How to Say “I Went to Work” in French: Formal and Informal Ways

Learning how to express yourself in different languages can open doors to new experiences and connections. If you’re looking to communicate in French and want to talk about going to work, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we will explore formal and informal ways to say “I went to work” in French, with various examples and tips to help you along the way.

Formal Expressions for Saying “I Went to Work” in French

When communicating in a more formal setting, such as in professional or business environments, it’s essential to use appropriate language. Here are a few ways to say “I went to work” in French formally:

  1. “Je suis allé(e) travailler.” This is the most common and straightforward way to express “I went to work” in French. The verb “aller” means “to go,” and when combined with the past participle “travailler” (to work), it creates the past tense structure. Make sure to match the verb form (allé for males, allée for females) with your gender.
  2. “Je me suis rendu(e) au travail.” In this expression, the reflexive verb “se rendre” (to go) is used, followed by “au travail” (to work). The past participle “rendu(e)” agrees with the gender of the speaker. This phrase has a slightly more formal tone and can be used in professional contexts.
  3. “J’ai accompli ma journée de travail.” This sentence translates to “I fulfilled my workday” and is suitable for discussing completing a day’s work. It implies finishing your work responsibilities rather than merely going to work.

Informal Expressions for Saying “I Went to Work” in French

When speaking in a more casual or informal environment, such as with friends or family, you can use different expressions to communicate “I went to work” in French. Here are some informal options:

  1. “Je suis allé(e) bosser.” The verb “bosser” is a more colloquial way of saying “to work” in French. It’s commonly used in informal conversations and has a similar meaning to “travailler.” Again, adjust the verb form to match your gender.
  2. “J’ai été au taf.” In this expression, “taf” is a slang term for “travail” (work). It is commonly used in spoken French and among younger generations. “J’ai été” is the past tense of the verb “aller” (to go) and literally means “I went to.”

Examples and Tips for Using “I Went to Work” in French

To gain a deeper understanding of how to use these phrases effectively, let’s take a look at some examples that demonstrate their usage:


  • “Hier, je suis allé(e) travailler dès huit heures du matin.”
  • “Je me suis rendu(e) au travail en utilisant les transports en commun.”
  • “J’ai accompli ma journée de travail malgré les défis rencontrés.”


  • “Ce matin, je suis allé(e) bosser avec mon collègue.”
  • “Je suis arrivé(e) en retard au taf à cause des embouteillages.”

Here are a few additional tips to help you use these phrases naturally:

  • Gender Agreement: Pay attention to verb agreement with your own gender. If you identify as male, use the masculine form (allé), and if you identify as female, use the feminine form (allée).
  • Verb Conjugation: Practice verb conjugation to ensure you’re using the right form of the verb “aller” depending on the subject and tense.
  • Context Matters: Consider the setting and the formality of the conversation before choosing between formal or informal expressions.
  • Listen and Learn: Listen to native French speakers or use language learning resources to hear how these expressions are used in real-life scenarios.

Regional Variations

French is spoken in various regions worldwide, and each may have its own regional nuances and vocabulary. While the expressions provided in this guide are commonly used throughout French-speaking regions, it’s essential to be aware of regional variations. If you encounter unfamiliar expressions or vocabulary, don’t hesitate to ask locals for guidance.

Remember, language learning is an exciting journey, and while regional variations exist, mutual understanding can always be achieved with the standard French language.

Now that you have an arsenal of formal and informal expressions to say “I went to work” in French, you’re ready to confidently communicate in diverse situations. Keep practicing, immersing yourself in the language, and exploring new vocabulary and expressions to expand your French fluency!

Written by Tracy Gail

Bonjour! I'm Tracy, your friendly, multi-lingual guide to everything French! When I'm not indulging in un croissant aux amandes (almond croissant) at my local café, I'm teaching you the sweet words to say "Hello" to that collègue charmant (handsome colleague) or the formal sentence to discuss your medical school attendance. My love for language, travel, and international cuisine led to this exciting journey on petits conseils (little tips) for speaking French. Whether you need informal phrases or formal vocabulary, look no further! Welcome and let's say Bonjour à la Française!

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