Languages › French How to Use "Faire" and "Rendre" in French Both Words Can Be Translated as "to Make" Share Flipboard Email Print LM Photo/The Image Bank/Getty Images French Vocabulary Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar Resources For Teachers by ThoughtCo Updated September 04, 2019 If you're making something and want to say so in French, which verb do you use, faire or rendre? This is more complicated than it may seem, because "to make" can be translated into French in a number of ways. These two verbs are the most common and each has rules governing when and how to use them. General Usage If you're speaking about making something in a very general sense, then you should use faire. For example: Je fais un gâteauI'm making a cakeFais ton litMake your bedIl a fait une erreurHe made a mistake The same rule applies when implying causality: Cela m'a fait penserThat made me thinkIl me fait faire la vaisselleHe's making me do the dishes"To make" in the sense of producing something is fabriquer, while in the sense of building it's construire. To talk about forcing someone to do something (e.g., Make me!), use obliger or forcer. Special Cases Things get a little more complicated if you are describing how something makes you feel. In these cases, you should use faire when it's followed by a noun in French, and rendre when it's followed by an adjective. For example: Cela me fait malThat makes me feel pain. That hurts (me).Tu me fais honte !You make me feel so ashamed!Cette pensée fait peurThat thought makes me scared. It's a frightening thought. Cela me rend heureuxThat makes me happy.Le poisson m'a rendu maladeThe fish made me sick.C'est à te rendre fouIt's enough to make/drive you crazy. There are some exceptions, of course. For the following nouns, you need to use the verb donner: donner soif à quelqu'unto make someone thirstydonner faim à quelqu'unto make someone hungrydonner froid à quelqu'unto make someone (feel) colddonner chaud à quelqu'unto make someone (feel) hotBecause all of the above are adjectives in English, you might have a little trouble deciding if the French word is a noun or an adjective. The solution is to think about which French verb it needs to mean "to be." Nouns need avoir (avoir mal, avoir soif) while adjectives need être (être heureux, être malade). Other Verbs Many expressions that include "to make" in English are translated by completely different verbs in French: to make angry fâcher to make an appointment donner/prendre rendez-vous to make believe (pretend) faire semblant to make a decision prendre une décision to make do se débrouiller to make friends/enemies se faire des amis/ennemis to make the grade y arriver to make (someone) late mettre quelqu'un en retard to make a meal préparer un répas to make money gagner de l'argent to make sure s'assurer, vérifier to make tired fatiguer to make up (invent) inventer, fabriquer(after a fight) se réconcilier(with cosmetics) se maquiller Continue Reading Conjugating the Most Important French Verbs: Avoir, Être, Faire How and When to Use the French Present Participle How to Say To Do in French How Do You Express 'Sickness' in French? Express an Idea in French With Indefinite Pronouns Do You Know the Difference Between 'À' and 'De?' From Golf to Basketball, Here's How to Talk Sports in French Here's How to Properly Say (or Ask) "What?" in French Do You Know How to Use French Prepositions 'En' and 'Dans' How to Use the French Verb Rendre Faux Amis: French-English False Cognates Starting with A Camille Cherche Une Robe - An Easy French In Context Story How to Use Donner in French Idioms All About the French Causative "le Causatif" Here's How You Use French Semi-Auxiliary Verbs How Do You Use French Idiomatic Expressions with 'Faire'?