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French summer essential vocabulary + Reading test

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

Summer or l'été in French language is one the favorite seasons of French people. It's the ideal time to forget about work, to travel, go on vacation, go to the beach or sea and enjoy holidays with family.

These recent years, summer has been impacted by the the COVID -19 pandemic situation, but there are still ways to enjoy your vacations.

Today we will see some keywords and expressions about summer (l'été) such as clothing names and activities you can do during summer and verbs to use in French.

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How to talk about summer in french and impress everyone

Essential Words for talking about summer (l'été)

Let's start with the must-know French word: l'été which means summer. The word été can also be used in compound tenses like passé composé, as the past participle of the verb être (to be). So, do not make the confusion!

For example :

  • L'été dernier, je suis allée au Canada. => Last summer, I went to Canada.

  • Hier, j'ai été malade .=> yesterday I have been sick.

When talking about summer, we think automatically of the words sun, beach and months like June, July, August. Here is how the essential words related to l'été are called in French.

  • le Soleil : sun

  • la chaleur : heat

  • la canicule : heat wave

  • la plage : the beach

  • la Mer : the sea

  • la Montagne : the mountain

  • les vacances d'été : summer holidays

  • juin : June

  • juillet : July

  • août : August

You will certainly need to know these verbs to be able to make a small talk about vacations and holidays.

  • Voyager : to travel

  • Partir en vacances : to go on vacation

  • Aller quelque part: to go somewhere

  • Visiter : to visit (talking about visiting places)

  • Nager : to swim

  • Se baigner : to swim

  • prendre son congé annuel : to take one's annual leave

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12 Favorite Summer activities in French

In general to talk about activities that we do, we use the essential French verb faire. During vacations, people's favorite activities can be :

  • faire du surf or surfer : to surf

  • faire de la plongée : to dive

  • faire de la natation : to swim

  • faire de la randonnée : to hike

  • faire du ski nautique : water skiing

  • aller dans les montagnes : to go in the mountains

  • aller à la plage : to go to the beach

  • la pêche : fishing (do not mix it up with the peach (fruit) which is written exactly the same way)

  • faire un pique-nique : to picnic

  • faire un barbecue : to have a barbeque

  • bronzer : to tan

  • se bronzer : to sunbathe