Faire peur (à) = To scare someone

Look at these examples:

À Halloween, je fais peur à mes neveux !
At Halloween, I scare my nephews! 

Nous faisons peur à Elsa à chaque fois.
We scare Elsa every time.

Tu as fait peur au vieux monsieur !
You scared the old man!

 

To say to scare [someone] in French, you use the expression faire peur à + [quelqu'un].
Literally : "to do/give fear to [someone]"

If à is followed by le or les, use the contracted forms au and aux.

 

To scare [me, you, him...]

To express scaring someone using pronouns (me, you, him, her, us, them), you will use:
Indirect object pronoun (me, te, lui, nous, vous, leur) + faire peur 

Il me faisait peur quand j'étais petit.
He used to scare me when I was small.

Tu es bête ! Tu nous as fait peur !
You're silly! You scared us!

Elle leur fait vraiment peur quand elle fait ça.
She really scares them when she does that.

See also the previous lesson: Avoir peur de = To be afraid/scared of 

See also Me, te, nous, vous = Me, you, us, you (direct and indirect object pronouns)  and  Replacing people with lui, leur = him, her, them (indirect object pronouns) 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tu as fait peur au vieux monsieur !
You scared the old man!


Nous faisons peur à Elsa à chaque fois.
We scare Elsa every time.


À Halloween, je fais peur à mes neveux !
At Halloween, I scare my nephews! 


Elle leur fait vraiment peur quand elle fait ça.
She really scares them when she does that.


Il me faisait peur quand j'étais petit.
He used to scare me when I was small.


Tu es bête ! Tu nous as fait peur !
You're silly! You scared us!


Q&A Forum 6 questions, 10 answers

ElizabethA2Kwiziq community member

Hello. I included "You had eaten cereal this morning" among the correct answers. Why is this one wrong? Thanks.

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Elizabeth, 

For similar questions please use the "Report it" button on your Correction Board as it links directly to the specific quiz and makes it easier for us to answer you...

Hello. I included "You had eaten cereal this morning" among the correct answers. Why is this one wrong? Thanks.

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ChrisA2Kwiziq community member

effrayer or faire peur

Is effrayer no approproiate in place of faire peur

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Chris,

The verb ‘effrayer’ does indeed exist and it means ‘faire peu à ‘, however, the French use ‘fairy peur’ much more frequently  and it is trickier to use, hence the lesson.

effrayer or faire peur

Is effrayer no approproiate in place of faire peur

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KellyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"If à is followed by le ou les, use the contracted forms au and aux."

Asked 8 months ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Merci beaucoup Kelly !

Cela a été corrigé :)

Bonne journée !

KellyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Sorry I accidentally pressed something and the message was sent (twice!)

I meant to say that I think the word "ou" should be "or" (in English) to avoid confusion in the above quoted sentence.

CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Kelly, 

Has been flagged up....

"If à is followed by le ou les, use the contracted forms au and aux."

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TerryB2Kwiziq community member

Don't scare me like that! Is that.. Ne fais pas peur a moi comme ça !

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Terry !

On dira plutôt : "Ne me fais pas peur comme ça !"

Bonne journée !

TerryB2Kwiziq community member
Merci Aurèlie !

Don't scare me like that! Is that.. Ne fais pas peur a moi comme ça !

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Thekla A1Kwiziq community member

Can’t we say” il m’a fait peur quand j’étais petit?”

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Thekla,

yes, you could say that. It would mean that there was one occasion when you were small that he scared you. If you wanted to express that he did it habitually when you were small you would use the imperfect in both clauses:

Il me faisait peur quand j'étais petit.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Can’t we say” il m’a fait peur quand j’étais petit?”

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StevenC1Kwiziq community member

Vieux vs Vieil

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I agree. 
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Steven,

Could you be more specific in your question?

Vieux vs Vieil

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