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  • French Verb FAIRE: How to Conjugate

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January 20, 2021

Faire is the fourth most commonly used verb in French, so it’s a must-learn verb for you. It mainly means ‘to do’ or ‘to make’ but it has different meanings too at different times.

Faire is used in many phrases you might like to use when talking about your leisure activities or what you do in the home, as well as in some idiomatic phrases and when talking about some weather conditions.

In this article, you’re going to learn about some of the more common uses of this verb, and there is a short quiz at the end to help you remember some of the key parts and uses of the verb.

Uses of Faire

Faire is an irregular verb, so it doesn’t follow a particular pattern when you conjugate it. The good news, though, is that it isn’t too irregular. Regarding the two different meanings of the verb, sometimes it is obvious whether it means ‘to do’ or ‘to make’ and sometimes it doesn’t matter. And yes, sometimes, it doesn’t translate directly to either meaning.

Faire is used in three different ways.

  1. 1
    In its simplest sense, it tells you what is being done or made. Exemple: Elle fait ses devoirs (She’s doing her homework). This will include talking about some - but not all - of your household activities. Example: Je fais le ménage (I do the housework) and Il fait la vaisselle (He does the washing up). Also, you’ll use it to talk about some of your leisure activities. Example: Je fais du sport (I do sport) and Tu fais du ski (You ski).
  2. 2
    It is used in idiomatic phrases. These are common expressions that mean something different to the literal meaning of the words. Example: Faire attention (To pay attention or to watch out).
  3. 3
    And in the third person singular, you will find it used to describe some weather conditions. Example: Il fait froid (It’s cold).

Click on this link to see some of the more common uses of Faire, as well as some more idiomatic phrases to make you sound more French.

Conjugation of the French Verb Faire

As you now know, this is an irregular verb, but its form isn’t too complicated. Keep repeating it and listening to the audio, and you’ll learn it in no time. Let’s review the conjugation of Faire in the indicative mood.

How to conjugate Faire in the present tense (Présent)

Je faisI do, I make
Tu faisYou do, you make
Il / elle faitHe / she does, he / she makes
Nous faisonsWe do, we make
Vous faitesYou do, you make
Ils / elles fontThey do, they make

How to conjugate Faire in the Imparfait

The imperfect is used to create a sense of something that continued happening in the past. In English we would say ‘I was doing something’ or that ‘I used to do it’.

Je faisaisI was doing, I was making
Tu faisaisYou do, you make
Il / elle faisaitHe / she does, he / she makes
Nous faisionsWe do, we make
Vous faisiezYou do, you make
Ils / elles faisaientThey do, they make

How to conjugate Faire in the Futur 

Je feraiI will do, I will make
Tu ferasYou will do, you will make
Il / elle feraHe / she will do, he / she will make
Nous feronsWe will do, we will make
Vous ferezYou will do, you will make
Ils / elles ferontThey will do, they will make

How to conjugate Faire in the Passé Composé

J’ai faitI did, I made
Tu as faitYou did, you made
Il / elle a faitHe / she did, he / she made
Nous avons faitWe did, we made
Vous avez faitYou did, you made
Ils / elles ont faitThey did, they made

How to conjugate Faire in the Passé Simple 

Je fisI did, I made
Tu fisYou did, you made
Il / elle fitHe / she did, he / she made
Nous fîmesWe did, we made
Vous avez fîtesYou did, you made
Ils / elles firentThey did, they made

How to conjugate Faire in the Plus-que-Parfait

J’avais faitI had done, I had made
Tu avais faitYou had done, you had made
Il / elle avait faitHe / she had done, he / she had made
Nous avions faitWe had done, we had made
Vous aviez faitYou had done, you had made
Ils / elles avaient faitThey had done, they had made

How to conjugate Faire in the Passé Antérieur

J’eus faitI had done, I had made
Tu eus faitYou had done, you had made
Il / elle eut faitHe / she had done, he / she had made
Nous eûmes faitWe had done, we had made
Vous eûtes faitYou had done, you had made
Ils / elles eurent faitThey had done, they had made

How to conjugate Faire in the Futur Antérieur

J’aurai faitI will have done, I will have made
Tu auras faitYou will have done, you will have made
Il / elle aura faitHe / she will have done, he / she will have made
Nous aurons faitWe will have done, we will have made
Vous aurez faitYou will have done, you will have made
Ils / elles auraient faitThey will have done, they will have made

How to conjugate Faire in the Subjunctive mood (Subjonctif)

