In this short guide, we will cover the following topics for ‘Hacer’ in Spanish:
- What does ‘Hacer’ mean?
- ‘Hacer’ Conjugations
- How to Use ‘Hacer’ in Spanish
- Expressions with ‘Hacer’
- Synonyms for ‘Hacer’
- Master your understanding and use of Time Expressions with ‘Hacer’
What does ‘Hacer’ mean?
In Spanish, ‘hacer’ is translated as ‘to make’ or ‘to do’ most of the time. However, this verb can have different translations since it allows people to talk about a very wide range of topics, such as the weather, time, and transformations.
- When describing that a person is performing a certain activity or task, ‘hacer’ means ‘to do’ or ‘to carry out’.
- To indicate that a person is elaborating something, ‘hacer’ can be translated as ‘to make’ or ‘to prepare’.
- If referring to someone or something that had a consequence, it means ‘to make’ or ‘to cause’.
- When talking about the weather, ‘hacer’ means ‘to be’.
- If talking about time, ‘hacer’ can be translated as ‘to take’ or ‘ago’, depending on the sentence.
- To describe certain types of changes, ‘hacer’ means ‘to become’ or ‘to turn into’.
In Spanish, ‘hacer’ uses six different stems that depend on the tense and subject, making it a highly irregular verb. In the sections below, I’ll provide more details about when to use those stems.
Present tense conjugation
To conjugate to the present tense, all of the subjects will use the stem ‘hac’, with the exception of ‘yo’, which will use ‘hag’.
|Él / Ella / Usted||Hace||He/She do|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Hacen||They/You do|
Preterite tense conjugation
In the preterite tense, ‘hacer’ also has some irregularities. In this case, the third person singular uses the stem ‘hiz’, while all of the other subjects use ‘hic’. Additionally, notice that to keep the pronunciation consistent the preterite endings for yo and the third person singular will change from ‘ió’ to ‘e’ and ‘o’ respectively.
|Él / Ella / Usted||Hizo||He/She did|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Hicieron||They/You did|
Imperfect tense conjugation
|Él / Ella / Usted||Hacía||He/She did|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Hacían||They/You did|
Future tense conjugation
The future tense of ‘hacer’ in Spanish is built with the irregular stem ‘har’ and the corresponding future endings.
|Yo||Haré||I will do|
|Tú||Harás||You will do|
|Él / Ella / Usted||Hará||He/She will do|
|Nosotros||Haremos||We will do|
|Vosotros||Haréis||You will do|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Harán||They/You will do|
Conditional tense conjugation
‘Hacer’ in conditional tense is irregular. So to conjugate this tense, we use the stem ‘har’ and we simply add the proper conditional endings for each subject.
|Yo||Haría||I would do|
|Tú||Harías||You would do|
|Él / Ella / Usted||Haría||He/She would do|
|Nosotros||Haríamos||We would do|
|Vosotros||Haríais||You would do|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Harían||They/You would do|
Estoy haciendo espagueti.
I’m making spaghetti.
Anoche los perros estuvieron haciendo mucho ruido.
Last night the dogs were making a lot of noise.
Nuestro jefe ha hecho mucho por la compañía.
Our boss has done a lot for the company.
Niños, pensé que ya habían hecho la tarea.
Boys, I thought you had already done your homework.
Hacer Subjunctive Conjugations
Present subjunctive conjugation
To conjugate to the present subjunctive, the stem you’ll need to use is ‘hag’.
|Él / Ella / Usted||Haga||To do|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Hagan||To do|
Imperfect subjunctive conjugations
The imperfect subjunctive of ‘hacer’ is conjugated by using the stem ‘hic’ for all the subjects. Just make sure you add the corresponding endings for each pronoun.
|Yo||Hiciera / Hiciese||I did|
|Tú||Hicieras / Hicieses||I did|
|Él / Ella / Usted||Hiciera / Hiciese||I did|
|Nosotros||Hiciéramos / Hiciésemos||I did|
|Vosotros||Hicierais / Hicieseis||I did|
|Ustedes / Ellos / Ellas||Hicieran / Hiciesen||I did|
Es imposible que hayas hecho todo esto tú solo.
