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  5. Loisirs vs. Passe-temps.


Loisirs vs. Passe-temps.

What is the difference between the meaning and the usage of the words "loisirs" and "passe-temps"? Examples would be appreciated.

Quelle est la différence entre la signification et l'utilisation des mots "loisirs" et "passe-temps"? (My most likely incorrect French translation).

Thank you.

April 4, 2018



Technically "un loisir" is something you like to do during your free time and "un passe-temps" is something you do during your free time, literally to "past the time", the notion of pleasure is not necessary in "passe-temps"

But to be fair, french people use them as synonyms.


What a great question! I would distinguish them like this:

passe-temps: could be crosswords, crocheting, things of that sort. They engage the mind, there may be a plan, but it falls below the level of being passionate about the activity.

loisir: relates to doing things that give pleasure and relaxation, and doing these at leisure. Recreational activities.

Here are examples: https://www.linguee.fr/francais-anglais/search?source=auto=loisirs

try it, www.linguee is a great site for uncovering the different nuances. You can search a whole sentence or an expression, and linguee will show you various similar sentences. You can search "loisirs passe-temps"

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