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Hay (present and past)

 

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  #1  
Old December 10, 2019, 10:28 AM
Tyrn Tyrn is offline
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Hay (present and past)

Hi,

Hay means there is, or there are.

I've seen both hubo and había as there was. Have I got it right?

Había as Imperfect, looks natural; hubo, not quite.

Does solitary hubo mean there happened to be, or something?
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  #2  
Old December 10, 2019, 01:31 PM
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'Hubo' means 'there was' or 'there were' (the same as 'había'), but it's used to describe a past event/action that has a clear beginning and ending. The imperfect 'había' is used to 'set the stage' for something else that occurred in the past.

Please give an example of what you called a 'solitary hubo.' I believe we'll find many different ways to translate it into English.
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Old December 12, 2019, 08:21 AM
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Hubo risas.

Hubo una respuesta, pero Ben no llegó a descifrarla.

Al principio, mientras el viento estuvo a su espalda, no hubo demasiado problema; por el contrario, hasta parecía ayudarlo a avanzar.
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Old December 12, 2019, 08:44 AM
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All of these are examples of 'hay' rendered in the preterit, so 'there was' or 'there were' is the English translation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrn View Post
Hubo risas.
There was laughter.

Hubo una respuesta, pero Ben no llegó a descifrarla.
There was an answer, ...

Al principio, mientras el viento estuvo a su espalda, no hubo demasiado problema; por el contrario, hasta parecía ayudarlo a avanzar.
..., there weren't too many problems; ...
or
..., there wasn't too much trouble/difficulty; ...
In the first and last example, note that I gave a translation that makes sense in English. Translation isn't always going to be word-for-word.
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Old December 12, 2019, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
All of these are examples of 'hay' rendered in the preterit...
By the way, what is hay? Apparently, it is not a verb. How can it be conjugated?
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Old December 12, 2019, 10:14 AM
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'Hay' is an irregular, or special, conjugation of the auxiliary verb haber, in the present tense. This conjugation is translated into English as 'there is' or 'there are.'

The regular third-person conjugation of haber is 'ha' (singular) or 'han' (plural). This conjugation is translated into English as 'has' or 'have,' and this auxiliary is used to form the present perfect tense. In Spanish, the perfect tenses are called the compound tenses.

Here's a video, mostly in Spanish, that explains the three irregular conjugations of 'haber,' used to convey the idea of 'existence' or 'sudden occurrence.'

Last edited by Rusty; December 12, 2019 at 10:24 AM. Reason: provided a video link
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Old December 13, 2019, 06:55 AM
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Nothing really out of the ordinary or counterintuitive. Except for the curious status of hay (something twice irregular).
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Old December 13, 2019, 09:27 PM
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"Haber" is conjugated as "hay" only for the impersonal form, so it won't be confused with the personal "ha". "Haber" becomes an impersonal when it expresses something that happens or an event, something that exists or something/someone that is actually in a place.

- Hay una reunión de vecinos.
There's a neighbors meeting.
- Hay muchos vecinos que no quieren ir a la reunión.
There are many neighbors who don't want to go to the meeting.
- Hay varios vecinos en la reunión.
There are several neighbors in the meeting.
- Hay una manifestación frente al ayuntamiento.
There's a demonstration in front of the city council.
- Hay algunas barricadas en llamas.
There are some barricades burning.
- Hay mucho desorden en las calles.
There is a lot of chaos in the streets.


The difference between "había" and "hubo" is the same as the imperfect and the preterite; "había" sets a "time frame" where things happened and "hubo" is a one-time event. Also, when it's an impersonal, it's incorrect to use the plural in the past, like "hubieron" or "habían", neither the personal form "habemos".
- Había una reunión de vecinos. -> There was a neighbors meeting.
Here, there is a time frame where something happened; for example, "no pude entrar a mi casa porque había una reunión de vecinos" (I couldn't enter my house because there was a neighbors meeting).
- Hubo una reunión de vecinos. -> There was a neighbors meeting.
The event happened (started and ended) in the past and there is nothing more to it.
- Había muchos vecinos que no querían ir a la reunión. -> There were many neigbors who didn't want to go to the meeting.
Before the meeting, many neighbors weren't interested in attending the meeting.
- Hubo muchos vecinos que no querían ir a la reunión. -> There were many neighbors who didn't want to go to the meeting.
By the time of the meeting the speaker knew many neighbors had declared their intention of not wanting to attend.
- Había varios vecinos en la reunión. -> There were several neighbors in the meeting.
During the time the speaker was in the meeting, he/she perceived a certain amount of people attending.
- Hubo varios vecinos en la reunión. -> There are several neighbors in the meeting.
When the meeting was over, the speaker pondered how many neighbors actually showed up.
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Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; December 14, 2019 at 06:01 PM.
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  #9  
Old December 14, 2019, 02:40 AM
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Thanks!
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