What is the grammatical function of "se" here? Is it a COD ou COI? Which one is correct?

elle s'est faite mal.


elle s'est fait mal.

2 Answers 2


It is a COI: the phrase means literally "elle a fait mal à elle-même".

The correct form is therefore elle s'est fait mal.

  • 2
    Note that you would write: Elle s'est faite mâle. (She turns herself into a male)
    – jlliagre
    Jun 6, 2020 at 8:42
  • @jlliagre Elle s'est faite [pause] mal. A native would probably not write it, but we can imagine it in oral speech when hesitating, possibly accompanied by an interpolated clause.
    – None
    Jun 7, 2020 at 6:20
  • @None Yes, that's a case where it might happen: Elle s'est faite [toute seule, mais] mal.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 7, 2020 at 7:52
  • @jjlliagre Elle s'est fait mal à qui à "s'" donc à elle donc oui, "Elle s'est faite toute seule". Très juste.
    – tatactic
    Sep 14, 2022 at 14:09

Here, both sentences are correct in French. Although they are similar, they don't mean the same thing.

Elle s'est faite mal

Would mean that she made herself wrong rather than she hurt herself, which is the correct meaning for the second sentence.

Though the first sentence is logically eccentic (as someone cannot make himself wrong?), it is French-speaking correct. However, to be honest, we would rather say elle s'est mal faite if we want it to be 100% correct.

  • 2
    Elle s'est faite mal is quite unidiomatic. We'd rather say: elle s'est mal faite .
    – jlliagre
    Jun 7, 2020 at 1:15
  • @jlliagre I agree about it not being idiomatic French but it could be heard and quite understandable. I except with the proper context and intonation we might find an example where it could fit.
    – None
    Jun 7, 2020 at 6:09
  • I agree @jlliagre! Edited my answer to specify it.
    – Hugo Bois
    Jun 7, 2020 at 20:43

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