Italian Idioms and Sayings Using the Verb Fare

Happy couple making bed together
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If essere is the Swiss army knife of verbs, then fare is the all-in-one, handy-dandy kitchen appliance. The verb fare expresses the basic idea of doing or making, as in fare gli esercizi (to do the exercises) and fare il letto (to make the bed), but it is also used in many idioms.

Note that the infinitive fare is frequently abbreviated to far before a consonant. For example, you may say far colazione, far male, far torto. Fare is also used in many expressions relating to the weather (note that in the following translations, "it" is an impersonal subject and does not have an equivalent in Italian):

Che tempo fa? (How is the weather?)
Fa bel tempo. (The weather is nice.)
Fa cattivo tempo. (The weather is bad.)
Ha fatto caldo. (It has been warm.)
Qui fa sempre freddo. (It's always cold here.)
In primavera fa sempre fresco. (In spring it's always cool.)

Besides idiomatic expressions, and expressions relating to the weather, the verb fare is used in a number of proverbs:

Fare e disfare è tutt'un lavorare. (It's all go, it's a hard life.)
Chi la fa l'aspetti. (You will get as good as you gave.)
Chi fa da sé fa per tre. (If you want something done, do it yourself.)
Non fare agli altri ciò che non vorresti fosse fatto a te. (Do as you would be done by.)
Tutto fa brodo. (Every little bit helps.)
Chi non sa fare, non sa comandare. (A bad worker is a bad master.)

Idiomatic Expressions with Fare 

fare i compiti to do one's homework
fare il biglietto to purchase a ticket
fare la fila / la coda stand on line / wait on line
fare la spesa to go grocery shopping
fare le spese to go shopping
fare forca to play hooky
fare vedere to show someone something
fare una domanda to ask a question
fare una fotografia to take a picture
fare una passeggiata to take a walk
fare colazione to have breakfast
fare un viaggio to take a trip
fare un capello in quattro to split hairs
farsi la barba to shave
farsi coraggio to take heart
fare castelli in aria to daydream
fare fingere to pretend, make believe
fare male to be painful, to ache
farsi in la to step to one side
fare di tutto to do everything possible
fare del proprio meglio to do one's best
farsi degli amici to make friends
fare alla romana to split the check
fare il pieno to fill up the gas tank
fare passare to let through