Conversation Activities Using the Spanish Verb Hacer to Express Time and Talk About the Weather

Hace: Meaning “Ago”

Hace is the word used in Spanish to express how long ago you have done something. It is the third person singular of the verb hacer. There is one important difference between the use of ago in English and in Spanish. In Spanish you use hace at the beginning of the time phrase and not at the end, as in English.

Playing Spanish word games using hace can demonstrate this difference. Divide your students into teams Have them sit around the classroom or on the school grounds and pretend they are exchanging stories about past travel (viajes).Here is a model dialogue:

A: Hace tres años fui a Barcelona.

B: Yo también fui a Barcelona, pero hace mucho tiempo.

C: Fui allí con mis padres una vez, pero hace tanto tiempo que casi no lo recuerdo.

A: Hace un mes yo fui también a Madrid y Pamplona.

B: Hiciste muchas excursiones.


A: I went to Barcelona three years ago.

B: I have also been to Barcelona, but that’s along time ago.

C :I went there with my parents once, but it has been such a long time ago (so long ago) that I almost don’t remember.

A: One month ago I also went to Madrid and Pamplona.

B: You made a lot of trips.

Hace – Meaning A Length of Time

Students can also practice the use of hace in the present tense, but with a slightly different meaning.

No ha llovido aquí hace un mes.

It hasn’t rained here in a month.

No veo a mis hermanos desde hace tres años.

I haven’t seen my brothers in a year.

Students can play around with names of different countries or islands. They can use other words like días (day), semanas (weeks), and horas (hours).

Talking About the Weather

The word hace is used to talk about the weather, and you can get your students playing a word game about that topic. They can divide themselves into pairs or groups of three on a three-way call and pretend they are in different countries talking to each other over the telephone or via Skype. Look at this dialogue:

A: ¿Qué tiempo hace allí? Aquí hace calor.

A: What’s the weather like there? It’s hot here.

B: Aquí también. ¡Qué calor hace!

B: Here too. It’s so hot!


A: Qué tiempo va a hacer mañana?

A: What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?

B: Creo que va a llover mañana.

B: I think it’s going to rain tomorrow.


A. Esta fresco después de la llover?

A. Is it cool after the rain?

B: Sí. ¡ Que buen clima hace cuando llueve!

B: Yes. The weather is so much better after it rains!

Students can expand the dialogue to include other expressions that use hace to describe the weather such as:

Hace frío – It’s cold

Hace viento – It’s windy

Hace sol – It’s sunny

Hace buen / mal tiempo (clima) – The weather is good / bad