French Grammar: The Verb [FAIRE] with Other Expressions

French Grammar: The Verb [FAIRE] with Other Expressions

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French Grammar: The Verb [FAIRE] with Other Expressions
la grammaire française: le verbe FAIRE avec autres usages

The verb FAIRE means to do or to make (I do, you do, he/she does, etc.… / I make, you make, he/she makes, etc…). The verb FAIRE is extremely commonly used in French.  It is also used in a variety of vocabulary expressions.


See the LEAF French Grammar Lesson: The Verb FAIRE – Introduction

FAIRE is an irregular verb in the present tense:

Il / Elle / On FAIT
Ils / Elles FONT

Je FAIS mes devoirs.
I do my homework.

Nous FAISONS un gâteau.
We make a cake.

a) FAIRE is used in a number of different expressions having to do with such topics as the weather, sports/hobbies/pastimes, and household chores.

b) FAIRE occurs in the following colloquial (that is, informal) expressions used in spoken French:

Aussitôt dit, aussitôt fait. : No sooner said than done.

Ça ne fait rien. : It doesn’t matter.

C’est bien fait pour toi! : Serves you right!

C’est la goutte qui fait déborder le vase : That’s the straw that broke the camel’s back

C’est plus facile à dire qu’à faire. : Easier said than done.

Fais gaffe! : Watch out! / Careful!

Fais voir! : Let me see!

Faites comme chez vous! : Make yourselves at home!

Il n’y a rien à faire. : Nothing can be done. / It’s hopeless.

Je n’en ai rien à faire. : I couldn’t care less.

c) FAIRE is also used in math expressions:

deux et trois font cinq : two plus three equals (makes) five

huit fois quatre font trente-deux : eight times four equals (makes) thirty-two

d) When FAIRE is followed by an infinitive, it takes on the sense of either causing something to happen or of having something done.  Click here to learn about The Causative Construction – [FAIRE] + Infinitive.

e) FAIRE is also used in a wide variety of idiomatic expressions.

f) When using an expression with faire du…/faire de la…/faire de l’…/faire des… in a negative statement, the du, de la, de l’, or des becomes de.

J’aime faire du jardinage en été mais je n’aime pas faire de jardinage en hiver!
I like to garden in the summer, but I don’t like to garden in the winter!


Combien font vingt moins treize?
How much is twenty minus thirteen?

Vingt moins treize font sept.
Twenty minus thirteen equals (makes) seven.

Bienvenue! Entrez et faites comme chez vous!
Welcome! Come in and make yourselves at home!

Tu as le nouveau iPhone? Fais voir!
You have the new iPhone? Let me see!