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English has the following idioms:

  • to lose one's head - to lose self-control and to act on impulse
  • to lose one's mind - to go insane
  • to drive somebody crazy - to make somebody upset/angry
  • to be crazy about something/somebody - to like something a lot

Examples:

  • I lost my head during our discussion and slapped him.
  • She lost her mind after she lost her two children.
  • Stop running around the sofa, you are driving me crazy!
  • I'm crazy about my girlfriend.

May "perdere la testa" be used to express the first two meanings and "fare perdere la testa" be used for the the last two ones?

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    For my own experience, "far perdere la testa" is usually associated to the meaning "to like someone a lot" (ex. "Quella ragazza mi ha fatto perdere la testa"), but also "perdere la testa" can be used ("Ho perso la testa per quella ragazza"). Both expressions are quite "mild" IMO and are not really used to mean "to go insane" - for that I'd prefer "Perdere /far perdere il lume della ragione" or "Diventare/far diventare pazzo" – Riccardo De Contardi Jun 10 at 20:57
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The phrase "perdere la testa" has different meaning accordingly to the context:

  • Referring to a very good looking person "L'ho vista e ho perso la testa" "I saw her and I've lost my head"
  • Sometimes is used when you keep forgetting something "Ho lasciato le chiavi a casa, oggi ho perso la testa" "I left the keys at home, today I've lost my head"
  • When you are out of control or have a violent reaction "Dopo l'insulto ho perso la testa" "After that insult I've lost my head"

Those are three possible usages although the first one is the most commonly used.

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  • Welcome to Italian.SE! – Charo Jun 19 at 16:08
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It seems to me that the meaning of "perdere la testa" is always the same: to lose the full capacity of the mind, leading to wrong or exaggerated behavior. A simple definition for example is from De Mauro: "entrare in uno stato di confusione, impazzire" (to get confused, get crazy).

"Far perdere la testa" means to cause someone to enter that state.

The phrase, per se, does not specify whether one gets crazy, or angry, or confused: that has to be deduct from the context.

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