7 Popular Spanish Phrases with Hacer


As you learn Spanish, you’ll notice that ‘hacer’ is a very common verb. On top of getting familiar with its conjugations, there are various popular Spanish expressions with hacer that native speakers use to communicate on a daily basis. 

Knowing these phrases will not only help you expand your vocabulary but it will also make your experience with the language a lot more authentic. In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 7 popular expressions with ‘hacer’. I’ve also included descriptions of what these phrases mean and how you can use them in your daily life. 

By the end of this, you’ll be able to use the verb ‘hacer’ to express yourself in a lot of different situations.

1. Hacer falta – To miss / To need

Hacer falta’ is a phrase that indicates absence and is usually translated as ‘to miss’ or ‘to need. So, it can be used to talk about needs or about missing someone. You’ll probably hear this phrase very often when it’s used to talk about things or people that are necessary in order to achieve something. 

Also, this expression is frequently used in restaurants to ask customers if they need anything. Here are some examples and a phrase structure that you can use to customize this expression. Notice that if you’re using this expression to ask people what they need, you must add an indirect object pronoun. 

[Indirect object pronoun] + hace falta + [complement]

¿Les hace falta algo más?
Do you guys need anything else?

Te hace falta estudiar más.
You need to study more.

Sólo nos hace falta comprar el pastel para la fiesta.
We only need to buy the cake for the party.

In other contexts, ‘hacer falta’ can also carry an emotional connotation and it can be used to say that you miss someone in Spanish. In this case, you’ll also need to use indirect object pronouns and you can add adverbs like ‘mucha’ or ‘demasiada’ before ‘falta’ to emphasize how much you miss that person.

[Indirect object pronoun] + [‘hacer’ conjugated] + (adverb) + falta

Me haces mucha falta.
I miss you a lot.

Vuelve pronto, nos haces falta.
Come back soon, we miss you.

2.Hacer cosquillas – To tickle

In Spanish, ‘hacer cosquillas’ is a variation and a much more common expression of the verb ‘cosquillear’ which means ‘to tickle’. This phrase is especially useful in contexts that involve people being playful, so it will come in handy when around kids, family or friends. Remember that, in this case, ‘hacer cosquillas’ works with indirect object pronouns. 

[Indirect object pronoun] + [‘hacer’ conjugated] + cosquillas

Ella odia que le hagan cosquillas.
She hates to be tickled.

Tu cabello me hace cosquillas.
Your hair tickles me.

¡No me hagas cosquillas!
Don’t tickle me!

3. Hacer cola – To queue / To get in line 

In Spanish, ‘hacer cola’ means  ‘to queue’, ‘to get in line, ‘stand in line’ or ‘to line up’. As a result, this expression will be very handy in daily contexts like in supermarkets, banks, and parking lots. A variation of this expression is ‘hacer fila’.  Both of these expressions are very popular, so whichever you choose, they’ll make you sound more natural. 

 [‘Hacer’ conjugated] + cola/fila +  (complement)

Los que tienen pase VIP no hacen cola.
Those with a VIP pass do not have to line up.

¿Cuánto tiempo llevas haciendo fila?
How long have you been standing in line?

Hay mucha gente haciendo cola, mejor vuelvo mañana.
There are a lot of people queuing, I’d better come back tomorrow.

El restaurante estaba lleno, hicimos cola durante tres horas.
The restaurant was full, we stood in line for three hours.

Take Note: Meterse o colarse en la fila expresses that a person that wasn’t in the line before just jumped into the queue.

Esa señora se metió en la fila. 
That lady jumped the queue.  

4. Hacer trampa – To cheat

Another very common phrase with ‘hacer’ is ‘hacer trampa’. This expression means ‘to cheat’ so, as you can imagine, it’s often used in sports, games, and tests to describe that someone achieved a goal in an unfair or shady way. 

Notice that this expression is used to talk about situations in which rules are broken by a person or a team, so it doesn’t apply when talking about cheating in a relationship or fraud.

