As I understand the lesson, faire du/de la is used for habitual activities and joue à is used for ongoing or current activities. Is this wrong?
If not, how come "Elle joue à la natation." is wrong for "She goes swimming"?
The lesson has "Tu fais de la natation" as an example where it means the person does this habitually/in a club or something. So wouldn't "Elle fait de la natation" mean "She swims", "She's in a swimming club" or something, i.e. that she swims habitually?
The verb 'jouer' means to play so you cannot play at swimming or dancing or skiing, for instance, so you will use only use faire in these cases -
So to a question like,
What sport do you like best? = Quels sports préférez-vous?
you might answer -
Je fais de la natation, du ski en hiver, ma femme fait de la danse, du tennis et de l'équitation
Je joue au rugby,/au football,/au tennis, le samedi matin
means that -
you play rugby/football/tennis on Saturday morning
Nous jouons aux échecs le soir = We play chess in the evening
Hope this helps!
As I understand it, faire de or jouer à can both be used for habitual activities and sports. I'm not sure (but don't think) you can exchange them. That's to say, the set phrase is "Elle fait de la natation." Now if you're talking about what she's doing in this very moment, you could say "Elle nage".
Your first sentence about the distinction between Faire de and jouer à is incorrect, and not as explained in the lesson. (I think you have confused this with the use of present tense without Faire de or jouer à for a current activity). 'Jouer à' translates best as 'plays (at)' - and as a strong general guide if you wouldn't say 'plays' the activity in English, you don't use «jouer à» in French either.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard