Haber and Hay

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The Spanish verbs haber and hay

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Haber (to have) cannot be used in Spanish as the main verb, but only as an auxiliary verb to form the composite tenses:


He venido en trenI came by train

Ya he trabajado – I’ve already worked


Hay is an impersonal form of haber and means there is. It refers to a question or statement about whether something exists or where something is. It thus refers to an unspecific person or thing.

Use of hay

– before indefinite quantities


En España hay mucho turismo

– before numbers


En el pueblo hay dos iglesias

– before nouns without articles

¿Dónde hay agua?

– with the indefinite article

¿Dónde hay una escuela?