What's the meaning of "se faire" or "me faire" ?

  • Il me fait le philosophe.

I want to know the meaning of this sentence.

  • 3
    "Il se fait le philosophe" or "il me fait le philosophe"? There's a big difference. Jun 14, 2020 at 15:37
  • So what's the difference..can you explain please?
    – Zuko
    Jun 14, 2020 at 15:42
  • 2
    Il me faire le philosophe is not correct French.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 14, 2020 at 15:46
  • @jlliagre..I know that's why I'm asking cuz I saw it in a French song called On fleek..but I didn't get the meaning so please can you help me
    – Zuko
    Jun 14, 2020 at 15:53
  • And do you think that piece of information was not worth mentioning?
    – jlliagre
    Jun 14, 2020 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


Eva's On Fleek song lyrics actually read:

Il m'fait le philosophe

That's a colloquial way to say:

He is playing/acting like a philosopher

  • So from where you know slang french expressions and words? Is there a website or something I can return to it?!
    – Zuko
    Jun 14, 2020 at 16:47
  • 1
    It's not really slang. Faire le sth is regular French (eg.: Il fait le clown) and in the dictionary: TLFi: E.- 1. c) Imiter intentionnellement, chercher à passer pour. Synon. contrefaire, imiter, simuler.. What is colloquial is adding me.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 14, 2020 at 17:34

The extra pronoun here is often known as the ethic dative (after the Latin dativus ethicus construction, although the pronoun is not expletive in Latin) or dative of interest. My edition of Le Bon Usage (14th ed.) prefers the former term (§672 b.3°e).

It doesn't have a grammatical function per se, but indicates that the person in question has some sort of serious/vested interest in the topic. Sometimes, it's addressed to the listener (Je te retourne ça à l'envoyeur, moi!), to emphasize instead that basically the action is very energetic. It's the same pronoun as found in orders of the form Écoute/goûte/regarde-moi ça, which you may be more familiar with.

In this particular instance, we would say in English that the speaker is being philosophized at, with the specific implication that the philosophical tangents are annoying or inconvenient.

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