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tex's french grammar
causative faire
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1. objects in causative faire constructions
  2. pronouns
  3. se faire' + infinitive

The causative faire construction (faire + infinitif) indicates that the subject 'causes' an action to be done by someone or something else. Contrast the following sentences:

Tex répare sa voiture? Mais non, Tex ne sait pas réparer les voitures.   Tex is fixing his car? (himself) But no, Tex doesn't know how to fix cars.
Tex fait réparer sa voiture au garage.   Tex is having his car fixed at a garage. (by a mechanic)

In causative constructions the verb faire may be conjugated in any tense, for example the periphrastic future (futur proche) or the passé composé (Tex va faire réparer sa voiture. Tex a fait réparer sa voiture. etc.)

objects in causative faire constructions
The causative faire construction is often followed by noun or pronoun objects. If there is one object, it is a direct object (sa voiture in the example above, or Tammy in the first sentence below). In the case of two objects, as in the second sentence below, one will be direct (la Marseillaise) and the other indirect (Tammy).

Tex fait chanter Tammy.   Tex makes Tammy sing.
Tex fait chanter la Marseillaise à Tammy.   Tex makes Tammy sing the Marseillaise.

Object pronouns precede faire, except in the affirmative imperative. Note the position of the pronouns in the following examples.

Tex la fait réparer.   Tex is having it fixed. (his car)
Tex la fait chanter.   Tex makes her sing. (Tammy)
Corey: Fais-la chanter!   Corey: Have her sing!
Tammy: Allons, enfants de la patrie ...   Tammy: Allons, enfants de la patrie ...
Joe-Bob: Ne la fais pas chanter!   Joe-Bob: Don't have her sing!
don't have her sing!

'se faire' + infinitive
Another causative construction involves the use of se faire + infinitive to indicate something a person or thing has done to himself.

run over by a truck
Rita s'est fait faire une robe noire pour l'enterrement de ses parents.   Rita had a black dress made (for herself) for the funeral of her parents.

However, sometimes this construction may be used to describe actions that happen inadvertently, despite the wishes of the subject. Tex explains what happened:

Tex: Mes parents se sont fait écraser par un camion.   Tex: My parents were killed by a truck. (They got themselves run over by a truck.)

Note that the past participle fait is always invariable in the causative construction.

fill in the blanks
Give the correct form of the verb indicated in parentheses.
1. Mes parents ______ une maison à la campagne. (faire construire-present)

2. Tex ______ les verbes aux étudiants. (faire étudier-present)

3. Rita ______ la chambre aux enfants. (faire ranger-passé composé)

4. Nous______ des fleurs à Fiona. (faire envoyer-future)

5. Rita et ses enfants ______ leur maison. (faire vendre-futur proche)

6. Bette et Tammy, ______ tout de suite les valises! (faire descendre-imperative)

7. Corey est très malade. Donc, il ______ le médecin. (faire venir-present)

8. Joe-Bob, est-ce que tu ______ les cheveux? (se faire couper-futur proche)

9. Je ______ une robe pour Tammy. (faire faire-present)

10. Tammy ______ des chansons acadiennes à Paw-Paw. (faire chanter-future)

11. Pauvre Tex, il ______ en France. (se faire arrêter-passé composé)

12. Rita ______ une lettre aux enfants pour l'anniversaire de Paw-Paw. (faire écrire-passé composé)