[‘Hacer’ conjugated] + trampa + [complement]

Siempre haces trampa cuando jugamos cartas.
You always cheat when we play cards.

El atleta finlandés hizo trampa en los Juegos Olímpicos.
The Finnish athlete cheated at the Olympics.

Carlos es una persona muy honesta, nunca hace trampa.
Carlos is a very honest person, he never cheats.

5. Hacer caso – To listen / To pay attention

In Spanish, hacer caso is close in meaning to ‘to pay attention’ or ‘to listen’. As a result, this expression is commonly used to ask people to listen to something that you’re telling them. Since it’s used to catch people’s attention, this expression is often used as a command. 

[‘Hacer’ imperative] + [indirect object pronoun] + caso + (complement)

Hazle caso a tus profesores.
Pay attention to your teachers.

Hazme caso si no quieres que te castigue.
Listen to me if you don’t want me to punish you.

Of course, you can also conjugate ‘hacer’ in other tenses. Here is how you do it: 

[Indirect object pronoun] + [‘hacer’ conjugated] + caso

Mis alumnos nunca me hacen caso.
My students never listen to me.

¿Por qué nunca me haces caso?
Why do you never listen to me?

Tus hijos son muy bien portados, siempre te hacen caso.
Your children are very well behaved, they obey you.

Take note: Keep in mind the variation ‘hacer caso omiso’ is basically the opposite of ‘hacer caso’ and translates as ‘to ignore’.

[‘Hacer’ conjugated] + caso omiso + de + [complement]

El gobierno hizo caso omiso de nuestras peticiones.
The government ignored our requests.

6. Hacer de la vista gorda – To turn a blind eye

When someone is pretending not to notice something or faking ignorance to get rid of any kind of accountability, we say they are ‘haciendose de la vista gorda’. This is a great way to express that someone is ‘turning a blind eye’. 

‘Hacer la vista gorda’ can be used in common contexts as well as situations that involve some type of corruption or illegality. As you’ve probably already noticed, it’s used and conjugated as a reflexive verb.

[Reflexive pronoun] + [‘hacer’ conjugated] + de la vista gorda

Tú tuviste la culpa, no te hagas de la vista gorda.
It was your fault, don’t turn a blind eye.

El guardia se hizo de la vista gorda y dejó pasar a gente sin boleto.
The guard turned a blind eye and let people pass without tickets.

Aunque protestemos, el gobierno se hará de la vista gorda.
Even if we protest, the government will turn a blind eye.

7. Hacer las paces – To make peace

You will notice that very often people will use the expression ‘hacer las paces’ when talking about apologies. Since this phrase is used to describe someone that made up with another person, it’s translated as ‘to make peace’, ‘to make up’ or ‘to make amends’.

Keep in mind that this expression not only applies to people, but also to past events or situations. So if you ever want to talk about someone willingly trying to get past a hurtful experience or forgive a person they had a fight with, you can use this phrase.

[‘Hacer’ conjugated] + las paces + (con) + (complement)

Por fin hice las paces con mi pasado.
I finally made peace with my past.

Alexandra hizo las paces con su hermana.
Alexandra made peace with her sister.

Joaquín y Raúl hicieron las paces después de dos años.
Joaquín and Raúl made peace after two years.

Wrapping Up

In order to improve in Spanish, you really need to immerse yourself in the idiomatic culture of the speakers. Mastering the expressions with ‘hacer’ listed in this article will be a great step towards that.

From now on, you can start using these idioms with ‘hacer’ in your conversations and native speakers will instantly notice your fluency and knowledge of the language. These expressions can be used in a lot of scenarios so, si me haces caso and you use them, you’ll be able to convey what you want to say more easily and naturally in plenty of situations.

¡Buena suerte!

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I’ve taught Spanish in Mexico to a wide array of foreigners. From students and tourists to doctors and soldiers who’ve moved and visited here over the years. During the day I’m a freelancer and marketer, while at night I’m here writing for students of the world wide web looking to learn Spanish. I hope you find what you’re looking here during your journey into Español 🙂 Read More About Me

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