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Can someone explain "hace" to me in this sentence?

"Hoy hace mal tiempo". The weather is bad today.

I don't understand the role of "hace" here. If hace means "does" or "makes" the direct translation would be: today makes bad weather. Is that supposed to be the idea of the sentence, that the weather is doing bad? I don't understand. To me it seems that saying "es" would be far better, hoy es mal tiempo, instead of hace. Am i missing something here?

3 months ago

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/George418878
George418878
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This is just how they construct the phrase in Spanish.

English has its own strange constructions, such as using the word "get" (obtain) in phrases like "get lost," "get in," and "get by." Is someone "obtaining" lost? Are they "obtaining" into a car? There is no answer, other than, that's the combination of words that means a certain thing in this language.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Camilla-danesa
Camilla-danesa
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I love he example you gave. I never thought about how odd it is that we use "get" in this way!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El_Gusano
El_Gusano
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I've always thought of using get in that fashion as obtaining a status. Like "Obtain the status of being lost!"

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SantB

We don't say "Hoy es mal tiempo" as you don't say "Today is bad weather". You must use "estar" instead, for being a temporary condition, so you can rather say "Hoy está feo el tiempo" or "Hoy hay mal tiempo".

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iLearned

Thanks! That's what i was looking for, at least i was in the ball park.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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You will also find that tener (have, tengo,tienes, tiene, tenemos,tienen) is used where English uses is. Tengo 67 años. I am 67 years old. Tengo miedo. I am afraid. Tengo hambre. I am hungry. You just have to learn that these concepts are expressed differently, and translate by phrases instead of word for word. Also, a lot of words have multiple translations between any two language pairs, and they aren't always the same.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iLearned

With tener i can understand it because tengo hambre, i have hunger, actually makes sense to me even if the English sounds weird. That's my issue with "hace" in the above, i'm unsure if thinking about it as "the weather is doing/making bad" is legitimate or not

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SantB

Yes, it can be interpreted in that way, although the verb "hacer" as the "wild card" it is in most languages, with 60 meanings registered by the dictionary, is impersonal here, along with the other meaning related to time (translated in English as "ago")

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian845704

I was just going to mention that tener is a verb in Spanish that is used similarly to how we use it in English. At first, it is really weird to me hearing things like "tengo calor," which literally means I have heat. In Spanish, we have cold or heat in our bodies.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

We do the same in Dutch "ik heb het warm" which word-by-word translates to "I have it warm". Ok, the "it" is a bit odd, but we also use have.

The more languages you know, the easier it becomes to learn more :)

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SantB

The same happens the other way around, when we learn that you say "I am hot", which if you translate it literally into Spanish, has a totally different meaning XD

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Chilotin
Chilotin
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This "hace" is anomalous, it is used for weather ("there is", "is") and time ("since"): "hace calor", "hace frío", "hace un año". I suppose it is an old construction that literally meant "it makes" but it is used only in these sentences today and only in third singular person: "hacía frío esos días", never "hacían fríos esos días".

I wouldn't use it for "mal tiempo", I'd say "hay mal tiempo" or "hoy está malo el tiempo" but there are dialectal variation probably.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iLearned

Thank you!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EdithGrani1
EdithGrani1
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Hi, in spanish to talking about the weather, always you need to use “hace",, there is not a translation, it is an expression.

For example: Hace frio (It is cold) Hace mal tiempo. (The weather is bad)

“Es" is not used.

I hope this informations will be useful.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HezyTech

I like how you put "always" at the start of the sentence as that is what you do in Spanish. I love seeing this kind of stuff :)

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

Do I assume correctly that you only speak English besides learning Spanish?

If you have not done so already then you will see that words do not translate one-to-one between languages. Por and para are also a nice example of this.

Some cultures and languages just look at things differently.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Camilla-danesa
Camilla-danesa
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la_ricfoi, happy 500day anniversary today!!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

Thank you. It is actually already at 501, but the forums lag behind a bit. Though I tend to celebrate on powers of two, eleven more days to 0x200 :)

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iLearned

Yes i speak English. Yes i understand that words don't translate one-to-one. I was/am just curious as to HOW i'm supposed to think about hace in this sense.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

When talking about weather, hace just translates to "to be".

I am not sure that you can come up with a single abstract concept or action such that it suddenly makes sense. The translation is just contextual.

I suppose the reverse translation would be just as weird to a native Spanish speaker. Is it, anyone?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian845704

I agree that it is just contextual! Hacer almost always translates to do or make something, but all the sudden it translates to "to be" only when talking about the weather. I thought that only Ser and Estar were used to express "to be", but noooo. It's all good though because once you understand this, it is really simple!

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

Maybe it stems from the time people thought gods created the weather.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/la_ricfoi

Zeus get's mad and makes bad weather and lightning right??

It most definitely is not right, but that's what people used to think :)

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Brian845704

That's basically how I imagine it la_ricfoi! Especially after reading Greek mythology :) Zeus get's mad and makes bad weather and lightning right??

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/iLearned

Thank you, la_ricfoi your explanation actually helps make sense. I mean, overall i still don't get it, but thinking about it as "to be" will help...should help...hopefully

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Victor_Donjuan

Just an idiom. It indeed means that the weather is bad.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof123456

It could just be an extra. I my not be right , but that hppens lot whe Im speaking with my abuelo , thats what he says at least.

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HezyTech

it is just how it is, don't over think why....

3 months ago