To Make – Faire vs Rendre

Make in French - faire vs rendre
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The Making of French Verbs

When someone is made to feel a certain way, that feeling is always expressed in English with an adjective: happy, ashamed, thirsty, etc. In French, however, some feelings are adjectives while others are nouns – and these two different parts of speech require different verbs. When it comes to feelings, the French equivalent of "to make" may be rendre, faire, or donner, depending on whether the feeling is an adjective or a noun.

To make + adjective –> rendre

When the verb is followed by a French adjective, "make" is equivalent to rendre.

Par exemple…

Les chiots me rendent heureux.   Puppies make me happy.
Lire dans la voiture nous rend malade.   Reading in the car makes us sick.
Ce film va te rendre triste.   This movie is going to make you sad.

To make + noun –> faire

When the verb is followed by a French noun, "make" is generally equivalent to faire.

Cette décision me fait honte.   That decision makes me (feel) ashamed.
Le chien ne va pas te faire mal.   The dog won’t hurt you (lit: make you feel pain).
Il nous a fait peur !   He scared us! (made us feel scared)

 However, with nouns related to physiological sensations, the verb is donner instead:

  • donner faim – to make hungry
  • donner mal au cœur – to make queasy
  • donner la nausée – to make queasy
  • donner soif – to make thirsty
  • donner sommeil – to make sleepy
  • donner le vertige – to make dizzy

Par exemple…

Nager me donne toujours faim.   Swimming always makes me hungry.
Ce mouvement pourrait te donner le vertige.   This movement might make you dizzy.

 One exception: with chaud, the verb has to be tenir and is more along the lines of "keeping" rather than "making" someone warm:

Ce pull me tient très chaud.   This sweater keeps me very warm.

 Conseil concis : Does this collection of nouns-used-like-adjectives look familiar? They’re the same ones that require avoir as "to be" rather than être.

More "make" translations

Some adjectives have more specific French verbs.

fâcher   to make angry
fatiguer   to make tired
intimider   to make nervous
mettre à l’aise   to make comfortable
mettre en colère   to make angry

 Page 1: To make + noun

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French make plus feelings

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