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How to conjugate Hacer

Let’s learn the rest of the essential forms of Hacer, including the imperfect past (such as hacía), the preterite (such as hice), the future (such as haré), and the subjunctive (such as haga). We’ll also explore verb contractions, such as hacerlo and hazlo.

Full Podcast Episode


Let’s do this.

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to learn the rest of our conjugations of Hacer, and we’ll practice using it in all kinds of ways, plus we’ll learn a fun trick we can use with all of our Spanish verbs that take object pronouns.

First of all, let’s learn the preterite past tense of Hacer. To say “I did”, you use the word hice, spelled h-i-c-e. For example:

I didn’t do that.

Yo no hice eso.

To say “he/she/usted did”, the word is hizo, spelled h-i-z-o. So see if you can predict the next three sentences:

She did it.

Ella lo hizo.

I did this many times.

Yo hice esto muchas veces.

(formal) You didn’t do that?

¿Usted no hizo eso?

The rest of the preterite forms of Hacer rhyme with the corresponding preterite forms of Ir. So “you did” is hiciste, “they did” is hicieron, and “we did” is hicimos.

Let’s practice all these preterite forms with a mini-quiz.

He did that and we did this.

Él hizo eso y nosotros hicimos esto.

They did a lot of things but you didn’t do anything.

Ellos hicieron muchas cosas pero tú no hiciste nada.

I did what you told me because they didn’t do it.

Hice lo que me you told porque ellos no lo hicieron.

Hice lo que me dijiste porque ellos no lo hicieron.

You did something good, but we did something better.

Hiciste algo bueno, pero nosotros hicimos algo mejor.

Hacer also has an imperfect past tense, like all verbs, but it’s not super frequently used. Hacer is an action verb, and “doing” something tends to be a one-time event. However, if you’re choosing not to emphasize one event but instead are talking about how someone used to do things in the general past, you might need to pull up the imperfect tense.

The basic form is hacía. This is based on Hacer, but the last two letters are replaced with “ía”; this follows sort of the same pattern as Tener, which became tenía in the imperfect past tense. The other forms are hacías, hacían, and hacíamos.

Let’s practice these forms, and to make it super clear that you’re going to pick the imperfect past rather than the preterite, I’m going to say “used to do” instead of “did”. For example, if the English is:

I used to do that.

The Spanish will be:

Yo hacía eso.

Try this yourself with a few examples.

You used to do it at home?

¿Lo hacías en casa?

She didn’t use to do it.

Ella no lo hacía.

I used to do him some favors.

Le hacía unos favores.

The future tense of Hacer is a bit irregular. Remember how the future tense of Tener is kind of compressed; we would expect “I will have” to be “teneré”, but it’s instead it’s tendré. The future of Hacer is even more compressed: Instead of “haceré”, it’s simply haré, spelled h-a-r-e, with an accent mark on the E. If it helps, maybe imagine saying “hurray!” about something you’re going to do in the future. Haré. For the third person, he/she/it will do, the word is hará.

Let’s practice these a little.

The girl will do it again.

La chica lo hará otra vez.

I will not do it.

No lo haré.

And then the other forms are based on these: “we will do” is haremos, “they will do” is harán, and “you will do” is harás.

Something similar happens with the conditional: We would expect it to be based on “hacería”, but it’s haría, harías, harían, and haríamos.

Let’s practice both the future and the conditiona.

I will do what you(formal) would do.

Haré lo que usted haría.

She would do that if we were nice.

Ella haría eso si nosotros fuéramos buenos.

We will do that, but actually, I would do another thing.

Haremos eso, pero en verdad yo haría otra cosa.

This afternoon she will do that and you will do this.

Esta tarde ella hará eso y tú harás esto.

The subjunctive forms of Hacer are all based on haga, spelled h-a-g-a. For some of our students we use a memory palace that involves a pig sty in the backyard, where there are creatures called “hogs”, but with a silent H. So, we have haga, hagas, hagan, and hagamos.

Let’s practice with some examples:

I want them to do that.

I want que hagan eso.

