La Rutina – Describing your Daily Routine in Spanish

¿Qué haces todos los días? ¿Cuál es tu rutina diaria? These are two common questions to ask about someone’s daily routine in Spanish – la rutina diaria. In the previous lesson, we covered the most important words for everyday activities and made sentences with reflexive and non-reflexive verbs. This lesson will go a little further and teach you to use the right vocabulary, phrases and structures to describe your daily routine in Spanish to your friends or class. By the end of the lesson, we expect that you are able to write sentences and short descriptions about your daily routine in Spanish.

Vocabulary review: Daily routine in Spanish and reflexive verbs

First, we will review the vocabulary for daily activities. All the activities used to describe daily routines in Spanish are represented by verbs. This video explains how to conjugate Spanish reflexive verbs and use them to make sentences about everyday activities, as well as  how to ask what someone does every day and more. The final part of the video shows a short essay describing someone’s daily routine in Spanish for a typical day. The video is easy to follow and also includes many important things you will not find in the rest of the lesson. You can activate the subtitles (cc) if needed.

Describing daily routines in Spanish: examples and common verbs

Spanish reflexive verbs in daily routines

Most activities in daily routines are verbs in infinitive like JUGAR (to play) or COMER (to eat), and sometimes Spanish reflexive verbs such as DESPERTARSE (wake up) and VESTIRSE (get dressed). In order to conjugate reflexive verbs, you have to conjugate the first part of the verb following the rules for regular or irregular verbs, and add a reflexive pronoun that corresponds to the subject in the sentence. Too much, we know! That is why Spanish reflexive verbs are covered with a lot more details in an independent lesson. That being said, DESPERTARSE will change to “(Yo) Me despierto”, “(Tú) Te despiertas”, “(Él/Ella/Usted)Se despierta”.

The first example of a daily routine will show someone talking about his morning routine in Spanish, “la rutina de la mañana”. Sequencing words like “Primero” (first), “Luego” (then), “Antes de” (before), “Después de” (after) and “Finalmente”(finally) will be used in most descriptions to connect ideas. This will make the descriptions more real and complete. Pay attention to the way the vocabulary for daily routines in the box is used to make meaningful sentences and a complete paragraph.

Despertarse, levantarse, bañarse, desayunar, cepillarse, vestirse, irse, regresar.

My morning routine in Spanish (using reflexive verbs)
Mi rutina diaria en español
Mi nombre es Ben. Yo me despierto a las seis de la mañana. Primero me levanto y luego me baño por 10 minutos. Antes de desayunar yo me cepillo los dientes y me visto. Después yo desayuno con mis hermanos y mis padres. Finalmente me voy a la escuela y regreso a mi casa al medio día.
Spanish daily routine paragraph translation
My name is Ben. I wake up at six o’clock. First I get up and then I take a shower for 10 minutes. Before breakfast I brush my teeth and get dressed. Then I have breakfast with my brothers and my parents. Finally I go to school and come back home at noon.

Non-reflexive verbs in daily routines

In the previous example, the guy was talking about his own routine so he used sentences with the structure “Yo me + verb + complement”. As you can see in that example, verbs like DESAYUNAR and REGRESAR do not need the reflexive pronoun ME because both of them are non-reflexive verbs in Spanish. For the verb IR, both “Yo me voy…” and “Yo voy…” are possible.

Using reflexive verbs for describing your daily routine in Spanish
Los verbos reflexivos

Here is a second example, but this time including some words for hobbies and likes (ME GUSTA + activity), as well as frequency adverbs such as “Siempre” (always), “De vez en cuando” (sometimes) and “A veces” (sometimes) , besides non-reflexive verbs in the same paragraph about a daily routine in Spanish.

Hacer, almorzar, descansar, hacer la tarea, estudiar, ver televisión, jugar, gustar, ayudar, limpiar, lavar, jugar.

My daily routine in Spanish (non-reflexive verbs)
Mi rutina diaria en español
Yo hago muchas actividades todos los días. Voy a la escuela en la mañana. Después de regresar almuerzo y descanso por una hora. Luego hago mis tareas y estudio para el día siguiente. Me gusta ver televisión y jugar videojuegos. También me gusta practicar deportes como futbol y beisbol de vez en cuando. Siempre ayudo a limpiar la casa, lavar los trastes y hacer los quehaceres en la casa. A veces voy al cine con mis amigos o jugamos juntos.
Spanish daily routine paragraph translation
I do many activities every day. I go to school in the morning. After returning I eat lunch and rest for an hour. Then I do my homework and study for the next day. I like watching TV and playing video games and I also like playing sports like soccer and baseball sometimes. I always help to clean the house, wash the dishes and do the household chores. Sometimes I go to the movies with my friends or play together.

