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The Different Uses of the Word Hecho in Spanish

Surely you've heard the word hecho in Spanish. But did you know that this Spanish word can function as a noun, a verb, or an adjective, as well as being a part of countless fixed expressions? Let's look into the many uses of the word hecho in Spanish!


Hecho as a Noun

The masculine noun el hecho in Spanish can mean "the fact," "the incident," or "the event." Let's see some examples:


El hecho es que a mí Vargas me asignó ese caso

The fact is that Vargas assigned me that case

Caption 22, Confidencial: El rey de la estafa Capítulo 2 - Part 3

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el microrrelato tenía que estar basado en un hecho o personajes históricos.

the flash fiction story had to be based on a historical event or figures.

Caption 15, Aprendiendo con Carlos El microrrelato - Part 3

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Hecho as a Verb

Hecho is the participle form of the verb hacer, which means "to do" or "to make." Since participles are used with the auxiliary verb haber to form the perfect tenses (the equivalent of English sentences like "I have spoken," "I had eaten," etc.), the translations for hecho in this context would be "done" or "made." Let's listen to two examples where hecho accompanies haber as part of the present perfect tense:


Pero, ya he hecho un montón de cosas.

But, I've already done a ton of things.

Caption 22, Clase Aula Azul La segunda condicional - Part 1

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Han hecho un viaje bastante largo.

They've made quite a long journey.

Caption 6, Amaya Mis burras Lola y Canija

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Hecho as an Adjective

The Spanish word hecho can also be an adjective that means "done" or "made." Let's take a look:


Pero todo hecho con el material o tejidos andinos.

But all made with Andean material or fabrics.

Caption 31, Otavalo Zapatos andinos

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Remember that adjectives in Spanish must agree with the nouns they modify in terms of number and gender. Therefore, alternative forms of the masculine singular adjective hecho include the singular feminine hecha and the masculine/feminine plural forms hechos and hechas. Let's listen to two of these:


Es una masa redonda, hecha con harina,

It's some round dough made of flour,

Captions 5-6, El Aula Azul Adivinanzas de comidas - Part 3

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Quesos especiales hechos aquí en la región. 

Special cheeses made here in the region.

Caption 32, Desayuno Puerto Escondido Frijoles Refritos

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When Not to Use Hecho 

The Spanish word hecho should not be confused with echo, which is the first person singular form of the verb echar (to throw, throw away, put in, etc.), as we hear in the following caption:


Primero echo casi más de la mitad.

First, I put in almost more than half [of the package].

Caption 45, Recetas de cocina Papa a la Huancaína

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Because the "h" in hecho is silent, the identical pronunciation of these two words lead even native Spanish speakers to confuse them. However, bear in mind that as there is no such verb as hechar in Spanish, echo in this context should always be spelled without an "h."


Hecho in Fixed Expressions

In its various incarnations, the word hecho also appears in too many Spanish fixed expressions to name! Below you will find a smattering of these, with lots of examples from our Yabla Spanish video library. Can you figure out how the word hecho, or one of its variants, is functioning in each of them?


dar por hecho: to presume, to be a given, to take for granted


puesto que se da por hecho que cuando lo comunicamos es porque nos gusta

since it's presumed that when we communicate it it's because we like it

Captions 39-40, Raquel y Marisa Español Para Negocios - Introducción

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de hecho: in fact


De hecho, es un sitio bastante tranquilo y pintoresco que vale la pena visitar.

In fact, it's a quite calm and picturesque place that's worth visiting.

Caption 23, Aprendiendo con Carlos América precolombina - El Dorado

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el hecho de que: the fact that 

quiero recalcar el hecho de que todo pasa, 

I want to emphasize the fact that everything passes,

Captions 74-75, Soledad Refranes - Part 2

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estar hecho polvo: to be exhausted (literally "to be made into dust")


"yo ya estoy hecho polvo.

"I'm exhausted already.

Caption 24, Pigueldito y Federico El cielo

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hecho a mano: handmade


son todas hechas a mano; bordados hechos a mano,

they're all handmade, handmade embroidery,

Captions 40-41, Málaga Lourdes y la talabartería en Mijas Pueblo

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hechos reales: a true story


basada en hechos reales.

based on a true story.

Caption 12, Aprendiendo con Silvia Nacionalidades y adjetivos - Part 1

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trato hecho: it's a deal, done deal


Trato hecho, ¿sí o no? -¡Trato hecho!

It's a deal, yes or no? -It's a deal!

Caption 60, La Sucursal del Cielo Capítulo 2 - Part 5

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That's all for today. We hope that this lesson has helped to give you a sense of the many ways that the word hecho can be used in Spanish, as well as the the one way in which it should not be. Don't forget to write us with your questions or comments.



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