We use this construction to explain that we don’t carry out personally the action described by the verb but someone else does it.
The examples below show how this sequence of verbs is used in italian:
– Io compro la macchina.
Gli faccio comprare la macchina. ( = I said to buy the car and another person did it for me, so i’m not the subject of the action “buy”)
– Tu hai rotto il vaso ma i tuoi genitori hanno incolpato tuo fratello.
Hai fatto incolpare tuo fratello ma il vaso lo hai rotto tu! ( = I’m responsible for the broken vase but i didn’t accuse my brother. My parents did it. I’m responsible for not having saved him from punishment.)
If the verb of the action has an indirect object, with the construction fare + infinito we introduce it by the preposition “a“, as the example below shows:
– Ho detto a mio fratello di comprare la macchina. ( = )
Ho fatto comprare la macchina a mio fratello.
If the verb has two indirect objects and one of them is a recipient of the action made by the other one, we introduce the recipient by the preposition “a” and the indirect object by the preposition “da“. Here you have an example of this case:
– Ho fatto comprare da mio fartello un mazzo di fiori a mia madre. ( = my brother buys the flowers so he does the action like a real subject while the recipient is “my mother”, to whom the action is addressed.)
When we have an intransitive verb or in cases without an object, we use a direct pronoun, as in the examples:
– Tre persone vengono alla festa = faccio venire tre persone alla festa = le faccio venire alla festa ( = we have not an object because the verb in origin was intransitive)
– I bambini mangiano = faccio mangiare i bambini = li faccio mangiare ( = this verb is transitive but we have not the direct object)
When the verb is transitive and it has both a direct and indirect object we use the indirect pronoun, as in the example:
– Dico a mio padre di leggere il giornale = faccio leggere il giornale a mio padre = gli faccio leggere il giornale.
When the verb is reflexive, we lose the reflexive pronoun while using the structure fare + infinito. Here you have an example:
– Dico ai bambini di alzarsi = faccio alzare i bambini = li faccio alzare