The Spanish expression hacer falta means to need. It is widely used and act as any Spanish verb. In this blog our Spanish school El Rincón de Tándem tells you how to use it correctly in a sentence. Take a look at this short explanation! ?

The Spanish expression hacer falta is one of the most frequently used in spoken and written Spanish. It is transitive verb phrase composed of a verb (hacer/to do) and the noun falta. It acts a verb in a sentence.

We can use this expression with people, objects, actions and activities. Grammar-wise, it means we can use it with nouns or verbs.

Let’s see the examples below:

– Me hace falta comer más fruta = I need to eat more fruit

– Nos hace falta una casa más grande = We need a bigger house

– A Darío le hace falta una libreta para tomar notas  = Dario needs a notebook to take notes

– Me hacen falta más horas para acabar esta tarea = I need more time to complete this task

As we can see from the examples above, the sentence structure in Spanish is different from the one used for the English translation. In fact, sentences with hacer falta are built the same way as sentences with Spanish verb gustar and faltar.

That is:

Indirect object = person that needs something/someone
Verb phrase acting as a verb =  hacer falta
Subject = People, object, action or activity that is needed


– Me hace falta un coche nuevo = Me (Indirect object) + hace falta (Verb) + Un coche nuevo (subject)

Nos hace falta descansar por la tarde = Nos (indirect object) + hace falta (verb) + descansar (subject)

We can rewrite all these sentences using the verb NECESITAR (to need). From one hand, the meaning of the sentence will be exactly the same; on the other hand, when replacing hacer falta with necesitar, the sentence structure will change.

Necesito comer más frutas = I need to eat more fruit

In this case, the subject of the sentence is YO (I) and the action (to eat more fruit) is the direct object.


Hacer falta is not an invariable expression. That means, that the verb hacer must be conjugated according to the number of the subject.

Nos hacen falta patatas para la tortilla = We need potatos to make a tortilla
Patatas (subject: plural noun) – Hacen (verb: 3rd person plural)

A Paco le hace falta un ordenador nuevo = Paco needs a new computer
Un ordenador nuevo (subject: singular noun) – Hace (verb: 3rd person singular)

Lastly, hacer falta can be also used in past and future tense as well as in other verb mood besides indicative (subjunctive and conditional).

Si vamos a Venecia, nos hará falta una buena cámara de foto = If we go to Venice, we Will need a good camara

No pude llevarme todos los suvenirs, me hacía falta una maleta más grande = I couldn’t bring all the souvernirs, I needed a bigger suitcase

– Pide todo lo que haga falta para pintar la habitación = Ask for anyhting you may need to paint the room

Si tuvieras una bicicleta, no te haría falta alquilar una = if you had a bike, you would not need to rent one.

We hope this blog helped you better understand the usage of the Spanish expression hacer falta.

As usual, we invite you to expand your knowledge of Spanish verbs during Spanish lessons and practicing your Spanish daily, outside the classroom.

Finally, our Spanish school El Rincón del Tándem would be happy to teach you Spanish here in Valencia, providing a cosy place where you can learn by having fun.

Have a good day!