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Better Call Saul #4

Context: Chuck (Jimmy’s brother) has a letter he needs translated into Finnish.

Chuck: Yeah, you’re gonna have to get that translated.

Spanish Subtitle: Sí, tendrás que hacerlo traducir.


There are many ways--and many COMMON ways--to show obligation in Spanish (as there are in English).

One of the MOST common is “tener que”. “Tener” normally means “to have”.

TENGO un libro
= I HAVE a book

But “tener” + “que” means “to have to” -- to show obligation.

Which, is weird at first?

But we KINDA do the same thing in English. But just kinda.

They say “to have that” (tener que) and we say “to have to”.

We’re ALL weird.

tener que
= to have to


The future tense is awesome for two reasons.

#1: There’s only ONE regular conjugation pattern to memorize--and it’s easy. We ADD the endings to the infinitive instead of replacing the endings (way easier to recognize which verb it is).

#2: There aren’t that many irregulars, and the irregular patterns are easy to learn. Much easier than the present or past tenses FOR SURE FOR SURE FOR SURE!

“Tener” is one of the irregulars though =)

If you haven’t see the future tense before, it’s best to look at a regular conjugation first. Remember, even though this is an ER verb, the same endings apply to AR and IR verbs. There’s only one regular conjugation pattern in the future tense.

comer = to eat

comeré = I will eat
comerás = you will eat
comerá = he will eat, you will eat

comeremos = we will eat
comeréis = you both will eat
comerán = they will eat, you both will eat

So it’s é, ás, á. Then emos, éis, án.

Now “tener que” in the future, “to have to”

tendré que = I will have to
tendrás que = you will have to
tendrá que = he will have to, you will have to

tendremos que = we will have to
tendréis que = you both will have to
tendrán que = they will have to, you both will have to

So it’s the same endings, but we have to adjust “tener” to “tendr” first =)

I promise, it really is easy to get used to. This is a piece of cake compared to the present and past.


This one is tricky!

you’ll have to get that translated
= tendrás que hacerlo traducir

A weird construction, no? Especially the way they use “hacer”.

First, a vocab issue.

I think of “to make” or “to do” when I see “hacer” as in CREATE something or PERFORM some task.

But in Spanish and in English, we also use “to make” and “hacer” when we force (or pressure) somebody to do something--we MAKE them do it or GET them to do it.

The teacher MADE the students study
= The teacher GOT the students to study
= El profesor HIZO a los alumnos estudiar

So “hacer” can mean “to make” or “to get” -- like force or pressure somebody to do something.

Second, a sentence construction issue.

This is a typical three-verbs-in-a-row situation, but “tener que” makes it look worse than it is. It looks a little simpler when we replace “tener que” with “necesitar”.

TENDRÁS que hacerlo traducir
= NECESITARÁS hacerlo traducir

First verb is conjugated, second and third are not. Cool?

But the construction in Spanish is still weird, “...necesitarás hacerlo traducir”?

You will need to get it to translate? Huh?

But our construction in English is weird too--we’re just used to it: you’ll have to get that translated

Just GET IT translated? Like POOF?! Magic? What does “get it translated” even mean?

Let’s get literal!

you’ll have to get that translated
= you’ll have to get SOMEBODY to translate that
= you’ll have to make SOMEBODY translate that

And we can do the same thing in Spanish!

tendrás que hacerlo traducir
= tendrás que hacerlo a ALGUIEN traducir

So once we get it through our heads that “hacer” means “make” like “to force” -- and can be used for “get”... and once we GET LITERAL, it’s really close to being the same!

you’ll have to get somebody to translate that
= tendrás que hacerlo a alguien traducir
= tendrás que hacerlo traducir

Sometimes “to make” sounds weird in English. The same is probably true with “to get”.

As long as you imagine somebody forcing somebody to do something when you see “hacer” in this context, you’re good. You’ll be able to pick the correct word in English without even thinking about it.


Sí, tendrás que hacerlo traducir

= Yes, you will have to make it translated

= Yes, you will have to get it translated

= Yeah, you’re gonna have to get that translated

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