Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 38): le verbe – faire (l’usage)


Faire is one of the most common French verbs. It is irregular in conjugation and literally mean “to do” or “to make.”  Faire is also used in numerous idiomatic expressions and in the causative construction.

Je fais la lessive. I’m doing the laundry.
Je fais mes devoirs. I’m doing my homework.
Je fais du bricolage. I do odd jobs/DIY.
Je fais un gâteau. I’m making a cake.
Je fais des projets. I’m making plans.
Je fais des progrès. I’m making progress.

When “to make” is followed by an adjective, it is translated by rendre:

That makes me happy. Ça me rend heureux.

“To make a decision” is translated by prendre une décision:

I made a decision. J’ai pris une décision.

Faire is used in a number of idiomatic expressions, including some related to weather, sports, and math.

Il fait du soleil. It’s sunny.
Il fait froid. It’s cold out.

Je fais du ski. I ski.
Je fais du golf. I golf.
Note: faire + de (partitive articles) prior a sport/hobby noun.

Deux et deux font quatre. Two plus two equals (makes) four.

Je fais de l’autostop. I’m hitchiking.

Il fait à sa tête. He acts impulsively.

Ça fait parti de notre projet. That’s part of our plan.

The causative construction of faire + infinitive is used to describe when someone/something has something done, makes someone do something, or cause something to happen.

Je fais laver la voiture. I’m having the car washed.
Il m’a fait laver la voiture. He made me wash the car.
Le froid fait geler l’eau. Cold makes water freeze.

Here is the conjugation of faire in present tense:

je fais nous faisons
tu fais vous faites
il, elle, on fait ils, elles font

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