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Quick answer
"Hacía" is a form of "hacer", a transitive verb which is often translated as "to do". "Estaba haciendo" is a phrase which is often translated as "he was doing". Learn more about the difference between "estaba haciendo" and "hacía" below.
estaba haciendo(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (he, she, or it was carrying out; third person singular)
a. he was doing
Cuando llamé a Carlos, estaba haciendo la tarea de matemáticas.When I called Carlos, he was doing his math homework.
b. she was doing
No sé qué estaba haciendo, pero parecía muy concentrada.I don't know what she was doing, but she seemed to be very focused.
c. it was doing
¿El gobierno no hizo nada por ellos? - Sí, estaba haciendo lo posible por extraditarlos.And didn't the government do anything for them? - Yes, it was doing all it could to extradite them.
d. was doing
En aquel entonces, María estaba haciendo la carrera de historia.Maria was doing a history degree back then.
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(you were carrying out; second person singular)
a. you were doing
Cuando estaba haciendo la tareas de la casa, ¿no soñaba a veces con una vida totalmente distinta?When you were doing the housework, didn't you sometimes dream of a totally different life?
3. (I was carrying out; first person singular)
a. I was doing
Cuando era joven, siempre estaba haciendo algo, pero ahora me cuesta moverme.When I was young, I was always doing something, but I find it difficult to move now.
4. (he, she, or it was producing; third person singular)
a. he was making
Luis dijo que estaba haciendo una casa de juguete para sus hijas.Luis said he was making a dollhouse for his daughters.
b. she was making
Cuando llegamos, estaba haciendo la cena.When we arrived, she was making dinner.
c. it was making
Apagué el aire acondicionado porque estaba haciendo mucho ruido.I turned off the air-conditioning because it was making a lot of noise.
d. was making
Juan estaba haciendo un pastel y se le quemó.Juan was making a cake and he burned it.
A word or phrase used to refer to the second person formal “usted” by their conjugation or implied context (e.g. usted).
(you were producing; second person singular)
a. you were making
¿Las natillas que estaba haciendo son para la comida o para la cena?Is the custard you were making for lunch or for dinner?
6. (I was producing; first person singular)
a. I was making
¿Qué hacías en la cocina? - Estaba haciendo un bizcocho porque sé que les gusta.What were you making in the kitchen? - I was making a sponge cake because I know you like it.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to complete)
a. to do
Haz los deberes.Do your homework.
2. (to produce)
a. to make
Hice la comida de mis hijos.I made my children's lunch.
b. to prepare
Nos reuniremos este fin de semana para hacer la presentación.We will meet this weekend to prepare the presentation.
3. (to create)
a. to make
Hoy les enseñaré a hacer su propio sitio web.Today I'll show you how to make your own website.
4. (to carry out)
a. to make
Estoy ocupado haciendo los preparativos para la fiesta.I'm busy making preparations for the party.
5. (used in place of another verb)
a. to do
Me mandó que lavara los platos pero ya lo había hecho.He told me to wash the dishes but I had already done it.
6. (to acquire)
a. to make
Hizo una nueva amiga en el colegio.He made a new friend at school.
7. (to cause)
a. to make
La hizo llorar.He made her cry.
8. (to imagine)
a. to think
Hacía la casa sola.I thought there was nobody at home.
9. (to transform)
a. to make
El dolor hizo mi vida miserable.The pain made my life a misery.
10. (to obey)
a. to do
Haz lo que te digo.Do as I say.
11. (to cause to look)
a. to make look
Ese peinado te hace más vieja.That hairstyle makes you look older.
12. (to behave)
a. to act
¡No hagas el mono en el colegio!Don't act the fool at school!
13. (to gross)
a. to make
Se dice que el doctor hace hasta seis cifras.They say the doctor makes at least six figures.
b. to earn
Mi hermanito hizo una fortuna vendiendo limonada.My little brother earned a fortune selling lemonade.
14. (to take time)
a. to take
Les hizo dos semanas manejar a California.It took them two weeks to drive to California.
15. (to cover distance)
a. to do
Hicimos 150 millas en el último viaje.We did 150 miles on the last vacation.
b. to cover
Podemos hacer más distancia si salimos de noche.We can cover more distance if we leave at night.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
16. (time)
a. it has been
Hace mucho tiempo que no te veo.It has been a long time since I've seen you.
17. (weather)
a. to be
En invierno hace frío.It's cold in winter.
A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
18. (to create for oneself)
a. to make for oneself
Se hizo un vestido de seda.She made herself a silk dress.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
19. (to feign)
a. to pretend
No te hagas el santo; tú también te equivocas.Don't pretend to be a saint; you make mistakes, too.
b. to act
No te hagas el tonto conmigo.Don't act the fool with me.
20. (to turn into)
a. to become
Su sueño era hacerse dentista.His dream was to become a dentist.
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