There is often confusion, not only for learners of Spanish as a foreign language but also for natives, about the spelling of some forms of the Spanish verb echar and the Spanish verb hacer. Their spelling is nearly the same and there is no difference phonetically speaking in some of their verbal forms: echo, echa, echas, hecho, hecha, hechos, hechas

Echo vs Hecho

Echo

Echo is the 1st person singular (yo) of the verb echar (to throw/put). Here are some examples:

Yo siempre echo los papeles en la papelera.I always throw papers in the waste bin.

Nunca echo sal a la comida.I never put salt on my food.

Echo can also be part of other idioms using the verb echar, with a specific meaning. For instance, to say "to miss someone" we say, for example:

Echo de menos a mi amiga, que está trabajando en Alemania.I miss my friend, who is working in Germany.

Or to say for example "to keep an eye on someone/something", we can also use echar, for example:

Tranquila, yo les echo un ojo a los niños.Relax, I [will] keep an eye on the children.

You can find more expressions here: Spanish expressions with "echar".

Hecho

Hecho is the past participle form of the verb hacer, as in "ya he hecho los deberes" (I've already done my homework"). This past participle is always written with an h as it comes from the verb hacer

¿Qué has hecho?What have you done?

Nosotros no lo hemos hecho.We haven't done it. 

As a past participle/adjective used with estar, hecho/hechos/hecha/hechas often translates as "done/made". As adjectives they need to agree in gender and number:

Estas castañuelas están hechas de madera de castaño.These castanets are made of chestnut wood.

Mis dulces están hechos con mucho amor.My cakes are made with a lot of love.

 

Hecho/hechos can also be a masculine noun meaning "a fact, an incident, an event": un hecho/unos hechos. With this meaning only the masculine form is used. Here are some examples with this meaning:

Tenemos que tener en cuenta los siguientes hechos:...We must take into account the following facts:...

El hecho sucedido ayer ha provocado muchas quejas.The incident/event that happened yesterday provoked lots of complaints.

El abogado defensor presentó los hechos con muchas pruebas definitivas.The defense lawyer presented the facts/events with lots of definitive proof.

 

Echas vs Hechas

Echas is the 2st person singular (tú) of the verb echar (to throw/put). Here are some examples:

Si echas la manta al suelo mamá te reñirá.If you throw the blanket to the floor mummy will tell you off.

Si echas unas monedas en esa fuente te darán suerte.If you throw some coins in that fountain they'll bring you luck.

And being part of expressions with the verb echar, for example:

Siempre le echas la culpa a tu hermano.You always blame your brother.

Hechas, as mentioned before is the feminine plural adjective/past participle of hacer, often used with estar or in the passive with ser:

Estas castañuelas están hechas de madera de castaño.These castanets are made of chestnut wood.

 

Echa vs hecha

Echa is the 3rd person singular (él, ella, usted) of the verb echar (to throw/put) in the present tense and also the imperative (affirmative) for the  form of the verb echar. Here are some examples:

Ella nunca echa sal a la comida.She never puts salt in [her] food.

Echa todo eso en la bolsa negra.Put all that in the black bag.

Hecha, as mentioned previously, is the past participle of hacer in the feminine singular form, so you will find it in sentences with estar, ser and other similar verbs, agreeing with a feminine singular noun.

Here are some examples: 

¡Ya está hecha la comida!The food is ready! [lit: the food is already made/done]

La película fue hecha con un presupuesto muy limitado.The film was made with a very limited budget.

La redacción la tengo hecha, pero se me ha olvidado en casa.The essay is done [I have it done]/ but I left it at home.

To get the spelling right, be careful to recognize where these forms come from, is it from echar or from hacer?  

Here are some sentences where they can appear together:

Mi novio y yo hemos hecho muchas cosas juntos esta mañana, pero ya lo echo de menos...My boyfriend and I have done lots of things together this morning, but I am already missing him...

He hecho café, ¿te echo leche en el tuyo?I've made some coffee, shall I put some milk in yours?

It's interesting to note that echar is a regular verb and its past participle form is "echado".

Note that in order to test your knowledge, kwiz questions for this lesson will not include an English translation.

 

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Examples and resources

Echa todo eso en la bolsa negra.Put all that in the black bag.
La película fue hecha con un presupuesto muy limitado.The film was made with a very limited budget.
He hecho café, ¿te echo leche en el tuyo?I've made some coffee, shall I put some milk in yours?
Echo de menos a mi amiga, que está trabajando en Alemania.I miss my friend, who is working in Germany.
Nunca echo sal a la comida.I never put salt on my food.
Mi novio y yo hemos hecho muchas cosas juntos esta mañana, pero ya lo echo de menos...My boyfriend and I have done lots of things together this morning, but I am already missing him...
Tranquila, yo les echo un ojo a los niños.Relax, I [will] keep an eye on the children.
La redacción la tengo hecha, pero se me ha olvidado en casa.The essay is done [I have it done]/ but I left it at home.
¿Qué has hecho?What have you done?
Yo siempre echo los papeles en la papelera.I always throw papers in the waste bin.
Nosotros no lo hemos hecho.We haven't done it. 
El abogado defensor presentó los hechos con muchas pruebas definitivas.The defense lawyer presented the facts/events with lots of definitive proof.
Tenemos que tener en cuenta los siguientes hechos:...We must take into account the following facts:...
Si echas la manta al suelo mamá te reñirá.If you throw the blanket to the floor mummy will tell you off.
El hecho sucedido ayer ha provocado muchas quejas.The incident/event that happened yesterday provoked lots of complaints.
Si echas unas monedas en esa fuente te darán suerte.If you throw some coins in that fountain they'll bring you luck.
Estas castañuelas están hechas de madera de castaño.These castanets are made of chestnut wood.
¡Ya está hecha la comida!The food is ready! [lit: the food is already made/done]
Mis dulces están hechos con mucho amor.My cakes are made with a lot of love.
Siempre le echas la culpa a tu hermano.You always blame your brother.
Nuestras pizzas son hechas en un horno de leña.Our pizzas are made in a wood-fired oven.
Ella nunca echa sal a la comida.She never puts salt in [her] food.
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