The word “hacer” means “to do,” and it can be used for several things in the Spanish language. It can be used to tell time, how long ago an action happened. Something that happened in the past, and it continues in the present. There are also several common expressions that we will learn in this lesson.
- 1. If you would like to tell someone that you have been doing something for three years, you can say:
Hace tres años que comencé a estudiar en la universidad.
It has been three years since I started studying at the university.
When you want to indicate and action that started in the past, and continues unto the present, you will use this formula:
“Hacer” + time + que + verb in the preterite or
“Verb in the preterite + Hacer + time
Nos mudamos a Australia hace cuatro años.
We moved to Australia four years ago.
- If you would like to tell someone that something happened while you had been doing another action for a while you will use:
“Hacía + Time + Que +verb in the preterite or
Verb in the preterite +Hacía + Time
Hacía tres días que estábamos viajando, cuando perdí mis papeles.
It had been three days that we were traveling, when I lost my papers.
- If you want to talk about the weather, you would also use “hace,” to indicate how cold or hot it is.
Hace calor! - It is hot!
Hace fresco - It is a little chili
Hace frío! - It is cold
Hace buen tiempo - It is good weather
Hace mal tiempo - It is bad weather
Hace viento - It's windy
- “Hacer,” is also used to indicate an action. It means “to do.”
Hacer los quehaceres - To do housework
Hacer la tarea - To do your homework
Hacer la cama - To make your bed
Hacer ejercicio - Exercise
Hacer cola - To stand in line
Hacer caso - To mind
Hacer un viaje - To travel
Hacer daño - To do harm
Hacer la compra - To go shopping
As you can see, “Hacer,” can be used to tell someone to “do” a trip or to “do” harm, as well as “to do your homework.” In English we don’t say “We are going to make a line.” when we are going to stand in line. However, if you would translate the expression “hacer cola.” literally, that is what you would get.