When would you use << faire >> as compared to other verbs? For example, "I am making a cake" as compared to "I am baking a cake".

When would you use << faire >> as compared to other verbs? For example, "I am making a cake" as compared to "I am baking a cake".

I guess I'm asking whether it's safe to substitute << faire >> for other French verbs that I haven't learnt if in English the verb can be replaced with "doing" or "making". 
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Terence,

The verb 'to build' is 'construire' in French .

So you will say, "Les ouvriers sont en train de construire une maison." = The builders are ( in the process of) building a house.

If you are having a house built , you will say "Je fais construire (une maison)".= I am having a house built.

There is a magazine called 'Je fais construire' which is all about house building . The word 'maison' is not mentioned as obvious in French.

If you are building the house  yourself you will need to add a little bit and say "Je construis ma ( propre) maison. (I am building my own house.) or, "J'ai construit ma maison (moi-même)."(I have built my own house).

Hope this helps!

 

CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Terence,

In this case, I don't think 'faire' is as ubiquitous as it is in English. It is however one of the pillars of  French verbs as it is used for other things apart from doing and making, in lots of different expressions and talking about the weather ...

Here are a few examples  with different uses of 'faire' :

Je fais beaucoup de fautes en anglais( I make a lot of mistakes in English.)

On fait la conversation en espagnol. (We converse in Spanish.)

Les enfants fonts des chateaux de sable au bord de la mer.

( The children are building sand castles at the seaside.)

In the examples you give, we would say,

`Je prépare le repas, je fais la vaisselle.'

In the case of to do up , just be careful with English phrasal verbs , as in French, we will always use the proper verb , in this case , 'boutonner'.

Hope this is clearer now...

 

To clarify, if I wanted to say, "I'm building a house", but I didn't know the French word for "building", would it be understandable if I said, << Je fais une maison >>?  

Hi Terence,

I don't believe "Je fais une maison" is the best way to say "I'm building a house". I am not 100% certain myself, but I would use one of the options below:

J'ai construis une maison. -- I am building a house. (If I am really builiding it myself.)
Je me fais construire une maison. -- I am having a house built.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Thanks Chris and Cécile for your responses. However, my question wasn't really about "building", as that was just an example, and I may have led you down the wrong path, but I do appreciate your responses. My question was more about when I can use the verb << faire >>. I understand it means "make/do" and in English these verbs can be used loosely in numerous situations where there may be more appropriate verbs, but still be accepted and understable.  For example, I could say:

"I'm making dinner" vs "I'm cooking dinner"
"I'm doing the dishes" vs "I'm washing the dishes"
"I'm doing up my shirt" vs "I'm buttoning up my shirt"

So my question is.. can << faire >> be used in similar situations as a substitute for more appropriate verbs that I am yet to learn?  Of course, once my verb vocabulary increases, I'd learn how to say "draw", "compose", "paint", etc and would use those verbs instead, but for now, whilst in conversation, if I said, << je fais une image >>, or << je fais une chanson >>, would that be understandable? 

French is far more specific than English. In fact, we misuse many words like make/do in English. Think of what a more specific word is in English, it’s likely the French word can easily be figured out. 

When would you use << faire >> as compared to other verbs? For example, "I am making a cake" as compared to "I am baking a cake".

I guess I'm asking whether it's safe to substitute << faire >> for other French verbs that I haven't learnt if in English the verb can be replaced with "doing" or "making". 

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