When you visit someone’s home, you likely want to compliment them on their great taste. Or maybe you just want to be able to talk about your hotel / “chambre d’hôte” (= bed and breakfast) with your new friends while on holiday in France. Either way, learning the French words for the rooms of the house is useful everyday French vocabulary!
I wanted to give you a lesson exclusively dedicated to these French words, so you can talk about any house or apartment, and the rooms in them, in French with confidence.
Learning goals: This is what you’ll be able to do after watching this lesson
- Beginner: Know the French words for all the “pièces principales” (= the main rooms)
- Intermediate / Advanced: Learn how to talk about all the rooms of the house with confidence
Bonjour c’est Géraldine.
Bienvenue sur Comme une Française. C’est parti !
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1) Les pièces principales
Les pièces principales are the main rooms of a house.
For instance, when you enter a house, you go through l’entrée (= the hall / the entrance hall).
From there, you often have access to le salon (= the living room) and/or la salle à manger (= the dining room.)
→ In many flats (such as mine!) these two rooms are the same: it’s un salon salle à manger (= a living / dining room)
We cook in la cuisine (= the kitchen).
→ In French, la cuisine américaine is an open-plan kitchen and is often in the same room as la salle à manger with some light separation.
→ (Advanced) From la cuisine, you can sometimes access le cellier (= the storeroom / the pantry) where some ingredients are kept.
We sleep in la chambre (= the bedroom.)
→ A spare bedroom is une chambre d’ami (= literally “a friend’s bedroom,” where friends can stay after a good dinner with wine and conversation that passes well into the night.)
We sometimes have le bureau (= the office) to work in.
Les toilettes / les WC (= toilets) are often (but not always) in a small separate room, and not in la salle de bain (= the bathroom, where the shower is.)
→ You can ask “Où sont les toilettes ?” (= where’s the bathroom?) without problem. If you ask “Où est la salle de bain?,” it sounds a bit like you want to take a shower.
Finally, le placard is a closet. And un couloir is a corridor, a hallway: a long space between rooms.
French words for main rooms shortlist:
Le salon = the living room
La salle à manger = the dining room
La chambre = the bedroom
La cuisine = the kitchen
La salle de bain = the bathroom
Les toilettes = the toilets
2) Maison ou appartement ?
Une maison is a house, un appartement is a flat or an apartment.
In spoken French, we shorten it to un appart. They’re stacked in un immeuble (= a building, with flats or offices.)
→ Un bon appart is a good flat. Or Napoleon! 😉
In French, we often say “À la maison” (= at home.) It’s also used for an apartment!
The extra mile:
Un studio is a one-room apartment (kitchen / living room / bedroom are the same room.) Un deux-pièces (or un T2) is a two-rooms flat. Un trois-pièces (or T3) is a three-rooms flat. The bathroom is always separate, of course; it doesn’t count as a room in this classification.
Un meublé is a furnished flat. Une colocation is a shared house/flat, with roomates (= les colocataires.)
À l’extérieur (= outside), you can find other “rooms.”
The smallest one is le balcon (= the balcony).
Some houses also have une terrasse (= a terrace / a deck) where you can enjoy a drink in summer evenings, for instance.
→ You can also enjoy la terrasse d’un restaurant / d’un bar / d’un café, a space in front (or at the back) of a restaurant / a bar / a café where they put chairs and tables.
We also have le jardin (= a garden) and le garage (= a garage.)
And finally, at the top of the house you can find le grenier (= the attic), and under the house, la cave (= the cellar).
Beware of les faux amis (= false cognates.)
“A cave” is une grotte. La cave is a cellar. And le cellier is a storeroom or pantry, as we saw earlier in the lesson!
Your turn now! What is the French word for:
- The attic
- The bathroom
- A furnished apartment
(Answers: le grenier – la salle de bain – un meublé)
→ ET TOI ?
Quel autre type de vocabulaire aimerais-tu apprendre ?
What other type of vocabulary would you like to learn?
Answer in the comments. In French, if you dare!
For example, you can write: “J’aimerais apprendre le vocabulaire autour du jardinage car j’adore m’occuper de mes rosiers.”
(“I’d like to learn the vocabulary of gardening, since I love to take care of my rose bushes.”)
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Allez, salut 🙂