RENDERE vs FARE: how to use them correctly in Italian without getting confused!

In this lesson, we will talk about rendere and fare: two widely used Italian verbs that, in some contexts, might have the same meaning, and create problems for those who are studying Italian but do not worry! We assure you that at the end of this lesson, you will no longer have any doubts about the use of these two verbs!

RENDERE and FARE: meaning, differences and uses


The verb “fare” is, without a doubt, one of the most used verbs in the Italian language.

In addition to the meaning of “realizzare”, “eseguire” and “creare”, “fare” can have a similar meaning to the verb “causare”, in particular, when it is used in expressions in which it is followed by an infinitive. For example:

– far(e) arrabbiare (to make someone angry)

– far(e) rallegrare (to make someone happy)

– far(e) imbestialire (to make someone mad)

– far(e) infuriare (to make someone furious)

– far(e) apprezzare (to make someone appreciate)

– far(e) incavolare (to piss someone off)

– far(e) innervosire (to make someone nervous)

And so on…

Let’s see some sentences to understand more clearly:

  • “Mia nonna mi ha fatto apprezzare le cose semplici” → “My grandmother made me appreciate simple things”
  • “Mia sorella mi fa sempre innervosire” → “My sister always makes me nervous”

Attention! In all of the cases that we have just explained, you cannot use the verb RENDERE!


“Rendere” can acquire a similar meaning to the verb “causare”, just like the verb “fare”, but generally, it happens only when it is accompanied by adjectives. For instance:

  • Rendere felice/infelice: “Vederti sorridere dopo così tanto tempo mi ha reso davvero felice”

→ To make someone happy/unhappy: “Seeing you smile after all this time made me really happy”

  • Rendere debole/forte; “Questo lungo periodo di malattia mi ha reso molto debole. Dovrò fare una cura di integratori”

→ To make someone weak/strong: “This long period of illness has made me very weak. I will have to take some supplements”

  • Rendere possibile/impossibile: “Il mio capo sta facendo di tutto per rendermi la vita impossibile!”

→ To make something possible/impossible: “My boss is doing everything he can to make my life impossible”

  • Rendere facile/difficile: “L’insorgere di questo problema ha reso il mio lavoro molto più difficile del previsto”

→ To make something simple/difficult: “The onset of this problem has made my job much more difficult than I expected”

  • Rendere famoso/popolare: “Un semplice video su TikTok lo ha reso incredibilmente famoso!”

→ To make something or someone famous/popular: “A simple video on TikTok made him incredibly famous!”

  • Rendere fiero/orgoglioso: “Quando mi sono laureato ho reso i miei genitori davvero orgogliosi”

→ To make someone proud: “When I graduated college, I made my parents really proud”

Moreover, the verb “rendere” can also mean “restituire”, in sentences such as:

  • “Ho reso gli stivali che avevo ordinato, perché sono troppo stretti” → “I returned what I ordered because they were too tight”
  • “Ti posso prestare il mio computer, ma dovrai rendermelo entro stasera, perché domani ne avrò bisogno” → “I can lend you my computer, but you will have to return it to me by tonight because tomorrow, I will need it”

Eventually, in some contexts, the verb “rendere” can have the meaning of the verb “dare”, especially when it accompanies a noun. For example:

  • RENDERE GIUSTIZIA: “Questa foto non ti rende affatto giustizia. Sei molto più bello dal vivo”

→ To do justice: “This photo does not do you justice. You are much more handsome in real life”

  • RENDERE ONORE/OMAGGIO: “Ho deciso di rendere omaggio al mio cantante preferito cantando una cover di una sua canzone”

→ To pay tribute: “I have decided to pay tribute to my favorite singer by singing a cover of one of his songs”

  • RENDERE L’IDEA: “Non so se ho reso l’idea di cosa voglio”, che vuol dire: “Non so se mi sono spiegata bene”

→ To render the idea: “I do not know if I rendered the idea of what I wanted to say”, which means: “I do not know if I explained myself well”


There are also some expressions in which the verbs “rendere” and “fare” appear in their reflexive form. Here they are:

  • Rendersi utile, ovvero “darsi da fare per aiutare qualcuno” → To make yourself useful, in other words, to make an effort to help someone
  • Rendersi conto, ovvero “accorgersi” → To realize or to become aware
  • Rendersi ridicoli, ossia “sembrare stupidi” → To make yourself ridiculous, in other words, to make a fool of yourself
  • Farsi forza, cioè “resistere”→  To stay strong, namely, to endure
  • Farsi strada, ovvero “progredire, nonostante la concorrenza” → To get ahead, in other words, to make progress despite the competition
  • Farsi carico, ossia “assumersi la responsabilità” (di qualcosa) → To take responsibility or to claim responsibility (for something)
  • Farsi un’idea, vale a dire “comprendere grossomodo” (qualcosa) → To get an overall idea which means to understand something on a general level

As you can see, there are a lot of expressions that contain these two verbs. The best way to learn how to employ them is… well, use them! So, we suggest you try writing some sentences containing these expressions, down in the comments, so that you can practice.

And if you want to learn something about the history of the Italian language, watch our incredible video about Italian dialects: we are sure it will make you happy!

Whereas, if you want to learn Italian in context as if you were in Italy, have a look at our course! Moreover, we hid a 60% coupon code in our video… find it and use it!

Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!

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