Quiero que hagan eso.

She wants me to do it.

Ella wants que yo lo haga.

Ella quiere que yo lo haga.

I will do it when you do it.

Yo lo haré cuando tú lo hagas.

We only need one more form of Hacer, the informal imperative, haz, spelled h-a-z. Here are a couple of examples:

Do that for me, please.

Haz eso por mí, por favor.

Do this now!

¡Haz esto ahora!

We’ve learned a lot of forms of Hacer today, and we’ll get more practice at the end of this episode, and then extensive practice throughout this week. But first, let’s revisit one of the rules that we’ve learned that applies to all verbs.

Ever since Episode 7, you’ve been practicing putting object pronouns, such as lo, le, te, and se, right before the verb in a sentence. In some Spanish sentences, there’s more than one word that’s classified as a verb; for example, a sentence might include the phrase tiene que hacer, where both tiene and hacer are considered verbs. In those cases, we specifically put the object pronoun before the conjugated verb. So to say “he has to do it”, we would say lo tiene que hacer.

But there are some situations where we run into some problems, particularly when we want to use an object pronoun but we don’t have a conjugated verb to put it before. For example, let’s say you want to say this in Spanish:

I am here in order to do it.

So obviously we start by saying estoy aquí para… but how do we say “to do it”? By default, after a preposition, such as para, we put some sort of noun, or an infinitive, which is basically the noun form of a verb. So for this particular sentence, is there a way to turn the idea of “doing it” into a noun?

Well, yes, there is: By using the contraction hacerlo.

Estoy aquí para hacerlo.

This seems to break the rule that we’re supposed to put direct objects before verbs, not after them. But this is a specific exemption to the rule. You’re allowed to create a contraction with the infinitive plus some object pronoun, and in some cases that’s the only way to express what you want to say.

Here’s another example:

She’s here to do him a favor.

Ella está aquí para hacerle un favor.

In this case, the contraction is hacerle. So it’s the indirect object, le, meaning “to him” or “for him”, and it’s stuck to the end of Hacer.

Let’s practice this with a few sentence examples. Each of these uses a contraction that starts with hacer, so see if you can predict how to put it together.

She is here to do you a favor.

Ella está aquí para hacerte un favor.

Doing it here would be good.

Hacerlo aquí sería bueno.

We put emphasis on doing it well.

We put emphasis en hacerlo bien.

Ponemos énfasis en hacerlo bien.

Now, Hacer isn’t the only verb that you can do this with. It works with any verb that takes any kind of object pronoun. In fact, we’ve seen this with the reflexive form of Ir, Irse. This is just ir with a se on the end. We can use this, the idea of “leaving”, as a noun in a sentence. For example:

Leaving would be good.

Irse sería bueno.

Now you would specifically say that if you were referring to a third person. If you’re talking about yourself, you’ll use the contraction irme, or to refer to the idea of us leaving, you’d say irnos, i-r-n-o-s.

Now here’s what’s kind of fun: This even affects what might happen when we’re structuring sentences such as “we have to leave”. So by default, this should be nos tenemos que ir. But since the infinitive, ir, is in there, we can actually change it to tenemos que irnos.

Tenemos que irnos.

Here’s another example; this one uses the contraction tenerlo, meaning “to have it”.

I don’t have it, because she has to have it.

Yo no lo tengo, porque ella tiene que tenerlo.

So we COULD have said porque ella lo tiene que tener, putting lo before the conjugated verb tiene, but since the infinitive tener is in there, we have the option of instead putting lo at the end by using the contraction tenerlo.

Let’s practice this with some sentences that use contractions involving Ir and Tener. In each case, if you’re able to use a contraction, try to do it.

I have to leave.

Tengo que irme.

How good to have you here!

¡Qué bueno tenerte aquí!

Do you have to leave now?

¿Tienes que irte ahora?

They didn’t have to have it.

No tenían que tenerlo.

We did it in order to leave.

Lo hicimos para irnos.

Remember that you can specifically do this trick with the unconjugated infinitive, not most forms of verbs that we’ve learned. In general, object pronouns go before verbs, not at the end of them. But the infinitive is different in this regard.

