The verb faltar has different meanings depending on the context and the way it is used. Here are the most common meanings and usages of this verb:
Faltar tiempo para algo
We can use faltar with time phrases to indicate the time between the moment of speaking until when an action takes place. For example:
As you can see from the examples, we use "para" before the action/event.
Faltar used with this meaning works the same way as gustar in the sense that we use the verb in the 3rd person singular when the subject (the time phrase) is singular ( e.g. falta un minuto) and the 3rd person plural if the subject is plural (e.g. dos semanas).
If we want to ask someone how long is left for any event, we ask this way:
You can omit the word "tiempo":
Faltar algo a algo/ a alguien
We can use faltar to indicate that there is something missing in something/someone, there is a need for something (lacking something):
Notice how we use the indirect object pronouns to indicate who is missing/in need of something (le falta, me falta, os faltan).
In a very similar way, we can express "absence", for example:
Faltar + infinitive
We can express that there is still something to do/to be done, for example:
You could also use a noun or a subordinate clause with que expressing the same idea:
Note that if we use falta que, we need the subjunctive, because this is seen as something still to happen (a future idea).
All these meanings and usages above show that faltar works the same way as gustar, in the sense that we use the verb in the 3rd person singular when the subject (the time phrase) is singular ( e.g falta un minuto) and the 3rd person plural if the subject is plural (e.g. dos semanas).
Other uses of faltar
Faltar al respeto a alguien means to be inconsiderate/disrespectful or to insult someone. For example:
In this case the verb faltar is conjugated normally.
Faltar a un lugar means not to attend . For example:
Other useful phrases with faltar:
faltar a clase (to skip classes)
faltar a la verdad (to lie)
faltar un tornillo a alguien (to have a screw loose)
Careful! Don't mix up "hacer falta" with "faltar"
Hacer falta expresses a "general need for something" while faltar expresses a "lack of something/something is left to do". Although similar they are slightly different. Here are some examples:
In the cases where faltar means that there is something left to do, or a certain time left for something to happen, the verb quedar is a synonym for faltar. For example:
Meaning the same we could also say:
Meaning the same we could say:
To learn about quedar see Spanish verbs Quedar, Quedarse and Quedarle (Different meanings of verb quedar) and to learn about sobrar see Spanish verb sobrar: different meanings
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