Use Hace + length of time + que + El Indefinido to say how long ago something happened

To express "how long ago" something happened, in Spanish you use:

Hace + [length of time] + que + verb in El Pretérito Indefinido

 Have a look and listen to these examples:

-¿Dónde está Jaime? -Hace dos horas que se fue.
-Where is Jaime? -He left two hours ago.

Hace dos días que pasó el accidente.
The accident happened two days ago.

Hace una década que terminé mis estudios.
I finished my studies a decade ago.

Careful, because in Spanish this structure needs to be placed at the beginning of the sentence as shown in the examples above.

You cannot use a specific date between hace and que. It must be a "length of time" (un minuto, dos horas, seis meses, un año...)

"Hace ayer que fuimos al cine."

"Hace el otro día que tuvimos una discusión."

See also Use "hace" for "ago" with El Pretérito Indefinido as an alternative to Hace + [lengh of time] +que.

To see other uses of "hace" to express time see also:

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Hace dos días que pasó el accidente.
The accident happened two days ago.


-¿Dónde está Jaime? -Hace dos horas que se fue.
-Where is Jaime? -He left two hours ago.


Hace una década que terminé mis estudios.
I finished my studies a decade ago.


Q&A

Gary

Kwiziq community member

28 January 2019

3 replies

Hace (tiempo) que

What's the difference between:

Hace ocho semanas que estudié.

y

Hace ocho semanas estudié.

I understand the first sentence from this lesson, but is the second one just incorrect or does it mean something else?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

28 January 2019

28/01/19

Hola Gary,

There isn't really a difference between them in terms of meaning but we either say:

"Hace (lengh of time) que + Indefinido" or 

Indefinido + "hace (lengh of time), so: 

"Hace dos días que se fue." 

"Se fue hace dos días"

It would sound a bit odd to invert the last one and say "Hace dos días se fue".

I hope this helps.

Gracias

Inma

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

28 January 2019

28/01/19

Hola Gary,

There isn't really a difference between them in terms of meaning but we either say:

"Hace (lengh of time) que + Indefinido" or 

Indefinido + "hace (lengh of time), so: 

"Hace dos días que se fue." 

"Se fue hace dos días"

It would sound a bit odd to invert the last one and say "Hace dos días se fue".

I hope this helps.

Gracias

Inma

Gary

Kwiziq community member

29 January 2019

29/01/19

¡Gracias!

I'll be right with you...