la salle de bain (bathroom). The photos on each page are labeled with their names in French, along with English-language translations.
Look for the bonus phrases that use some of the words in context, as well as lists of extra words. There are even “Where’s Waldo?” type questions at the bottom of each page, asking you about the objects in the photos.
4. Watch cool videos
A great way to memorize vocab is to hear it used by native speakers in authentic contexts, which you can easily do by watching videos.
To save time, use a resource like FluentU to access tons of carefully-selected videos all in one place.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
It offers an entertaining way to reinforce the French house words that you’re learning and see how they’re used in everyday life.
Plus, using the interactive captions, you can tap on any word in a video to find out more about it and see it used in example sentences and other authentic videos.
Easily add French house words or other vocab to flashcard sets, and test your knowledge with interactive quizzes. Sign up for a free trial and work your way through the FluentU video library, paying particular attention to French house words. Soon, you’ll start to feel more at home with this useful vocabulary!
5. Use DIY sticky notes
In Alice Walker’s story, “The Color Purple,” Celie’s sister, Nettie, teaches her to read by affixing labels to household objects. Every time Celie looks around her house, she sees the words for important objects, such as the table, the curtains or the stove.
Take a page from “The Color Purple” and label items in your house in French.
Get a pack of your favorite sticky notes and spend a little time labeling various items in your house. Or, if you’re not into DIY projects, there are plenty of pre-made French labels out there for purchase. Every time you look around, you’ll be reminded of your French household vocabulary.
6. Re-design your vocab
Intermediate and advanced French learners who enjoy home design can practice their French house vocabulary by reading about la décoration intérieure (interior decorating) in French periodicals.
Try the DIY Déco section of Marie Claire or the Pièce par Pièce (Room by Room) section of Le Journal de la Maison (the House Journal) for starters.
150+ French House Vocabulary Words Because There’s No Place Like Home!
La Maison en Général (The House in General)
Before we begin our room-by-room breakdown, let’s look at words for la maison en général (the house in general).
la maison — house
chez — at/to the house (or place) of
This preposition usually indicates someone’s residence. Among many other uses, it can also refer to someone’s business, as in “Les employés chez Carrefour travaillent fort” (“The employees at the Carrefour retail company work hard”).
la porte d’entrée — front door
la porte moustiquaire — screen door
La porte moustiquaire keeps out les moustiques (mosquitoes).
la sonnette — doorbell
Une sonnette can also refer to other types of bells, such as la sonnette d’alarme (alarm bell).
Not to be confused with le sonnet, which is a literary form used by Shakespeare.
le portail — gate
Although le portail means the gate of a residence, it can also refer to the large door of a cathedral.
This word is similar to both la porte (door) in French and the word “portal” in English. Be careful when pronouncing the second syllable, which includes a semi-vowel (-ail).
Try imitating these native speakers pronouncing portail.
le toit — roof
le grenier — attic
Un grenier can also mean “granary” in English, which, just like it sounds, is a barn where you store grain.
le garage — garage
la pelouse — lawn
le jardin — garden (sometimes used as “backyard”)
en bas — downstairs
en haut — upstairs
au premier étage — on the second floor (American English); on the first floor (British English)
au rez-de-chaussée — on the ground floor
La chaussée itself is the road or pavement, and le rez is the level. Therefore, this would be the floor of a building that is level with the street or sidewalk.
un escalier — staircase / stairs
While “stairs” is plural in English, it’s singular in French.
la copropriété — condominium
un appartement — apartment (American English); flat (British English)
le balcon — balcony
la terrasse — terrace
le cour — courtyard
Now, we’ll lay out the blueprint for some of our favorite rooms in the house, along with common furnishings and household objects.
Le Salon (Living Room)
le meuble — piece of furniture
le canapé — sofa / couch
le bout de canapé — end table
la lampe — lamp
le coussin — throw pillow / cushion
la causeuse — loveseat
le fauteuil / le fauteuil de salon — armchair
le fauteuil relax — recliner
la table basse — coffee table
la télé / la télévision — television
If you want to specifically say “TV set,” as opposed to just “the TV” or “the television,” it’s le poste de télévision.
la télécommande — remote control
la magnétoscope numérique / l’enregistreur numérique — DVR (digital video recorder)
le lecteur de DVD — DVD player
la console de jeux vidéo — gaming console
la chaîne stéréo — stereo system
le haut-parleur — stereo speaker
La Cuisine (Kitchen)
la vaisselle — dishes
le lave-vaisselle — dishwasher
le four à micro-ondes / le micro-ondes — microwave
le grille-pain — toaster
le mixeur — mixer
le four — oven
la cuisinière — stove
la cocotte — cooking pot
la casserole — saucepan
This word shouldn’t be confused with the English word, which usually refers to an oven-cooked meal, such as green bean casserole, tater-tot casserole or cheesy macaroni casserole.
la poêle — frying pan
la batterie de cuisine — pots and pans (collectively)
la cafetière — coffee maker
l’évier (m.) — kitchen sink
le réfrigérateur — refrigerator
The English slang term “fridge” can be translated as le frigo or le frigidaire.
le garde-manger — pantry
le placard — kitchen cabinet / cupboard
le plan de travail — countertop
La Salle à Manger (Dining Room)
la chaise — chair
la table — table
la nappe de table — tablecloth
le napperon / le set de table — placemat
la serviette — napkin
l’assiette — plate
la tasse — cup
Of course, if you’re going for an espresso, you’d use une demitasse (a half-cup).