It’s impossible that you did all this by yourself.
Si hubieras hecho lo que te pedí, no estarías castigada.
If you had done what I asked, you wouldn’t be grounded.
To build commands with ‘hacer’, ‘tú’ uses the stem ‘ha’ followed by a ‘z’ while ‘vosotros’ uses ‘hac’ with the ending ‘ed’. The rest of the subjects follow the present subjunctive conjugation. All subjects follow the subjunctive conjugation in the negative imperative form.
[‘Hacer’ in imperative] + [complement]
Hagan diez sentadillas.
Do ten squats.
Venga, chicos, haced lo que les pedí.
Come on, boys, do what I asked you.
No + [‘hacer’ in present subjunctive] + [complement]
No hagas eso, es peligroso.
Don’t do that, it’s dangerous.
Oigan, no hagan ejercicio después de comer.
Hey, don’t exercise after eating.
How to Use ‘Hacer’ in Spanish with Examples
In Spanish, the verb ‘hacer’ has different translations depending on the situation where it is being applied. Overall, there are six main ways to use this verb:
- To describe people performing activities
- To talk about producing and creating things
- To point out a consequence
- Describing the weather
- Talking about time
- To describe transformations
To describe people performing activities
In Spanish, ‘hacer’ is a verb that encompasses the majority of activities people, animals and even things perform. As a result, it can be translated as ‘to do’.
[‘Hacer’ conjugated] + [complement]
¿Qué haces aquí?
What are you doing here?
Hago un poco de ejercicio todos los días.
I do some exercise every day.
No hice la tarea de matemáticas.
I didn’t do my math homework.
¿Harán algo mañana o van a descansar?
Are you guys doing something tomorrow or are you resting?
Given that we use this verb to talk about activities, it’s not uncommon to use ‘hacer’ with other verbs to better express or describe the things that people do:
[Verb conjugated] + [hacer in infinitive form]
¿Qué podemos hacer en México?
What can we do in Mexico?
Mayra, ¿qué te gusta hacer los fines de semana?
Mayra, what do you like to do on the weekends?
To talk about producing and creating things
As the direct translation of ‘to make’ or ‘to prepare’, we also use ‘hacer’ when talking about the creation or production of something. As you can imagine, this can be applied to an endless list of things, including objects, food and art.
(Noun) + [‘hacer’ conjugated] + [noun]
Mi mamá hizo pay de manzana.
My mom made apple pie.
Esa compañía hace carros de lujo.
That company makes luxury cars.
La tía de José hacía esculturas de barro.
José’s aunt made clay sculptures.
Los compositores de los 80 hacían muy buenas canciones.
The composers of the 80s made very good songs.
To point out a consequence
Spanish speakers often use ‘hacer’ to talk about the effects or the consequences of a certain action. With this meaning, ‘hacer’ can be translated as ‘to make’ or ‘to cause’.
(Noun) + [‘hacer’ conjugated] + [noun]
Hiciste un desastre.
You made a mess.
La gotera hizo un charco.
The leak made a puddle.
Tu tía hizo un escándalo en la fiesta.
Your aunt made a fuss at the party.
Describing the weather
A very important use of ‘hacer’ is to describe the weather. In this context, ‘hacer’ means ‘to be’. And, since you’re describing how the weather is, you’ll need to use adverbs and adjectives that help you provide more accurate information.
When it comes to this meaning, you can use the following nouns to build your sentences:
- Frío – Cold
- Calor – Hot
- Sol – Sun
- Viento – Wind
Here is a formula that will help create this type of sentence with ‘hacer’:
[‘Hacer’ conjugated] + (adverb) + [noun]
Hoy hace mucho sol.
Today is very sunny.
Mañana hará mucho viento.
Tomorrow it’ll be very windy.
Este invierno hará más frío que el pasado.
This winter will be colder than the last one.
Prendí el aire acondicionado porque hacía calor.
I turned on the air conditioning because it was hot.
