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The essential French verb faire : to do or to make

Conjugation French verb faire (1).jpg

One of the most commonly used verbs in French is the verb faire which means to do or to make depending on the context.

It is essential for any French learner, to know how this verb works since it is used in many situations like weather, hobbies and more.

In this lesson, you will learn its different uses of and how its conjugation works.

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1. What is the meaning of faire?


The English translation for faire can be to do or to make depending on the context.

However,  you 'll find that the verb faire can have different meanings especially when used in French expressions.

After completing this lesson, you will have the feeling that you are able to form a lot more sentences in French and that would be correct as the verb faire is indeed used in several situations.


2. When do you use the French verb faire?


Here are some of the situations in which you can use the verb faire.


When meaning to do or to make something

  • Je suis en train de faire mes devoirs. => I am doing my homework

  • Je suis en train de faire un gâteau. => I am making a cake.  

To talk about weather

We use the impersonal pronoun Il when talking about weather.

  • Il fait chaud => It is hot

  • Il fait beau => The weather is nice

  • Il fait dix degrés => it is 10 degrees

To talk about activities


  • Je fais du judo => I practice judo

  • Qu'est-ce que tu fais dans la vie? => What do you do in life?

  • Nous faisons du sport => We practice sport

To make mathematics calculation

  • Dix plus deux font douze => ten plus two equal twelve

To  discuss house shores

  • Elle fait le ménage => She is doing household cleaning.

  • Vous faites la vaisselle => You are cleaning the dishes.

To ask or tell the price of something

  • Ça fait combien? => How much is it?

  • Ça vous fera 20 dollars => It will cost you 20 dollars.

3. How to conjugate the irregular verb faire in French?


Faire is one of the French irregular verbs that anyone learning French needs to know. Instead of focusing on its conjugation in all the tenses, we will focus on the main tenses that you might need for daily use like present, future, past, conditional, subjonctive, ...

Conjugation of The verb Faire in Present

The way to conjugate faire is very irregular in present tense. You just have to learn it by heart!

  • Je fais

  • Tu fais

  • Il fait 

  • Elle fait 

  • Nous faisons

  • Vous faites

  • Ils font

  • Elles font 


Pour me détendre, je fais de la natation. => To relax, I practice swimming.

Conjugation of Faire in simple future tense

Since faire is an irregular verb, what will be important to remember is the stem FER, to which you add the endings : ai-as-a-ons-ez-ont to get simple future tense.

  • Je ferai 

  • Tu feras

  • Il fera 

  • Elle fera

  • Nous ferons

  • Vous ferez

  • Ils feront

  • Elles feront


Quand ma fille sera plus âgée, elle fera ses propres choix. => When my daughter will be older, she will make her own choices. 

Conjugation of Faire in Past tense (passé composé)

Before seing the conjugation table, it is important to note that the verb faire is used with the auxiliary avoir (to have). Its irregular past participle is "fait".

This is how to conjugate faire in passé composé tense.

  • J'ai fait 

  • Tu as fait

  • Il a fait

  • Elle a fait

  • Nous avons fait

  • Vous avez fait

  • Ils ont fait

  • Elles ont fait.


Tu as fait tes exercices? => Did you do your exercises ?

Faire conjugated in imparfait tense

  • Je faisais

  • Tu faisais

  • Il faisait

  • Elle faisait

  • Nous faisions

  • Vous faisiez

  • Ils faisaient

  • Elles faisaient

To review or learn more about the imparfait, click here.


Quand j'étais plus jeune, je faisais souvent du vélo avec mon père. => When i was younger, I used to do cycling with my  father.

Conjugation of faire  in conditional tense

Conditional tense is very similar to future tense as they have the same stem FER, except that the endings are different .

  • Je ferais

  • Tu ferais

  • Il ferait

  • Elle ferait

  • Nous ferions

  • Vous feriez

  • Ils feraient

  • Elles feraient.


Si je devais retourner  à l'école, j'étudierais la chimie => If I had to go back to school, I would study chemistry.

Faire conjugated in subjonctive tense

This is the way to conjugate Faire in the subjonctive tense

  • Que je fasse

  • Que tu fasses

  • Qu'il fasse

  • Que nous fassions

  • Que vous fassiez

  • Qu'ils fassent

  • Qu'elles fassent


Il faut que vous fassiez attention à vos affaires => You must pay attention  to your stuff

How to conjugate Faire in imperative tense

Remember that Imperative  tense is used without subject and concerns only the subjects tu, nous and vous.


  • Fais

  • Faisons

  • Faites



Faisons vite avant que papa n'arrive. => Le's hurry up before Dad arrives.

Conjugating Faire in Plus-que-parfait tense

  • J'avais fait

  • Tu avais fait

  • Il avait fait

  • Elle avait fait

  • Nous avions fait

  • Vous aviez fait

  • Ils avaient fait

  • Elles  avaient  fait


Elle  avait déjà fait ses valises quand elle a reçu l'avis d'annulation de son vol. => She had already packed her bags when she received the cancellation notice of her flight.

Faire conjugated in Conditionnel passé

  • J'aurais fait

  • Tu aurais fait

  • Il aurait fait

  • Elle aurait fait

  • Nous aurions fait

  • Vous auriez fait

  • Ils auraient fait

  • Elles auraient fait


Elle n'aurait pas fait ses valises si elle l'avait su plus tôt. => She wouldn't have packed her bags if she had known it earlier.

4. Practice with exercises on the verb faire

Practice with our interactive exercise to make sure you are able to use this verb perfectly.  Take the test below !

Fore more practice, below is a selection of other great exercises you could do to improve your French.

Exercice 1 (Le Point du FLE)

Exercice 2 (Isl collective)

Related lessons

Conjugation verb aller

Conjugation verb être

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