Grammar: me hace falta ...

In a separate thread about song lyrics, one of the answers referenced the construction, "me haces falta tu." If I'm having trouble with it, maybe other learners are too, so I'm posting it here.

JR Nogal wrote:
Veo que ya la explicaron y muy bien. Solo voy a comentar algunas frases.

Me hace falta: Hacer falta means to need.
Example: Me haces falta tu: I need you. ¿Que te hace falta? What do you need?

Me haces falta tú
I always get confused, wondering who is the subject? who is the verb? Your sentence helps. If I want to dominar this, I have to dissect it. Let me try.
tú - subject
haces - verb
falta - direct object. a lack. a not-having. a needing
me - indirect object. The person who is the "victim" of the lack.

I think that it literally, word-by-word, means,
"You (is what) makes a not-having in me." Is that right?

What if the person lacking is not me or you, but him? Then what?
"Le hace falta el dinero"? Please don't tell me that it's "se" because that means it's a pronominal, and I'm still wrestling with those. (Is "lidiar" the right word for that kind of struggle / wrestling with a lesson?)

And what if the subject is plural?
Le hacen falta las llaves - is that right?

Can the subject be yo? Te haré falta yo - you will miss me. Is that right?

Are there any other sentence structures that use “hace falta”? Do you ever change the word order? I know “falta” by itself is used in other ways. But I’m specifically looking for “hace falta” variations.

What if you have to name the victim of the lack? Would it be
Sylvia hace falta el dinero. No, that doesn’t sound right.
A Sylvia le hace falta el dinero – is that better?

Thank you for the help.

April 18, 2015


Yay. Another one is: "¿Qué hace falta?" meaning "Is the anything I can help you with? To buy/bring something? To do something?"

"A Sylvia le hace falta dinero" is correct. Ahora, pido alguien me corrija pero me parece que "A Sylvia le hace falta dinero" y "A Sylvia le hace el dinero" no es lo mismo. Because in the first one (without "el") we are saying that Sylvia is poor, but the second sentence means that Sylvia need some specific money. Not any money, not at any time, but THIS money and no other.

Also, when you say - "No hace falta que vengan" means "You don´t need to come" (plural). - "No hace falta que vengas" means "You don't need to come" (singular). - "No hace falta que venga" means "She/He doesn't need to come". - "No hace falta que venga" also means "I don't need to come".

And for "I'm still wrestling with" I've heard "Sigo batallando con".

April 18, 2015

"Te haré falta yo" is for "you will miss me" and it can be used as help "you will need my help"

April 18, 2015

I have no idea what you are talking about.

April 18, 2015

How has this not gotten an up-vote after 3 hours of it being posted??? This is a really good grammar construction to highlight, as it has given me a lot of trouble in the past (okay I admit, I still have trouble understanding whenever I encounter it). I will be following this conversation, and when I feel brave I will try to figure out some of the responses myself.

April 18, 2015

The boards are usually dead over the weekends. The strange thing is, right after I posted it I got a downvote. What's up with that?

April 18, 2015

What's up with it is this is a very confusing topic! I know I looked at this discussion, started reading it, stopped and took several deep breaths, began again, scratched my head, my hands started shaking and my mind exploded! I'll have to digest it further at a later point, my brain still hurts from the first half.

Pero, estoy de acuerdo con usted... ¿Qué pasa con el down-vote?

April 18, 2015
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