Taking A Shower In French Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Vocabulary

Talking about basic necessities is difficult when you don’t know le vocabulaire. Many textbooks go over a lot of useful information, but miss things like what to do in an emergency or how to say conditioner.

Image by Oscar E. on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Every trip au magasin (to the store) is a learning experience en France. Whether I am trying to figure out the difference between detergent and softeners, not knowing how to ask for un tournevis, or buying un nouveau lit, I have learned a lot of new vocabulary au magasin.

Par exemple (for example), there were beaucoup de nouveaux mots (many new words) waiting for me in la salle de bains (the bathroom). From l’après-shampooing (conditioner) to le gel douche (body wash), the first time I needed to buy bathroom supplies was an exercise in new vocabulary.

Outside of everything for la douche (the shower), I also had to think about le lavabo (the bathroom sink). I needed to buy une brosse à dents et le dentifrice (a toothbrush and toothpaste) unless I wanted to visit le dentiste!

Finalement (in the end), I learned le nouveau vocabulaire and was able to buy my bathroom supplies, even if I didn’t recognize les marques (the brands)!

Voici un vocabulaire de la salle de bains :

La douche – Shower
Prendre une douche – To take a shower
Le rideau de douche – Shower curtain
La pomme de douche – Shower head
Le bain – Bath
Prendre un bain – To take a bath
La baignoire – Bathtub
L’eau chaude – Hot water
L’eau froide – Cold water
Le savon – Soap
Le gel douche – Body wash
Le shampooing – Shampoo
L’après-shampooing – Conditioner
Le gant de toilette – Washcloth
La serviette – Towel
Le drap de bain – Bath towel
La serviette (de toilette) – Hand towel
Le lavabo – Bathroom sink
L’évier – Kitchen sink
Le robinet – Faucet (US), Tap (UK)
La brosse à dents – Toothbrush
Le dentifrice – Toothpaste
Le bain de bouche – Mouthwash
Le fil dentaire – Dental floss
Le coupe-ongles – Nail clippers
Le mouchoir (en papier) – Tissue
Le coton-tige, Le bâtonnet ouaté – Cotton Buds (Q-Tips)

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. Ln:

    Taking a shower is prendre une Douche and mouthwash is bain de Bouche.

    • John Bauer:

      @Ln Merci Ln ! Je les ai corrigées 😀

  2. Patricia:

    I like your blog !!!! Thanks for sharing !

  3. Susan Goudail:

    Bain de douche cannot be mouthwash. I think it is a typo and you meant bain de bouche perhaps?

    • John Bauer:

      @Susan Goudail Merci pour votre commentaire Susan ! I’ve fixed les fautes de frappe 😀

  4. Susan Goudail:

    Really enjoy your blog! Love to share it with my students.

  5. Claire:

    salle de bains (bains should have an s)

    eau is feminine => l’eau chaude + l’eau froide (adjectives must have feminine endings)

    bath towel = un drap de bain
    hand towel = serviette (de toilette)
    We don’t use ‘serviette à main’

    coton-tige should not have capital C and capital T

    le robinet = faucet (US) – tap (UK)

    • John Bauer:

      @Claire Merci pour votre commentaire Claire ! J’ai corrigé les fautes 😀