How to conjugate Faire in Present Subjunctive (Subjonctif Présent)

que je fassethat I do, that I make
que tu fassesthat you do, that you make
qu’il / elle fassethat he / she does, that he / she makes
que nous fassionsthat we do, that we make
que vous fassiezthat you do, that you make
qu’ils / elles fassentthat they do, that they make

How to conjugate Faire in Imperfect Subjunctive (Subjonctif Imparfait)

que je fissethat I was doing, that I was making
que tu fissesthat you were doing, that you were making
qu’il / elle fîtthat he / she was doing, that he / she was making
que nous fissionsthat we were doing, that we were making
que vous fissiezthat you were doing, that you were making
qu’ils / elles fissentthat they were doing, that they were making

How to conjugate Faire in Past Subjunctive (Subjonctif Passé)

que j’aie faitthat I did, I made
que tu aies faitthat you did, you made
qu’il / elle ait faitthat he / she did, he / she made
que nous ayons faitthat we did, we made
que vous ayez faitthat you did, you made
qu’ils / elles aient faitthat they did, they made

How to conjugate Faire in Past Perfect Subjunctive (Plus-que-Parfait) 

que j’eusse faitthat I had done, I had made
que tu eusses faitthat you had done, you had made
qu’il / elle eût faitthat he / she had done, he / she had made
que nous eussions faitthat we had done, we had made
que vous eussiez faitthat you had done, you had made
qu’ils / elles eussent faitthat they had done, they had made

How to conjugate Faire in the Conditional Mood (Conditionnel)

How to conjugate Faire in the Present Conditional (Conditionnel Présent)

Je feraisI would do, I would make
Tu feraisYou would do, you would make
Il / elle feraitHe / she would does, he / she would make
Nous ferionsWe would do, we would make
Vous feriezYou would do, you would make
Ils / elles feraientThey would do, they would make

How to conjugate Faire in the Past Conditional (Conditionnel Passé)

J’aurais faitI would have done, I would have made
Tu aurais faitYou would have done, You would have made
Il / elle aurait faitHe / she would have done, he / she would have made
Nous aurions faitWe would have done, we would have made
Vous auriez faitYou would have done, you would have made
Ils / elles auraient faitThey would have done, they would have made

How to conjugate Faire in Participe

Présentfaisant
Passéfait
Passé Composéayant fait

How to conjugate Faire in the Imperative Mood (Impératif)

Présent(tu) fais
(nous) faisons
(vous) faites
Passé(tu) aies fait
(nous) ayons fait
(vous) ayez fait

How to conjugate Faire in the Infinitive Mood (Infinitif)

Présentfaire
Passéavoir fait

Quick Exercise - fill in the blanks

1. Je _____ la lessive le weekend.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Je fais la lessive le weekend.

2. Il _____ un potage avec des pommes de terre.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Il fait un potage avec des pommes de terre.

3. _____ ton lit, mon cher.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Fais ton lit, mon cher.

4. Ils _____ de la natation chaque dimanche.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Ils font de la natation chaque dimanche.

5. On dit qu’il _____ beau demain.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: On dit qu’il fera beau demain.

6. J’ai ____ peur a mon chat.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: J’ai fait peur a mon chat.

7. Il _______ trop chaud ce matin.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Il faisait trop chaud ce matin.

8. Nous _____ _______ une pizza pour les enfants.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Nous avons fait une pizza pour les enfants.

9. Qu’est-ce que vous ______ ____ hier soir?

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Qu’est-ce que vous avez fait hier soir?

10. Je _______ bâtir une maison, si j’avais assez d’argent.

Click to reveal the correct answer:

ANSWER: Je ferais bâtir une maison, si j’avais assez d’argent.

Conclusion

As the fourth most commonly used verb in French, you really do need to learn it thoroughly. It will reap huge rewards when you do. And the more verbs you learn, the more you’ll see patterns that help you easily memorize even irregular verbs like Faire.

If you thought learning verbs meant learning by rote and chanting your way through them, you’re mistaken. You can easily and naturally get them set in your memory if you use the audio drills every day.

Why don’t you check out the Verb Conjugation Course and see how easily it comes to you?

About the author 

Ginny Jackson

A self-confessed English francophile, Ginny loves immersing herself in French language and culture. Most of her working life has been spent teaching French to British pupils aged 2 to 18, as well as English as a foreign language to both school children and adults, in England and in France. Her teaching goal is to make learning fun and to find ways to enable learners to recall things easily, whether that's by identifying patterns, by making links with prior learning, or through mime and song. She spends as much of her free time as she can learning different languages---being able to communicate in a foreign language gives you such a buzz, it's well worth making the effort!

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