Related Resource: Talking About the Weather in Spanish
Talking about time
Another use of ‘hacer’ that you want to get familiar with, is to measure time. In this situation, there are two different ways to translate ‘hacer’. If referring to the time someone spends doing a specific activity, it can be translated as ‘to take’.
[‘Hacer’ conjugated] + [time] + [complement]
Hice media hora caminando de mi casa a la escuela.
It took me half an hour from my house to school.
El tren hace dos minutos a la siguiente estación.
The train takes two minutes to get to the next station.
Haces diez minutos en carro y treinta en camión.
It takes ten minutes by car and thirty by truck.
It can also be translated as ‘ago’ when describing how long it has been since an event took place. In this case, ‘hacer’ is only used in the third person singular (hace).
Hace + [time] + [complement]
Hace veinte días asaltaron a mi prima.
Twenty days ago my cousin was mugged.
Hace 3 años me gradué de la universidad.
3 years ago I graduated from university.
Notice that you can use the words ‘mucho’ and ‘poco’ instead of specifying the exact time it has passed since the event. In these case, hace could be translated as ‘recently’ or ‘long time’.
Hace mucho que no veo a mi hermano.
I haven’t seen my brother in a long time.
Hace poco me encontré a Ulises en la calle.
I recently bumped into Ulises on the street.
Take Note: On top of being used as a synonym of ago, ‘hacer’ is used to build other time expressions such as ‘hace que‘ and ‘desde hace‘. Although they’re using the same verb, these time expressions describe different periods of time, so make sure you learn how to use them.
To describe transformations
Another common use of ‘hacer’ is as a translation of ‘to become’ or ‘to turn into’. This meaning allows people to talk about changes and transformations. However, in this situation, ‘hacer’ is used as a pronominal verb and is followed by an adjective that expresses such change.
[‘Hacer’] + [direct object pronoun] + [adjective]
Sara quiere hacerse famosa.
Sara wants to become famous.
A este paso nunca voy a hacerme rico.
At this rate, I’m never going to become rich.
Carlos se hizo adicto a las drogas.
Carlos became addicted to drugs.
Expressions with ‘Hacer’
There are countless expressions and idioms that contain the word ‘hacer’ and are very useful when it comes to developing your conversational skills. Here’s a list of the most popular ones:
Hacer la pelota is an expression that describes someone flattering another person with the purpose of getting something for their own benefit. It can be translated as ‘to suck up to’.
Hacer buenas migas is used to talk about people getting along. It can be translated as ‘to make good friends’.
Hacer menos describes a person being dismissive about something. It can be translated as ‘to ignore’ or ‘to downplay’.
Hacerse la víctima means ‘to play the victim’.
If you want to increase your vocabulary and keep practicing this verb, here are other expressions with ‘hacer’ that you can learn.
Synonyms of ‘Hacer’ in Spanish
Producir is the direct translation of ‘to produce’. It’s commonly used in industrial contexts and commercial contexts, however it can also be used as a synonym of ‘to happen’.
Crear translates as ‘to create’.
Realizar can be translated as ‘to make’ or ‘to carry out’.
Master your understanding and use of Time Expressions with ‘Hacer’
As we’ve seen, ‘hacer’ is an incredibly useful verb. It has a lot of meanings and uses. In fact, in Spanish, we use it to build several indispensable time expressions that help us talk about a measure or period of time.
Although we’ve already looked at ‘hace’, let’s re-summarize it and compare it next to two new expressions with ‘hacer’ that you definitely want to learn:
- ‘Hace’ means ‘to take’ when talking about the how long a particular activity takes to do and ‘ago’ when describing the time since an event took place.
- ‘Hace que’ is used to talk about how long an activity has been occurring or recurring for.
- ‘Desde hace’ can be translated as ‘for’ .
So, if you’re looking to perfect the use of these expressions and ‘hace’, check out my articles on the differences between ‘hace’ and ‘hace que’ as well as ‘desde hace’ vs ‘hace’. These will help you reinforce your existing knowledge of ‘hacer’ and where to draw the lines between all three of these time expressions.