The Language Nook – Le coin langues

Doing nothing: 10 ways to say so in French and in English

Do you enjoy doing nothing when on holiday? Learn 10 ways to say you do nothing in French

by | 19 Jul 2016 | English-French Vocabulary


It’s summer! For most of us, summer goes hand in hand with holiday – or vacation for American speakers.

You may decide to travel or to stay home and enjoy the company of your family and friends. Or you may want an active holiday. But, frankly, a holiday is also the opportunity to have a rest and do nothing at all!

In English, you know how to vary your vocabulary and say rest, relax, laze, bask in the sun, take it easy, loaf around or about, twiddle your thumbs, be idle, loll about, lie around.

There are many other words still to talk about doing nothing. Do you favour one specific phrase or verb? If so, please add it in the comments below so learners of English can improve their vocabulary further!

And you, if you are an English native speaker, do you know how to say to do nothing in French? Maybe you already know “ne rien faire“, but how about learning more French verbs? Here is a list of ten ways to say do nothing in French:

  • se reposer,
  • se détendre,
  • relaxer,
  • lézarder,
  • buller, coincer sa bulle,
  • se la couler douce,
  • flemmarder
  • se tourner les pouces,
  • traînasser,
  • se prélasser

On the picture, you can read the French-English equivalents on each line, even if some of them can actually have several possible translations. For instance, you can use both se détendre and relaxer to translate the English verb to relax.

There you are! Now you can enjoy your summer vacation and do nothing even in French! 😉


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  1. ellen

    Thanks Yolaine for the timely and informative post. Now I just have to learn the new expressions and use them.

    • Yolaine

      Sure Ellen, I hope you will enjoy practicing the new expressions. Have a great vacation! 🙂


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