Italian Causative Verbs (Fare & Lasciare) With Examples

  • Giulietta Giordano
    Written byGiulietta Giordano
    Giulietta GiordanoItalian linguist and tutor
    🎓 B.A., Western Languages - French and Italian, Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia
    🎓 M.A., International Relations and Languages, Bologna University

    Full-time Italian teacher, tutor (online) and occasional writer.
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Italian Causative Verbs (Fare & Lasciare) With Examples

Causative verbs are used where one person (or thing) causes another person (or thing) to do something.

For example, in English, we might say “I made him clean the room”. In this example, “made” is causative. Similarly, in a sentence like “she let him go”, “let” is causative.

The two causative (causativi / fattitivi) verbs in Italian are fare and lasciare.

The difference between fare and lasciare

Fare (to make) and lasciare (to let), allow us to express in Italian that someone has caused or allowed something to happen.

While fare implies making someone do something, lasciare involves letting someone do something.

The nuance here is between causing something and allowing something.

Listen to audio

Faccio pulire la stanza a mia sorella.

I make my sister clean the room.
Listen to audio

Lascio mio fratello usare il computer.

I let my brother use the computer.


Fare is an irregular Italian verb.

Here’s a quick conjugation table of the present indicative:

PersonItalian PronounConjugation
You (plural)Voifate

Fare as a causative verb is used to indicate that one person makes another person do something.

Listen to audio

Lo faccio studiare.

I will make him study.


Lasciare is a regular verb. Here’s its present indicative conjugation table:

PersonItalian PronounConjugation
You (plural)Voilasciate

“Lasciare” indicates that one person lets another person do something.

Listen to audio

Lo lascio giocare.

I let him play.

There are many more conjugations for these verbs depending on their mood and tense. The tables above are for the simple present tense only.

Causative verbs and reflexive verbs

When using causative verbs with reflexive verbs in Italian, things can get a little tricky.

Reflexive verbs are verbs in which the subject of the verb is also its object. For example, lavarsi (to wash oneself).

In the case of fare, the reflexive pronoun becomes a direct object and matches the person who is caused to do the action.

Listen to audio

Mi faccio studiare.

I make myself study.
Listen to audio

Ti faccio lavare.

I make you wash yourself.

Note that the reflexive pronoun must agree with the person being caused to do something, not with the subject of the sentence.

In the case of lasciare, the reflexive verb remains reflexive, and the reflexive pronoun matches the person who is allowed to do the action.

Listen to audio

Mi lascio dormire.

I let myself sleep.
Listen to audio

Ti lascio lavarti.

I let you wash yourself.

It’s important to note that the reflexive pronoun in this case agrees with the person being allowed to do something, just as with fare, but the verb itself remains in its reflexive form.

These constructions can seem a little complex at first, but understanding these nuances is crucial in achieving fluency in Italian.


The Italian causative verbs are fare and lasciare.

As in English, one gives the nuance for making someone do something, whereas the other is for allowing someone to do something.

The common denominator here is causation (hence the name).

Buona fortuna! 🇮🇹

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