To let someone do something
In the lesson about fare causativo, we learned how to “make someone do something” in Italian.
To recap, we use this structure when we want to make someone do something.
But… what if we want to let someone do something in Italian?
In English, the meaning is slightly different. However, even if the meaning in Italian is also different, the structure is the same: fare + verb in the infinitive.
Let’s have a look at some examples where fare means to let. In these cases, fare could also be replaced by the verb lasciare.
- Mia mamma ha fatto entrare in ufficio il suo amico.
My mum let his friend into the office.
- I miei genitori non mi fanno uscire.
My parents don’t let me go out.
- Quel rumore non mi fa dormire.
That noise doesn’t let me sleep.
Let me see!
We tend to use this structure a lot when we want someone to let us or someone else do something. In this case, we use the imperative form of the verb fare. We usually use the imperative to give orders and we mainly use it to address one person (“you singular”). In this case, we form it just by removing -re from fare and adding a direct or indirect object pronoun instead. You’ll notice some letters double:
- fammi: let me
- fatti: let yourself
- fagli/falle/fallo/falla: let him/her
- facci: let us
- fagli/falli/falle: let them
Do you remember the difference between direct and indirect object pronouns and verbs? Well, in the third line, fagli and falle are indirect object pronouns, and fallo and falla are direct object pronouns. In the last line, fagli is also an indirect object pronoun (both feminine and masculine), and falli and falle are direct object pronouns.
Here are some examples:
- Fagli compare quello che vuole!
Let him buy whatever he wants.
- Facci entrare!
Let us get in!
- Falla dormire!
Let her sleep!
- Fammi vedere cosa hai scritto!
Let me see what you wrote!