Quand je fais une telle liste en anglais, j'écris des actions à l'impératif et des objects, comme ça :

  1. Take out trash
  2. Clean room
  3. Laundry

Mais quand je le fais en français, mes verbes sont à l'infinitif parce que ça sonne le plus naturel à mes oreilles anglaises :

  1. Sortir la poubelle
  2. Nettoyer ma chambre
  3. Linge

Y a-t-il un style typique ou une « règle » pour une liste française ? Comment les français font-ils une telle liste ?

  • 1
    I haven't seen the format enough times to justify giving a full answer, but to my ears, you've got it exactly right. The imperative would sound a little odd (like ordering oneself: "Sors la poubelle !"). And as English speakers would casually omit a verb for "laundry", French speakers can too. Although certain motivational authors might say you need an "action" tied to every to-do item. ;) However, "buanderie" is a laundry room or laundromat; if you mean "aller à la buanderie", okay, but simply doing the laundry would be summarized by the word "linge" instead.
    – Luke Sawczak
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 16:43
  • 2
    Related: french.stackexchange.com/questions/11626/… Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 17:20
  • 1
    buanderie is a laundry room so unless one has a château, aller there sounds a bit over the top. That said: la laverie is really a laundromat.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 17:26
  • I would add that the list should be uniform, as a soft requirement: if you start the first 2 items with verbs, continue on with verbs: laver le linge.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 18:10
  • 1
    For a quick 'n' dirty "todo list", there aren't really any rules of the French language :-)
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


As far as I know, there is no such official rule in French. Your english ears are pretty right though: the most natural and logic way to list actions is to use the infinitive form (because that's what you need to do !).

Aujourd'hui, j'ai besoin de :

  1. Sortir la poubelle

  2. Nettoyer ma chambre

  3. Laver mon linge (sale)

But if this list is supposed to be read by you only, you can basically put any keyword you want (chambre, linge, poubelle), as long as you understand what you meant... ;)

Some additional tips for you, if this list was more than just an example for the question. As a French speaker, I would have said :

  1. Sortir les* poubelles

  2. Nettoyer ma chambre

  3. Faire une machine**

  • * : Even though it might seem odd, it sounds slightly more natural to use les poubelles even if you have only one trash bag. La poubelle often refers to the trashcan itself, not the bag you put in !

  • ** : If you are building something that looks like a to-do-list, perhaps you'd prefer using the informal (but super-cool, and widely used idiom !) faire une machine, that litterally means doing the laundry !

  • 1
    Merci de votre aide, surtout pour les trucs ! Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 18:18

Je vais parier que la règle est: utiliser la conjugaison qu'on utiliserait suivi de "Je dois".

"Je dois sortir la poubelle" -> "Sortir la poubelle"

"Je dois nettoyer ma chambre" -> "Nettoyer ma chambre"

"I have to take out the trash" -> "Take out the trash".

"I have to clean my room" -> "Clean my room".

En éliminant la partie invariable on tombe naturellement sur une liste de tâches.

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