how to understand and use the structure of "faire faire qqch"? There is a sentence in my textbook which says "Les jeunes, ils préfèrent aller sur la côte. Mais si vous pouviez les faire rester au village...". I don't understand "les faire rester au village". I checked my references book and it said that this is of the structure "faire faire qqch" and it gave me some examples such as "faire rester les jeunes au village" and "il fait lire ce livre à sa fille" But this even confuses me more. The English translation of the above two sentences are supposed to be "let the youngsters stay in the village" and "he let his daughter read this book" right? Why do we put "les jeunes" after "faire rester" and put "sa fille" after "lire ce livre"?? Please help me with this with more examples if it's possible!! Merci beaucoup!
Jul 8, 2019 11:23 PM
Answers · 4
Hi Claire, In general, the construction 'faire + verb à quelqu'un' means MAKE someone do something. So I would say that your textbook's translation is inaccurate in its notion of 'let', since this would rather be 'laisser + verb' in French. In this light, 1. '...vous pouviez les faire rester au village' simply means 'You could MAKE them stay in the village'. 2. 'faire faire qqch', though this may seem weird at first, would therefore mean 'Make someone DO something'. For example, 'Je fais faire ses devoirs à mon fils'. i.e. I MAKE my son do his homework. Lastly, as to why one says 'faire lire ce livre A sa fille', whereas we say 'faire rester les jeunes au village', is because in the first, there is an object and a subject. So saying 'faire sa fille lire ce livre' would be incorrect. However, in 2, there isn't actually an object (well, there is, it is actually 'les jeunes', but you can consider this as people). There is no physical object like 'ce livre', but rather an indirect object: AU village. Therefore, you simply say faire rester les jeunes.... This is also why I said 'Fais faire ses devoirs A mon fils', due to the object 'ses devoirs'. Hope this is clear! Matt
July 9, 2019
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