Updated: Nov 18, 2020
The verb "Hacer" (to do) is the most typical to indicate an action in general. But, in addition, it is one of the verbs that can adopt the greatest variety of meanings depending on the context in which it appears.
1. Hacer with full lexical meaning.
We can use it with a full, clear and primary meaning, when it means to create, manufacture, or produce something.
▲ He hecho una mesa para el salón de casa. (I have made a table for the living room at home.)
▲ Juan nos hizo una foto preciosa. (Juan took a beautiful photo of us.)
2. Hacer with general meaning of action.
It is a verb that groups together all action verbs in its meaning.
▲ Si actúas con prudencia, tus hijos también lo harán.
▲ Fíjate como me subo en la tabla, haz como yo.
This same general meaning is the one adopted by the verb to do in the questions:
▲ ¿Qué haces?
▲ Estoy comiendo.
In the question, the verb "Hacer" has a pure meaning of unspecified action that will only be completed when the answer appears. In the case of the example, the action the question refers to is eating.
3. Hacer as a supporting verb.
There are many expressions in which we find that the verb "Hacer" forms a unit of meaning with a name. In these cases the verb provides all the grammatical contents of time, manner, person, number and aspect and the general meaning of action; and the name, the lexical meaning. The nouns that accompany the verb to do in these situations can be action or process nouns and quality nouns. This use of the verb do + noun alternates, in some cases, with the use of an equivalent verb that replaces the expression do + noun: