Faire les courses vs faire les magasins

Look at these examples:

Ma mère a fait les courses samedi matin.My mum went food shopping on Saturday morning

Elodie a fait du shopping avec sa mère. / Elodie a fait les magasins avec sa mère.Elodie went shopping with her mum.

In French, you have more than one way to say "to go shopping", depending on the context:

"Faire les courses" 

This expression refers exclusively to food and utilities shopping, like going to the supermarket.
Basically, any "not leisure" shopping!

 

"Faire les magasins/Faire du shopping" 

These expressions both refer to the pleasure side of shopping, such as clothes, entertainment shopping. "Faire du shopping" is more commonly used in speech.

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Examples and resources

faire les courses


Je ne fais jamais les coursesI never go food shopping
Ma mère a fait les courses samedi matin.My mum went food shopping on Saturday morning

faire les magasins / faire du shopping


Elodie a fait du shopping avec sa mère. / Elodie a fait les magasins avec sa mère.Elodie went shopping with her mum.
J'adore faire les magasins! / J'adore faire du shopping!I love to go shopping!
Avec mes copines, on va faire du shopping ce weekend.With my girlfriends, we're going shopping this weekend.
Thinking...