There’s also another area where the rule is different, and it involves imperatives. As we’ve seen before, you can turn ve, the imperative for “go” into the imperative for “leave” by making it reflexive and putting the te at the end. The fact is, the only way to form standard imperatives along with object pronouns is to put the object pronoun on the end of the word.

For example, we just learned that the informal imperative for Hacer is haz, which means “do” as a command. To say “do it”, you would say hazlo, spelled h-a-z-l-o, but all one word. So here’s the Spanish for the command “do it now!”

¡Hazlo ahora!

This also applies to the formal imperative, which is the same as the subjunctive, haga. To turn it into “do it now”, in a formal voice, you’d say this:

¡Hágalo ahora!

And here’s how you’d tell a group of people to do you a favor.

Háganme un favor.

However, as we covered back in Episode 54, negative imperatives are different. To tell someone not to do something, you use the subjunctive, and you put the object pronoun before it. Here are those same examples, but in the negative.

Don’t do it now.

No lo hagas ahora.

(formal) Don’t do it now.

No lo haga ahora.

(you all) Don’t do it now.

No lo hagan ahora.

We’ve covered a lot today! Throughout the rest of the week we’ll be getting more and more practice with all of this. For now, let’s do a pretty easy quiz to solidify what we’ve just learned.

Juan does that, but I would also do it.

Juan hace eso, pero yo también lo haría.

(formal) Do it! Neither he nor she will do it.

¡Hágalo! Ni él ni ella lo harán.

I did that in order to have you.

Hice eso para tenerte.

Since you do that, I want to leave.

Ya que haces eso, I want irme.

Ya que haces eso, quiero irme.

You don’t want to leave.

No you want irte.

No quieres irte.

They want him to do that and to be around.

Quieren que él haga eso y esté por ahí.

Do it! Earlier you used to do everything that we told you.

¡Hazlo! Earlier hacías todo lo que te we told.

¡Hazlo! Antes hacías todo lo que te decíamos.

Do what they tell you! They don’t do it.

¡Haz lo que te dicen! Ellos no lo hacen.

There's a need to do her that favor.

Hay que hacerle ese favor.

My friend had to have it and that’s why he did that.

Mi amigo tenía que tenerlo y por eso hizo eso.

I will do it, but when I do it, I won’t be there.

Lo haré, pero cuando lo haga, no estaré ahí.

So you didn’t go? Even they went.

¿Así que no fuiste? Hasta ellos fueron.

I want you to do that when they also do it.

I want que tú hagas eso cuando ellos también lo hagan.

Quiero que tú hagas eso cuando ellos también lo hagan.

She used to do that before but now she would not do it.

Ella hacía eso before pero ahora no lo haría.

Ella hacía eso antes pero ahora no lo haría.

We already did it, but we have to do it again.

Ya lo hicimos, pero tenemos que hacerlo otra vez.

That has to be done until that year.

Eso tiene que hacerse hasta ese año.

Our friends did a lot of things in the house.

Nuestros amigos hicieron muchas cosas en la casa.

I always used to do it.

Siempre lo hacía.

They never wanted to do you that favor.

Ellos nunca wanted hacerte ese favor.

Ellos nunca quisieron hacerte ese favor.

Who is going to go? You did it another time.

¿Quién va a ir? Tú lo hiciste otra vez.

If we do that, we’ll have to leave.

Si hacemos eso, tendremos que irnos.

You won’t do it?

¿Tú no lo harás?

I always do that but he doesn’t want to leave.

Siempre hago eso pero él no wants irse. 

Siempre hago eso pero él no quiere irse. 

Will he do it another day?

¿Lo hará otro día?

What do you mean we will do it?

¿Cómo que lo haremos nosotros?

They have it all either way.

Ellos lo tienen todo sí o sí.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/62.

Tomorrow we’re going to learn some of the most advanced pronoun uses in Spanish so that you can speak Spanish in a more and more natural, native-sounding voice very soon.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Michael Agudelo. Our music was provided by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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