Le cuir fait appel à tous mes sens et spécialement à l'odorat.

(My translation attempt: The leather "made call" to all my senses and especially to the sense of smell).

When I see "fait appel", I first wonder if the grammar being used is causative faire. But wordreference tells me that appel is only a noun, never an infinitive verb or a conjugated verb. "faire" in wordreference, indeed is a transitive verb (that is, a verb that takes a direct object), but all of the examples it gives shows that the direct object has a determiner; for example:

  • Nous avons fait ces 200 km en 2 heures.
  • Allez, je vous fais ce lot de livres à 5 €.
  • Avec des légumes, je fais un potage.

So I thought that perhaps "faire appel" is an expression, but wordreference turns up nothing.

1) What is happening with there no being determiner for "appel", in "faire appel"? Is this something that a reference (eg, a dictionary) could clarify for me?

  • @Améraldor: can you give me an example of using Wikitionnaire for this example? (jlliagre's link to the TLF gives me some idea of how to use TLF when i suspect something is a set expression) – silph Apr 9 '18 at 7:31

Faire appel is indeed a set expression:


  1. Lang. cour. Faire appel à qqn ou à qqc. En vue d'une action.
    ... b) [Le compl. est inanimé ou abstr.] Se servir de quelque chose.
    − [Chose concr.] :
    1. Une autre solution consiste à faire appel à un dispositif mécanique basé sur le changement d'amplification de la timonerie suivant que l'on veut freiner la tare seule ou la tare et la charge. M. Bailleul, Notions de matériel roulant des ch. de fer, 1951, p. 140.

Also in the Wiktionnaire:


| improve this answer | |
  • And the translation: "to call on someone / something" – qoba Apr 11 '18 at 3:45

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