How to Properly Use the Spanish Preposition "Hacia"

Preposition Usually Means 'Toward'

balloons-color.jpeg
Los globos vuelan hacia el cielo. (The balloons are soaring toward the sky.). Photo by Camdiluv; licensed via Creative Commons.

Hacia is a Spanish preposition typically meaning "toward." It is usually used to indicate motion toward a person or object.

A few examples:

  • Corrió hacia el coche para tratar de sacar a su amigo, vivo y conciente. (He ran toward the car in order to try to remove his friend, who was alive and conscious.)
  • Los vientos más fuertes del planeta avanzan hacia el este a una velocidad de 1.600 kilómetros por hora. (The planet's strongest winds blow eastward at a speed of 1,600 kilometers per hour.)
  • Girar hacia la izquierda y seguir hacia el oeste cinco millas. (Turn toward the left and keep on going toward the west for five miles.)

Hacia can be used with abajo, adelante, arriba and atrás, respectively, to mean "downward," "forward," "upward" and "backward."

  • Mover el cursor hacia adelante al final de la línea. (Move the cursor forward to the end of the line.)
  • La anaforia es la tendencia de los ojos a moverse hacia arriba cuando están en reposo. (Anaphoria is the tendency for the eyes to move upward when they are at rest.)

Use of hacia doesn't always indicate motion. It is used often with mirar and other verbs to indicate the direction someone is looking, either literally or figuratively. And it can also be used to indicate the existence of someone or something in a certain direction.

  • Natalia miró hacia Mateo con un gesto de frustración. (Natalia looked toward Mateo with a look of frustration on her face.)
  • La organización mira hacia el futuro tras un año de cambio. (The organization is looking toward the future after a year of change.)
  • Desde Atenas y hacia el norte hay trenes regulares diarios a muchas ciudades. (From Athens and toward the north there are regular daily trains to many cities.)
  • En el camino hacia la escuela hay ruido y mucho tránsito. (On the road toward the school there is much noise and traffic.)

    Hacia can be used in expressing emotions or attitudes toward a person or thing:

    • Tiene sentimientos más profundos hacia ella, (He has very deep feelings for her.)
    • El sondeo reveló una disminución de la simpatía popular hacia el corte. (The poll showed a loss of popular sympathy for the court.)

    Finally, hacia is sometimes used to express approximations of time:

    • Llega en helicóptero hacia las cinco de la mañana para traer provisiones. (He arrives by helicopter at about 5 a.m. to bring provisions.)
    • Fue construido hacia 1970. (It was built around 1970.)

    Hacia should not be confused with hacía, which is a conjugated form of the verb hacer.

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    Erichsen, Gerald. "How to Properly Use the Spanish Preposition "Hacia"." ThoughtCo, Apr. 29, 2017, thoughtco.com/hacia-use-in-spanish-3079319. Erichsen, Gerald. (2017, April 29). How to Properly Use the Spanish Preposition "Hacia". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hacia-use-in-spanish-3079319 Erichsen, Gerald. "How to Properly Use the Spanish Preposition "Hacia"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hacia-use-in-spanish-3079319 (accessed January 24, 2018).