le verre — glass
le dessous de verre — coaster
Literally, a coaster in French is an “under(neath) the glass.”
le couteau — knife
la fourchette — fork
la cuiller / la cuillère — spoon
Note the “reformed” spelling, la cuiller.
la cuillère-fourchette — spork
This is also called la spork in French.
les couverts — flatware
la vitrine — hutch / dish cabinet
le bar — liquor cabinet
One way to remember this is that it sounds like the business that serves drinks.
le casier à bouteilles — wine rack
la bouteille de vin — bottle of wine
le pichet d’eau / la carafe d’eau — pitcher of water
La Chambre (Bedroom)
le lit — bed
le matelas — mattress
le sommier — box spring
le drap — sheet
le drap-housse / le drap contour — fitted sheet
le drap plat — flat sheet
la couverture — blanket
l’édredon — quilt
This is similar to the word “eiderdown” in English, which also refers to a down-filled quilt.
la couette — comforter (American English); duvet (British English)
The word duvet itself means “down” in French, as in “feathers.”
l’oreiller — pillow
la taie d’oreiller — pillowcase
la table de chevet — nightstand
The term chevet means “bedside.” It can also be used in phrases like, “Elle était restée au chevet de lui pendant qu’il était malade” (“She had stayed at his bedside when he was ill”).
la lampe de chevet — bedside lamp
le réveil — alarm clock
la coiffeuse — dresser
This sounds similar to the word coiffure (hairstyle). A dresser can store your clothing but its surface sometimes holds a vanity tray with hairstyling accesories.
la boîte à bijoux — jewelry box
la commode — chest of drawers
In English, “commode” is an old-fashioned word for “toilet.”
la garde-robe — wardrobe
This French word is similar to its English equivalent. Garder in French means “to keep,” so this would be where you keep your robes (dresses and other clothing).
la penderie — closet
Think of the English word “pendant,” which refers to something that hangs from your neck. A penderie (closet) is where you hang your clothes.
La Salle de Bains (Bathroom)
le lavabo — sink
le robinet — faucet
la toilette — toilet
le papier-toilette — toilet paper
la douche — shower
la baignoire — bathtub
Le bain is the bath you take while in la baignoire (the bathtub).
Se baigner, the related verb, means “to bathe oneself” or “to have a bath.” It can also mean “to go swimming.” (This is similar to the way “bathing suit” is interchangeable with “swimsuit” in English.)
le miroir — mirror
le peigne — comb
la brosse à cheveux — hairbrush
la brosse à dents — toothbrush
Notice that the terms for “toothbrush” and “hairbrush” follow the same pattern.
le dentifrice — toothpaste
le fil dentaire — dental floss
l’eau dentifrice / le bain de bouche — mouthwash
Le bain de bouche is literally “mouth bath.”
le shampooing — shampoo
l’après-shampooing / la crème démêlante — conditioner
Démêlant derives from the verb mêler, which means “to mix” or “to muddle up.” When your hair gets tangled—messed, muddled or mixed up—la crème démêlante can detangle it.
le sèche-cheveux — hair dryer
le rasoir — razor
la crème à raser — shaving cream
Le Bureau (Home Office)
le téléphone — telephone
le répondeur téléphonique — answering machine
la barre d’alimentation / la bande d’alimentation — power strip
la prise de courant — electrical outlet
le parasurtenseur / le limiteur de surtension — surge protector
la bibliothèque — bookshelf
The word bibliothèque also means “library,” as in la Bibliothèque du Congrès (the Library of Congress).
l’écran — monitor
le fax / le télécopieur — fax machine
le clavier — keyboard
The French word for keyboard, clavier, can also refer to the keyboard of a musical instrument (such as a piano or organ) or to a synthesizer (the electronic musical instrument).
la souris — mouse
le tapis de souris — mousepad
Le tapis de souris is the carpet (tapis) where your computer’s mouse hangs out.
l’ordinateur — computer
le classeur — filing cabinet
Le classeur à feuillets mobiles is a ring binder, but le classeur by itself can be used to name the piece of furniture where you keep your dossiers (files) organized.
Le classeur is related to the verb classer, which means to classify, organize or file.
La Blanchisserie (Laundry Room)
le lave-linge / la machine à laver — washer / washing machine
le détachant — stain remover
l’adoucissant — fabric softener
la lessive — laundry detergent
Faire la lessive means to do laundry. La lessive is the washing process. However, the laundry itself is le linge.
Laver le linge means to wash dirty laundry. It’s also used in the expression laver la linge sale en famille, which means to not air one’s dirty laundry in public.
l’eau de Javel — bleach
The French word for bleach is derived from “Quai de Javel” in Paris. This was where French chemist Claude-Louis Berthollet invented a form of chlorine bleach in 1789.
la sécheuse / le sèche-linge — dryer
la feuille assouplissante — dryer sheet
This literally means “the softening sheet.”
le cintre — clothes hanger
le panier à linge — clothes basket
Le Sous-sol (Basement)
le fourneau — furnace
le chauffe-eau — water heater
le disjoncteur — circuit breaker
un atelier — workshop
Be it ever so humble, there’s nothing like French house vocabulary.
You can use it wherever you may roam, near or far from home.
Michelle Baumgartner is a language nerd who has formally studied seven languages and informally dabbled in at least three others. In addition to geeking out over slender vowels, interrogative particles, and phonemes, Michelle is a freelance content writer and education blogger. Find out more at stellawriting.com.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.