When is ´ça fais’ or ´ça fait’ used? Does it refer to a time factor such as ´I’ve been waiting for five minutes’?

ColleenA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

When is ´ça fais’ or ´ça fait’ used? Does it refer to a time factor such as ´I’ve been waiting for five minutes’?

This question relates to:French lesson "to do, make"
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Coleen,

The following sentence: 

Ça fait cinq minutes que j'attends = I have been waiting for five minutes

is correct .

However 'fait' is always with a 't' in " ça fait, as 'ça'(contraction of 'cela') is an indefinite pronoun like 'it' and is always in the third person singular.

Please beware of "popular translation sites" as they are often wrong.... 

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Colleen,

"Fais" is the conjugation of "faire" for the 1st and 2nd persons singular: "je fais" or "tu fais".
"Fait" is the 3rd person singular: "il/elle/on fait".

If "ça" is the subject of the sentence, then you need 3rd person singular, hence "fait".

Tu fais ça. -- You are doing this.
Je fais ça. -- I am doing this.
Ça me fait mal ! -- That is hurting me!

-- Chris

ColleenA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you Chris for your helpful reply and these are phrases that I will incorporate into my conversations. 

I do have a dilemma, however. I encountered, on a very popular traduction site, the term 'ca fais' used when referring to a sense of time passing. For example: 'Ca fais tres longtemps.' = 'It's been a very long time'. My French friends tell me that this usage is wrong. 

Can you please clarify? Many thanks...Colleen

ColleenA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you very much, Cecile. This has really clarified things for me. I now realise that I may have misunderstood my French friends and that, like you, they were actually speaking of the 's' itself being wrong and not the phrase itself. 

I am so pleased to continue using one of now favourite phrases - with a 't' !

I hope one day there will be a truly reliable translation site. So very necessary...

Many thanks,

Colleen (in Southwest France)

Colleen asked:View original

When is ´ça fais’ or ´ça fait’ used? Does it refer to a time factor such as ´I’ve been waiting for five minutes’?

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