‘Hacer el paro’ – Meaning / In English

In short – ‘hacer el paro’ is a colloquial Mexican phrase; it can be translated as ‘to help out’, ‘to do a favor’ and even ‘to be useful’ and is only used in INFORMAL situations!


Let’s break this one down real quick –

hacer = to do

el = the

paro = ‘stoppage’ or ‘strike

Obviously the actual meaning (‘to do a favor´) is pretty far removed from the literal translation … but worry not, with a little bit of help from your pals at Spanish Unraveled you’re sure to wrap your head around it in no time!

Let’s have a look at a few examples –

No traigo dinero…hazme el paro y cómprame un six.

I don’t have any money … do me a favor and buy me a six-pack.



Le dio COVID hace unos días pero dice que el analgésico le hizo el paro.

He got COVID a few days ago, but he says that the painkillers helped him out.



Uses of ‘hacer el paro’

  • As a way of saying ‘to help (someone) out’ or ‘to do (someone) a favor’
  • As a synonym of ‘to be useful’


As a way of saying ‘to help (someone) out’ or ‘to do (someone) a favor’

If you’ve been in Mexico long enough, chances are you’ve heard the phrase ‘hazme el paro’ at some point or another.*

It’s normally used to ask someone for a favor, kind of like the English ‘help me out’ or ‘do me a favor’.

Mario – ¿Cómo conseguiste el dinero?

Susana – Mi hermano me hizo el paro y me prestó. 



Mario – How did you get the money?

Susana – My brother helped me out and lent it to me. 


Roberto – Oye, wey, ¿necesitas ayuda con tus maletas?

Antonio – Sí, hazme el paro con la maleta roja, porfa.



Roberto – Hey, dude! Do you need help with your luggage?

Antonio – Yeah, give me a hand with the red one, please.
 

*Erika´s note –haz’ is the imperative form of the verb ‘hacer’, not to be confused with ‘has’ which is the ‘’ form of the auxiliary verb ‘haber’.


As a synonym of ‘to be useful’

‘Hacer el paro’ can also be used when referring to things (i.e., not just with people).

In this case we attribute the helpful quality to the item and not a person.

The construction is ‘me’, ‘te’, ‘le’, ‘nos‘ or ‘les’ (also known as “indirect object pronouns”) followed by a conjugation of the verb ‘hacer’ + ‘el paro’.

Inés – ¿Cómo te fue con la mudanza? 

Ruth – ¡Pos, muy bien! La verdad es que tu camioneta me hizo el paro.



Inés – How did everything go with the move? 

Ruth – It went well! Honestly, your pick-up truck was really useful.


 

Ángel – ¿Pasaste 13 horas en avión?

Marco – Sí, fue muy aburrido, pero la melatonina que tomé me hizo el paro y logré dormir 8 horas.



Ángel – Did you spend 13 hours on the plane? 

Marco – Yeah, it was really boring, but the melatonin I took was super useful and I was able to get 8 hours sleep.


By the way, if you wanna top up on your Mexican slang, you NEED to check out our “Master Guide” … it’s everything you need to know all in one place 👇🌵🇲🇽

Erika pointing to the word "Mexican Slang Master Guide"



‘Hacer el paro’ pronunciation

‘Hacer’ is said like ‘ah-sehr’, ‘el’ like ‘ehl’ and ‘paro’ like ‘pah-roh’.

Easy peasy!

/ ah-sehr ehl pah-roh /


Similar expressions to ‘hacer el paro

Haz paro

This one’s just a shortened version of ‘hazme el paro’ and you can pretty much use the two interchangeably.

Jorge – Voy a ir al concierto pero mi jefe no lo sabe. Haz paro, no le digas.

George – I’m gonna go to the concert but my boss doesn’t know. Please, don’t say anything.


 
¡Haz paro, wey!  Voy al centro pero no tengo coche. 

Do me a favor, bro! I’m going downtown and I don’t have a car.


 
Oye, wey, haz paro…préstame dinero.

Hey, dude, help me out … lend me some money.

Necesito un paro

As mentioned before, the noun ‘paro’ is usually preceded by the verb ‘hacer’.

On occasions, however, you may hear people mix things up a bit and use ‘necesitar’ (‘to need’ in English) instead of ‘hacer’.

Necesito un paro’ translates to ‘I need a favor’.

Necesito un paro, Iván. Voy al aeropuerto a las 5:00 AM, ¿me puedes llevar?

I need a favor, Iván. I’m going to the airport at 5:00 AM, could you give me a lift?


Final thoughts 

Need a hand with something in Mexico?

Well, don’t hesitate to whip out an ‘hazme el paro’ … your Mexican friends are sure to come rushing to your aid!

Just remember to only use it in informal situations and you´ll be good to go.

If you wanna sink your teeth into more Mexican Spanish, head on over to our BUMPER piece on all the different uses of mero. You’re gonna learn a lot, that’s for sure!

¡Hasta pronto!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

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