Faire (To Make, To Do) Meaning, Usage, Example Sentences

Faire

The verb faire means to make or do and is one of the most useful and basic verbs in the French language. The verb is used in countless expressions and situations. On this page we’ll have a look at the various meanings and usages of faire with lots of example sentences.

basic meanings: to do and to make

Here it means to do:

  • Qu’est-ce que tu fais demain? What are you doing tomorrow?
  • Je ne fais rien ce matin. I’m not doing anything this morning.

In these examples faire means to make:

  • Est-ce que tu fais un gâteau ou une pizza? Are you making a cake or pizza?

talking about the weather

Faire is used to talk about the weather starting with the impersonal expression il fait. Here you’ll find a whole list of weather expressions.

  • Il fait beau. It’s nice out.
  • Il fait mauvais. It’s bad weather.

causing or provoking

Faire can translate to make, cause or provoke.

  • Les vagues dans la mer font du bruit. The waves in the sea make noise.

sports, hobbies, activities

Faire de + quelque chose is used to describe activities such as sports and music.

  • Elle fait du yoga. She does yoga.
  • Je fais de la gymnastique. I do gymnastics.
  • Il fait du piano. He plays piano.
  • Elle fait de la flute. She plays flute.

distance

Faire can mean to cover in terms of covering distance.

  • J’ai fait huit cent miles en un jour. I covered (went) 800 miles in one day.

school subjects

Faire de + school subject means to take or major in.

  • J’ai fait du Chinois à l’université. I studied Chinese in university.

causative construction

Faire + infinitive means to have something done.

  • Je fais réparer la voiture. I have the car repaired.
  • Je fais faire un costume. I have a suit made.

se faire

In an impersonal expression se faire translates to “is it that”.

  • Comment se fait-il qu’il est arrivé si tard? How is it that he arrived so late?

Se faire is a passive voice to mean “is done”.

  • Ça se fait pas en France! That isn’t done in France! (You don’t do that in France!)
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