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 a 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 how to use the right vocabulary, phrases and structures to describe what you do daily to your friends or class. By the end of the lesson, we expect you to be able to write sentences and short descriptions about your daily routine in Spanish.

Vocabulary review: Daily routine and reflexive verbs in Spanish

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 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 passage describing someone’s daily routine in Spanish for a typical day. The video is easy to follow and also includes many important things that you will not find in the rest of the lesson. Please activate the captions (cc) if you need them.

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 agrees with 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“. Sequence 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.

Example No. 1

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

Mi rutina de la mañana en español (usando verbos reflexivos)

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.

Read English 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.

Example No. 2

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

Mi rutina diaria en español (verbos normales)

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 fútbol y béisbol 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.

Read English translation
I do many activities every day. I go to school in the morning. After I return, 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 reflexive pronouns that actually refer to other 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 activities that other people do, e.g. “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.

Example No. 3

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

La rutina diaria de mi familia en español

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.

Read English translation
I do many activities every day. I 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.
Read conversation script
Leo: Jasmín, ¿Crees que podemos trabajar en el proyecto mañana?
Jasmín: Bien… Leo, no puedo porque tengo que hacer varias cosas.
Leo: ¡Está bien! Creo que tienes una rutina muy ocupada…
Jasmín: Sí, 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: Sí, él 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: Sí, 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…

Extra practice: Finding the right order for a daily routine

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

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 possible, share it with a native speaker and ask him about his as well. 

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

  2. The lessons are good. However I find the music background very distracting. Much harder to concentrate.

  3. this was really helpful thank u…. i m currently in spanish 2 class and this really helped me understand
    THANKS! ;D

  4. Thanks for this man. My professor in college couldn’t teach me in 1 month what your website did in 20 minutes.

    1. Thanks! We’re happy you found the lesson useful. We will continue adding more and better content for learners like you. ¡Buen día! 🙂

    1. Muchas gracias por tu comentario. Seguiremos trabajando para crear nuevas lecciones y mejorar las que ya tenemos. Saludos hasta Filipinas 🙂

  5. Just a note that in your example about cooking that “Ella nos cocina el desayuno” is not a use of a reflexive verb but “nos” is the object of the verb. 🙂

    1. Yes, you are completely right. We will soon update the lesson to avoid any confusion we may have caused with direct or indirect object pronouns. ¡Gracias! ¡Un abrazo!

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