Understanding HACE in Spanish (conjugated form of hacer in Spanish)

Understanding HACE (and its power) in Spanish

¿Que hace qué?
(It makes what?)

¡Calor! Desde hace días hace demasiado calor.
(It’s hot! It has been too hot for days.)

Hace tiempo que quiero hacer un video sobre “hace”. (It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to make a video about “make”.) Didn’t that sentence sound messy?

I’m Maura, from Spring Spanish. Today, we’re talking about hace in Spanish. Not “hacer” (to make) but it’s conjugation “hace”. It’s one of those things that books tend to omit but that I think deserves its rightful attention.
So, ¡Empecemos!

1. What is hace in Spanish?

Here’s the conjugation for the verb “hacer” (to make). “Hace” would be the conjugation for Él, Ella, Eso (He, She, It). Check it out:

Hacer (To make)

  • Yo hago (I make)
  • Tú haces (You make)
  • Él, Ella, Eso hace (He, She, It makes)
  • Nosotros/as hacemos (We make)
  • Ustedes, Ellos/as hacen (Plural You, They make)

I did make a video about the entire verb “hacer” that you can check out right here. In this video we only care about the conjugation for “eso” (it): eso hace (it makes). The idea is that we can use this “hace” to talk about things. Abstract things like the weather and time. And, we don’t need to use “eso” along with it.

In fact, talkig about the weather is one of the ways in which we used “hace” in our opening dialogue. Check it out once more:

¿Que hace qué?
(It makes what?)

¡Calor! Desde hace días hace demasiado calor.
(It’s hot! It has been too hot for days.)

Chunk Alert!

¿Que hace qué? (That it makes what?) is a chunk with a structure I love. So, I want you to pay attention to it and see that we usually ask questions with this double “que” when we didn’t understand what was said or when we are very surprised. You would, of course, change the verb accordingly. For example:

Quiero cortarme el cabello.
(I want to cut my hair.)

¿Que quieres qué?
(You want what?)
This is about not hearing well the first time.

Dijo que no me quería.
(He said he didn’t love me.)

¿Que dijo qué?
(He said what?)

This is about surprise.

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2. Using “hace” to talk about the weather

¡Sí! Hace calor y hace muchísimo sol, así que es doble problems.
(Yes! It’s hot and very sunny, so it’s a double problem.)

Cierto, y no hace nada de brisa.
(True, and it’s not breezy at all.)

¡Exacto! En cambio, aquí cuando hace frío, al menos hace sol y se compensa.
(Exactly! On the other hand, when it’s cold here, at least it’s sunny and it makes up for it.)

Y normalmente hace muy poca brisa igual. Lo cual también ayuda con el frío.
(And there is usually very little breeze anyway. Which also helps with the cold.)

¡Tal cual! Por eso el invierno en esta ciudad es súper fácil de manejar. Hace falta mucho más para soportar el verano.
(Just like that! That’s why winter in this city is super easy to handle. So much more is needed to handle the summer.)

You had a bunch of examples with “hace” talking about the weather in that dialogue. But here’s how we’ll break them down:

  • “Hace” for temperature:
    • No soporto cuando hace demasiado calor. (I can’t stand it when it’s too hot.)
    • Prefiero el clima cuando hace un poquito de frío. (I prefer the weather when it’s a little cooler.)
  • “Hace” for weather elements that are not temperature:
    • Si hace sol, vamos a la playa. (If it’s sunny, we go to the beach.)
    • Hace demasiada brisa para salir sin chaqueta. (It’s too breezy to go out without a jacket.)

Chunk Alert!

¿Qué? (What?) Two chunk alerts in the same video? That’s right. Es que tenemos que hablar sobre “hace falta mucho más para soportar el verano.” (It’s just that we have to talk about “so much more is needed to handle the summer.”) “Hace falta” is a weird sounding chunk you can run into very often. It means you’re missing something or someone. Or you need something or someone. For example:

  • Me hace mucha falta mi familia. (I miss my family very much.): here I’m missing someone.
  • A esta sopa le hace falta sal. (This soup needs salt.): here something needs something.

3. Using “hace” to talk about time

Hace unos años habríamos dicho algo completamente distinto. Qué incómodo que el clima esté cambiando tan violentamente.
(A few years ago we would have said something completely different. How uncomfortable that the climate is changing so violently.)

¡Dímelo a mi! Hace días estaba hablando sobre eso. Nuestra generación ha tenido que ver el desastre del calentamiento global de cero a mil.
(Tell me about it! I was just talking about it days ago. Our generation has had to see the global warming disaster from 0 to a 1,000.)

Cierto. Hace nada estábamos “empezando” a ver las consecuencias. Hoy causan estragos constantes en todas partes.
(True. Not long ago we were “just beginning” to see the consequences. Today, they wreak constant havoc everywhere.)

¡Qué deprimente! Hace cinco minutos todo lucía bien. Ahora ya vamos por el apocalipsis.
(How depressing! 5 minutes ago everything seemed fine. Now we’re already on the apocalypse.)

Jajaja, es lo que nos tocó.
(Hahaha, it’s what we got.)

Sorry about the gloomy subject. But hey! Burdens are lighter when shared.

A mí sí me conforta compartirlo y confirmar que estamos todos juntos en esto. (I do find it comforting to share it and to confirm that we are all in this together.)

It was also a great platform for “hace” to show up constantly. “Hace” can do that. A little bit like “get” in English. It shows up a lot. And it can even show up more than once in the same sentence, easily.

This is how much “hace” can do when it comes to talking about time:

  • Hace dos minutos me dijiste que no tenías hambre. (2 minutes ago you told me you weren’t hungry.)
  • Intenté llamarla hace un par de horas. (I tried to call her a couple of hours ago.)
  • Hace días que no salgo. (I haven’t been out for days.)
  • No la veo desde hace semanas. (I haven’t seen her for weeks.)
  • Hace tres meses que lo operaron. (It’s been 3 months since his surgery.)
  • Te estoy esperando desde hace años. (I’ve been waiting for you for years.)
  • Hace muchísimo tiempo que no hago paddle. (I haven’t been paddle boarding for a long time.)
  • Fui a comer con tu hermana hace nada. (I went to lunch with your sister not long ago.)

4. When “hace” is actually “to make” or “to do” in English

Of course there are instances in which we’re not talking about the weather or time. Sometimes “hace” is just “to make” or “to do” in English. Let’s see some examples of this:

  • Ella nunca hace la compra. (She never does the shopping.)
  • Él siempre hace una gran fiesta de cumpleaños. (He always throws a big birthday party.)
  • Esta lavadora hace mucho ruido. (This washing machine makes a lot of noise.)

The verb “hacer” as a whole is, of course, bigger. And, it’s not always a direct translation of “to do” or “to make”. So, now that you know the power of “hace”, you should really make sure you’ve harnessed the power of the entire verb “hacer”. Click the image on the screen to continue this lesson with me. ¡Nos vemos allá!

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