Let’s talk about how to express obligation in Spanish. There are several ways to say one has to do something in Spanish. I will start by telling you the two most common ways to express obligation in Latin America. And then I will share with you the way that expressing obligation is usually said in Colombia.
How To Express Obligation In Spanish
One of the most common ways to express obligation in Latin America is “tener que” plus infinitive. For example,
Tengo que ir al supermercado.
I have to go to the supermarket.
La empleada tiene que hacer el aseo.
The maid has to do the cleaning/washing.
If you want to show obligation using an impersonal expression, then you should use “hay que” plus infinitive. For example.
Hay que ir al supermercado.
One has to go to the supermarket.
It is necessary to go to the supermarket.
Hay que hacer la limpieza.
One has to do the cleaning/washing.
It is necessary to do the cleaning/washing.
By the way, both “aseo” and “limpieza” are used in Latin America to say cleaning/washing.
In Colombia there is another way that is commonly used to express obligation and that is “le tocar.” For example,
Me toca ir a la tienda.
I have to go to the store.
A ella le toca arreglar la casa.
She has to tidy up the house.