The Spanish Verb HACER – Meanings and Everyday Uses

In our 3rd installment of essential verbs (dar and tener), today we will look at the Spanish verb “Hacer”.  By its translation: to make/ to do – you can see that it is one of the most common verbs while speaking Spanish.  We’ll look at the quick and easy conjugation, some examples in sentences, and finally the ever-so-important “alternate uses” which as you will find out, are just as important as its “basic” meaning.

Yo hago – I do/make

haces – You do/make

Él/ella hace – He/she does/makes

Nosotros hacemos – We do/make

Ellos/ellas hacen – They do/make

Ustedes hacen – You (pl) do/make

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In English we differenciate between “to do” and “to make” – in Spanish we only use “hacer”.  See the following examples:

For example:

  • Los atletas hacen muchos ejercicios todos los días.Athletes do many exercises every day.
  • Mi mamá hace la cena.My mom makes dinner.
  • Yo hago el pastel. I make the cake.
  • haces la tarea todas las noches.You do your homework every night.
  • ¿Qué haces tú en Mexico?  Yo visito a mis amigos.What are you doing in Mexico? I visit my friends.

The next usage of hacer is to describe or talk about the weather and uses only the combination of the third person singular (él) “hace”, can also use the form of “hay”. In English we use the verb “to be”, as follows.

(Hay)  Hace buen (mal) tiempo – it is good (bad) weather

(Hay)  Hace (mucho) calor – it is (very) warm

(Hay)  Hace (mucho) frío – it is (very) cold

(Hay)  Hace (mucho) fresco – it is (very) cool

(Hay)  Hace (mucho) viento – it is (very) windy

(Hay)  Hace (mucho) sol – it is (very) sunny

Here are some examples in sentences:

  • En verano hace mucho calor. In summer it’s hot.
  • Hace mucho frío hoy.It’s very cold today.
  • ¿Qué tiempo hace en la primavera?How’s the weather in spring?
  • Hace mucho sol al mediodía.It is very sunny at noon.

The difference between “hace” and “hay” is: “hace” is used as a general idea and “hay” is more or less at this time.

For example:

  • Hace frio en el norte.It’s cold in the north. (always, or in general)
  • Hay frío hoy.It is cold today. (which indicates difference from the norm)

The verb “hacer” also can be used in these everyday expressions:

Se hace tarde – it is getting late

Hacer caso – to obey

Hacer trampa – to cheat

Hacer la maleta – to pack one’s suitcase

Hacer una pregunta – to ask a question

Hacer un viaje – to take a trip

Hacer una visita – to pay a visit

Note that in English the translation is completely different, since there is a specific verb in English, and in Spanish we use the verb “hacer” with a noun as a phrase.

For example:

  • Se hace tarde para mi clase de español.It’s getting late for my Spanish class.
  • El niño no hace caso a su mama.The child doesn’t obey her mom.
  • Los estudiantes hacen muchas preguntas a la maestra.The students ask many questions to the teacher.
  • Nosotros hacemos un viaje muy largo.We take a long trip.

The next meaning/construction of the verb “hacer” is that it is used to express the time between two actions.

Hace + expression time + que + a verb in present tense = to express the time since the start of an action to the present time, and may continue in the future. (to have been + ing)

For example:

  • Hace doce años que soy maestra de español.I have been a Spanish teacher for twelve years.
  • Hace un año que ella vive en esta ciudad.She has lived in this city for a year
  • ¿Hace cuánto tiempo que estudias tú español?How long have you been studying Spanish?
  • Hace dos años que estudio español.I have studied Spanish for two years.

Hace + expresión de tiempo + que + a verb in preterite (past) tense = expresses the time which has elapsed since the action too place. (……ago)

For example:

  • Hace dos años que yo estudié español.Two years ago I studied Spanish. ***(notice the difference of sentence construction to the example immediately above)
  • Hace tres meses que fui a Nicaragua.Three months ago I went to Nicaragua.
  • ¿Hace cuánto tiempo que estuviste tú en Costa Rica?How long time ago you were in Costa Rica?
  • Hace cinco meses que yo estuve en Costa Rica. – Five months ago I was in Costa Rica.

Feel free to comment/ask any questions, or request a topic that you’d like help with.  Better yet – sign up for a free Skype Spanish class with us!

photo credit: @Doug88888 via photopin

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4 comments on “The Spanish Verb HACER – Meanings and Everyday Uses

  1. Pingback: Ways to use TENER (to have) in Spanish | LetsGoSpanish

  2. I really like your blog,there is some very helpful stuff in here!! 😀 I have a blog about learning languages, feel free to check it out, I just started recently, so feedback would be priceless. Thanks for your time! ilikelanguages.wordpress.com

  3. Pingback: How to use Verbs like Gustar in Spanish | LetsGoSpanish

  4. Pingback: Common Spanish Expressions with Verbs | Let's Go Spanish

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