Using hay = there is / there are

In Spanish we use hay to say there is or there are. Read and listen to these examples:

Hoy hay muchas olas en el mar.
Today there are many waves in the sea.

Hay muchas cometas en el cielo.
There are many kites [alt: comets] in the sky.

En el campo hay muchas flores.
In the field there are many flowers.

Hay mucha leche en la nevera.
There is a lot of milk in the fridge.


In Spanish, you use hay whether it is followed by one item or many, unlike in English!
GRAMMAR: Hay is an impersonal form that comes from the third person of the verb haber in El Presente, literally meaning, it has.

Examples and resources

Hoy hay muchas olas en el mar.
Today there are many waves in the sea.


Hay muchas cometas en el cielo.
There are many kites [alt: comets] in the sky.


En el campo hay muchas flores.
In the field there are many flowers.


Hay un pájaro en mi ventana.
There is a bird in my window.


Hay mucha leche en la nevera.
There is a lot of milk in the fridge.


Hay una piscina en mi vecindario.
There is a swimming pool in my neighbourhood.


Q&A

Nicole

Kwiziq community member

8 March 2019

2 replies

Hi, I was wondering if there is a change if you say, "there was" "There were,"

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

11 March 2019

11/03/19

Hola Nicole

Yes, if you want to say it in the past then it would be either "Había..." or "Hubo.

Have a look at these two lessons: 

Using había to say there was / there were

and

Using hubo = there was / there were (simple past)

Using one or the other will depend on whether it is more descriptive (había) or it is more of a completed action (hubo)

Saludos

Inma

Nicole

Kwiziq community member

13 March 2019

13/03/19

Hello Inma,

How many other variations of this term would there be beyond the past?  Does that mean there could be:  "there will be", etc.

Thank  you,

Nicole

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

find your Spanish level

Why not share the love?!

Related lessons

    How has your day been?