1. The “fare” causativo
Are you struggling to understand the construction of the Italian language that uses “fare” and infinitives? Don’t worry, it can be a bit confusing at first, but with some practice, you can easily learn to recognize and use it.
“Fare” is one of the most commonly used verbs in the Italian language and can be used in combination with another infinitive verb (such as “fammi vedere” or “lo faccio fare”). However, the translation of these phrases into English can be difficult, as it is not always straightforward.
Let’s take a look at an example to better understand this construction:
- Faccio riparare il frigo a mio fratello translates to I will have the fridge repaired by my brother.
You may have noticed the unique use of the verb “fare” and the infinitive in this sentence.
This combination is commonly referred to as the “fare causativo,” and it is frequently used in conversational Italian to express the idea of having something done by someone else.
There are two possible constructions:
|Example Italian Sentence
|1. Verb “fare” + action verb + “a” + person carrying out the action
|Faccio riparare il frigo a mio padre
|I will have my fridge repaired by my father
|2. Indirect object + action verb + “da” + person carrying out the action
|Mi faccio riparare il frigo da mio padre
|I am having my fridge repaired by my father
With a bit of practice, you can easily learn to recognize and use this construction in your own Italian conversations.
More examples :
|Ho fatto pulire l’appartamento a mio marito
|I had the flat cleaned by my husband
|Mi faccio tagliare i capelli da mia zia
|I have my hair cut by my auntie
|Non preoccuparti! Lo faccio fare a mio marito
|Don’t worry! I’ll have him do it (literally: I have him do it)
Of course, this specific construction of fare+infinitive can occur in all the different Italian tenses.
|Mi faccio tagliare i capelli
|I get my hair cut (Present Tense)
|Mi sono fatto tagliare i capelli
|I got my hair cut (Passato Prossimo)
|Mi facevo tagliare i capelli
|I used to get my hair cut (Imperfect)
|Mi farò tagliare i capelli
|I will get my hair cut (Future Tense)
|Mi farei tagliare i capelli
|I would get my hair cut (Present Conditional)
|Mi faccio tagliare i capelli
|I get my hair cut (Present Tense, repeated for clarity)
|Fammi tagliare i capelli, mamma!
|Let me get my hair cut, mom! (Imperative)
2. Fare = make someone to do something
Another use of the construction “fare + infinitive” expresses the idea of getting someone to do something and is a translation of the English ‘get or make someone to do something”. For example:
|Fa’ leggere tuo figlio
|Get your/tell your son to read
|Fa’ fare sport a tuo figlio
|Get your/tell your son to do sports
|Fa’ giocare tuo figlio
|Get your/tell your son to play
*in the above phrases the verb fare appears in the imperative mood.
3. Fare = Let
Another common use of the verb “fare” and the infinitive is a translation of the English ‘let’.
|Let me see
|Let me try
|Let me hear
|Puoi farmi vedere?
|Can you let me see?
|Mi fai sentire?
|Can you let me hear?