When is ´ça fais’ or ´ça fait’ used? Does it refer to a time factor such as ´I’ve been waiting for five minutes’?

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Colleen

Kwiziq community member

15 August 2018

4 replies

When is ´ça fais’ or ´ça fait’ used? Does it refer to a time factor such as ´I’ve been waiting for five minutes’?

This relates to:
to do, make -

Chris

Kwiziq community member

15 August 2018

15/08/18

Hi Colleen,


"Fais" is the conjugation of "faire" for the 1st and 2nd persons singular: "je fais" or "tu fais".
"Fait" is the 3rd person singular: "il/elle/on fait".


If "ça" is the subject of the sentence, then you need 3rd person singular, hence "fait".


Tu fais ça. -- You are doing this.
Je fais ça. -- I am doing this.
Ça me fait mal ! -- That is hurting me!


-- Chris

Colleen

Kwiziq community member

16 August 2018

16/08/18

Thank you Chris for your helpful reply and these are phrases that I will incorporate into my conversations. 


I do have a dilemma, however. I encountered, on a very popular traduction site, the term 'ca fais' used when referring to a sense of time passing. For example: 'Ca fais tres longtemps.' = 'It's been a very long time'. My French friends tell me that this usage is wrong. 


Can you please clarify? Many thanks...Colleen

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

16 August 2018

16/08/18

Hi Coleen,


The following sentence: 


Ça fait cinq minutes que j'attends = I have been waiting for five minutes


is correct .


However 'fait' is always with a 't' in " ça fait, as 'ça'(contraction of 'cela') is an indefinite pronoun like 'it' and is always in the third person singular.


Please beware of "popular translation sites" as they are often wrong.... 

Colleen

Kwiziq community member

16 August 2018

16/08/18

Thank you very much, Cecile. This has really clarified things for me. I now realise that I may have misunderstood my French friends and that, like you, they were actually speaking of the 's' itself being wrong and not the phrase itself. 


I am so pleased to continue using one of now favourite phrases - with a 't' !


I hope one day there will be a truly reliable translation site. So very necessary...


Many thanks,


Colleen (in Southwest France)

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