is a remainder of times when haber was a not only a
modal verb when forming compound tenses but a full verb
Hay nowadays has the meaning of there
has only one conjugation = hay.
= there is
hay = there is
/ there are
gente en la calle. =
There are many people on the street.
Since there is has also in some
sense something to do with location there is the possibility
to mix hay with estar. Actually sometimes you can use
both sometimes not.
Hay zanahorias en el refrigerador. = There are carrots in the fridge.
Las zanahorias están en el refrigerador. = The carrots are in the fridge.
If you think about the association
that you get with the two sentences you'll see the difference
clearly. The first sentence say there are carrots (some
- nobody knows what kind, how much etc.) in the fridge
- no article! The carrots in the second sentence have
an definite article. So we know something about the
carrots. The carrots (those
I bought yesterday) are in the fridge. You wouldn't
say The carrots there are in
the fridge - wouldn't you? Therefore, the only possible
translation is with estar.
carrots I bought yesterday are in the fridge. correct: Las zanahorias que compré ayer están
en el refrigerador. incorrect:Hay
las zanahorias que compré ayer en el
Whenever you try to put something
into Spanish that means there
is then hay
is the right choice. In other words: When describing
something indefinite, something without an article hay
is to be used.
unos hombres en la puerta que preguntan por
ti. = There are some men at the door that ask
Los hombres de al lado están en la
puerta. = The men from next door are at the door and
ask for you.
in the different tenses (pretérito indefinido,
mucha gente en la calle. = There were many on the street.
Ayer hubo un accidente en Madrid.
= Yesterday there was an accident in Madrid.