How come does no hace falta mean "there's no need/necessity" and the like?

What's the logic behind the meaning? no hace falta (si no haces nada)/(si no pasa nada)? == nothing wrong happens (if you refrain from doing that).

  • 1
    I've replied to the main question, but I'm not sure I understand the second part. There's nothing in no hacer falta about wrong things happening or about refraining from doing things. If you could clarify that, I can edit my answer to include that.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 21:15

2 Answers 2


No hace falta is just a form of the phrase hacer falta "to be necessary". The logic behind it is that falta means "lack". When something is needed, you can say that something makes or causes a lack, or something is an instance of lack. If you say

no hace falta

then that literally means (something) does not make or cause a lack; it's not lacking, and therefore not needed.

There's no tone of judgement in this phrase; no hace falta can be used to tell someone off, or to spare them unneeded work.

  • I thought falta meant something related to false
    – nylypej
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 23:05
  • @nylypej Actually it does, etymologically, but it's not obvious. You'd need to go back to Latin and before... It also has a relationship with fallar "to fail".
    – pablodf76
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 23:13
  • Etymologic doesn't have to be logic. Think wanted. Something wanted may be desired or missing.
    – enxaneta
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 15:26
  • 1
    @enxaneta what you've shown here is called "logic"
    – nylypej
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 20:28

Just to add to Pablo's excellent answer, the noun falta 'lack' (which by the way also means 'shortage; mistake; fault, defect') is derived from the verb faltar 'to be missing/absent', 'to be lacking, to be needed', 'to lack, not have enough', and 'to insult, be rude, foul' (in sports)

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