In colloquial Spanish we use this verbal structure:
with different meanings and nuances.
It can mean:
1. Something must be done/Someone must do something
In this sentence it is used as an impersonal verb "toca", but most of the time it is accompanied by an indirect object pronoun to reinforce who needs to do it. We can also sat:
2. It is somebody's turn to do something
For example, while playing a game:
or when talking about tasks:
Remember that tocar + infinitive works the same way the verb gustar does, with the difference that tocar is always conjugated in the 3rd person singular of any tense but never the 3rd person plural. The subject of the sentence is the infinitive.
This would be incorrect:
"Les tocaron recoger todo y fregar el suelo."
This is correct:
"Les tocó recoger todo y fregar el suelo."
(They had to tidy up everything and mop the floor.)
Here are more examples with other tenses:
Here is a list of expressions using the verb tocar.
Used this way, tocar works the same way we use gustar, as an "inverted verb". Here is a list of inverted verbs.
Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics
Examples and resources
Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer
Not quite the same. You need a pluperfect there as the Spanish is saying "Le había tocado hacer..." so, the most accurate equivalent would be "she had had to to..." I'd say that for "Elisa had to do a double shift" we'd say "Elisa tuvo que hacer turno doble" (this would be very literal to the English) or if still using "tocar", then it'd be something like "A Elisa le tocó/le ha tocado hacer turno doble".
I hope this clarified it.