Guide: How to Say “Work” in French – Formal and Informal Ways

Gaining the ability to express yourself fluently in another language opens up a world of opportunities. If you’re looking to expand your French vocabulary, it’s essential to learn how to express common English words and phrases accurately. In this guide, we will explore various ways to say “work” in French, both formally and informally. Whether you’re using French in a professional setting or conversing with friends, this guide has got you covered. Let’s dive in!

Formal Ways to Say “Work” in French

When communicating in a formal environment, such as a business meeting or professional email, it’s important to choose appropriate and respectful language. Here are some formal ways to say “work” in French:

1. Travail (noun)

Example: Le travail que vous avez accompli est remarquable. (The work you have accomplished is remarkable.)

The word “travail” is the most common and widely-used term for “work” in French, suitable for formal conversations, presentations, and documents.

2. Emploi (noun)

Example: Je recherche un nouvel emploi. (I am looking for a new job.)

“Emploi” is another formal term used to refer to “work” or “employment.” It is frequently used when discussing job offers, applications, or one’s professional status.

3. Occupation (noun)

Example: Je suis à la recherche d’une occupation à temps partiel. (I am looking for a part-time occupation.)

If you want to discuss your occupation or engage in a formal conversation about various types of work, “occupation” is an appropriate word choice.

Informal Ways to Say “Work” in French

When chatting with friends or in casual conversations, a more relaxed vocabulary is used. Here are some informal ways to say “work” in French:

1. Boulot (noun)

Example: Elle adore son boulot en tant que professeur. (She loves her work as a teacher.)

“Boulot” is a widely used informal term for “work” or “job” in everyday conversations between friends or acquaintances.

2. Taf (noun)

Example: Ma sœur a enfin trouvé un taf génial. (My sister has finally found a great job.)

In more casual slang, “taf” can be used to refer to “work.” It is frequently used among younger generations or in informal settings.

Tips for Using the Word “Work” in French

Here are some additional tips to help you use the word “work” more accurately in French:

1. Keep context in mind

The appropriateness of certain terms may vary depending on the context. Words suitable for casual conversations might not be suitable in formal or professional settings, so be mindful of your audience and adapt accordingly.

2. Use appropriate verb forms

When talking about working, use the verb “travailler.” For example:

Example: J’aime travailler en équipe. (I like to work in a team.)

3. Expand your vocabulary

Learning alternative words for “work” can enrich your vocabulary and make your speech more diverse. Explore synonyms like “ouvrage” (work), “profession” (profession), or “métier” (occupation).

4. Practice common phrases

Getting familiar with commonly used work-related expressions will help you feel more confident when speaking French. Phrases such as “chercher un emploi” (to look for a job) or “travailler dur” (to work hard) can become handy in conversations.


In conclusion, knowing how to express “work” in different contexts and situations can greatly enhance your French language skills. When it comes to formal conversations, “travail,” “emploi,” and “occupation” are excellent word choices. On the other hand, for informal discussions, among friends or in casual settings, “boulot” and “taf” will serve you well. Remember to adapt your language accordingly and always keep expanding your vocabulary. Have fun incorporating these different terms for “work” into your French conversations!

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