Construction causative – Objets et accord
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Certain aspects of French grammar are a bit different with the causative than with other two-verb constructions.
Direct and indirect objects
The causative requires a direct object, which may be either the recipient of the action or the agent (performer) of it. When the direct object is replaced with a direct object pronoun, it must precede faire.
|Hélène fait coudre une robe.
Hélène la fait coudre.
|Hélène is having a dress sewn.
Hélène is having it sewn.
|Hélène fait coudre Michel.
Hélène le fait coudre.
|Hélène is making Michel sew.
Hélène is making him sew.
When you have a recipient and an agent, the former is always the direct object and the latter, the indirect object. As explained on page 1, this automatically means that a preposition must be added in front of the agent. Alternatively, you can replace the preposition + indirect object with an indirect object pronoun.
|Hélène fait coudre une robe à Michel.||Hélène is having Michel sew a dress.|
| Hélène la fait coudre à Michel.
Hélène lui fait coudre une robe.
| Hélène is having Michel sew it.
Hélène is having him sew a dress.
|Hélène la lui fait coudre.||Hélène is having him sew it.|
(See double object pronouns for help with word order)
In the case of the reflexive causative, the reflexive pronoun is always the agent and therefore the indirect object.
|Paul se fait couper les cheveux.
Paul se les fait couper.
|Paul is having his hair cut.
Paul is having it cut.
|Je me fais faire le maquillage.
Je me le fais faire.
|I’m getting my make-up done.
I’m getting it done.
|Hélène a fait coudre la robe.
Hélène l’a fait coudre.
|Hélène had the dress sewn.
Hélène had it sewn.
|Paul s’est fait couper les cheveux.
Paul se les est fait couper.
|Paul had his hair cut.
Paul had it cut.
- Introduction to the causative
- Se faire – Reflexive causative
- Direct objects and agreement with the causative
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