Describing other people’s routine in Spanish

To talk about the activities that other people do on a daily basis, we will use Spanish reflexive pronouns that actually refer to these people, not only “ME”, for example: “Ella se baña” (she takes a shower), “Tú te vistes” (You get dressed) and so on.

You can even say if a person has an interesting (interesante), simple (sencilla) or busy (ocupada) routine. Besides, you can combine sentences about your daily routine in Spanish with sentences about others, eg. “Yo me levanto temprano y él se levanta tarde” (I get up early and he gets up late). Normally, all you need to know is which verbs will behave in a reflexive way and which will not. It all comes to practice and seeing examples, so here is one more daily routine description for you to learn a few more things.

Hacer, tener, levantarse, cocinar, ayudar, alistarse, ir, hacer los quehaceres, cenar, dormirse.

My family’s daily routine in Spanish
Nuestra rutina diaria en español
Yo hago muchas actividades todos los días. Tengo dos hijos, un niño y una niña. Me levanto a las 6 de la mañana, cocino el desayuno para nosotros y les ayudo a mis hijos a alistarse para ir a la escuela. Marcos se baña y se viste solo. Rosa hace muchas cosas por sí misma. Yo voy a mi trabajo a las 8 de la mañana. Cuando regreso hacemos los quehaceres juntos y cenamos. Los niños se duermen a las 10 de la noche. En general, es una rutina muy ocupada.
Spanish daily routine translation
I do many activities every day and have two children, a boy and a girl. I get up at 6 in the morning, cook breakfast for us and help my children get ready for school. Marcos bathes and dresses himself. Rosa does many things by herself. I go to my work at 8 in the morning. When we return we do the chores together and have dinner. The children go to sleep at 10 pm. In general, it is a busy routine..

Listening Activity: My daily routine in Spanish – Mi rutina diaria

Listen to two friends talking about daily routines in Spanish and chores. The phrases in the conversation are very similar to the ones in the examples above. Test your listening ability with the quiz. It will help you reinforce your knowledge about the topic.

Listening quiz: A busy daily routine - Una rutina ocupada

This quiz is about "la rutina diaria de Jasmín". Read each question carefully and answer according to the information provided in the conversation. There is a tip for every correct answer. Press “START” to begin.
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Conversation Script: Hablando de tu rutina diaria en español
Leo: Jasmín, ¿Crees que podemos trabajar en el proyecto mañana?
Jasmín: Bien… Leo, no puedo porque tengo que hacer varias cosas.
Leo: Esta bien! Creo que tienes una rutina muy ocupada…
Jasmín: Si, me levanto temprano en la mañana. Después me baño, me cepillo los dientes, me pongo maquillaje y me visto para ir a trabajar. Luego le ayudo a los niños a alistarse para ir a clase. ¿Sabías que Emma ya se peina sola y se pone su uniforme?
Leo: ¿En serio? Emma es una niña muy inteligente. ¿Y Roger también puede?
Jasmín: Si, el también. Después cocino el desayuno y comemos juntos. Luego ellos se van a la escuela y yo me voy a trabajar.
Leo: Me imagino que terminas cansada al final del día.
Jasmín: Si, lo bueno es que los niños me ayudan a limpiar la casa y lavar los platos.
Leo: ¡Qué bueno! Bien… ¿Qué te parece si trabajamos en el proyecto la próxima semana?
Jasmín: Me parece buena idea…

Practice and Writing: A short essay about your daily routine in Spanish

Someone's routine in Spanish - La rutina de alguien

This quiz will require you to complete a girl's daily routine in Spanish. It is a great exercise to practice reflexive pronouns and verbs, and learn some new things about this topic. Press “START” to begin.
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Write a short essay talking about your daily routine. You can simply write three paragraphs, one talking about your morning routine in Spanish, another about the activities you do in the afternoon and so on. If it is possible, share it with a native speaker and ask him about his as well. 

12 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed the different excercises and fun & games to help me to comprehend my Spanish work. They really helped me!

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