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Spanish language tip. Using haya, halla and aya

Three Spanish words: "halla", "haya" and "aya”. They have similar spelling: the only differences are the use of either "ll", "y" or "h" when we write them. And what can we say about their pronunciation? Spanish speakers tend to pronounce them the same way, not distinguishing between the pronunciation of “ll” and “y”.

We need to learn the spelling of these three words, and their meaning:

1. Aya. Aya is a feminine noun or substantive. This is how the Real Academia de la Lemgua describes “aya”:
“Persona encargada en las casas principales de custodiar niños o jóvenes y de cuidar de su crianza y educación.”

Here is the translation: “Person who is in charge, in main houses, of looking after children or young boys and girls, and being also responsible for their raising and education.”

The use of this term is not very common nowadays, but this word exists! That’s why we have to learn about its spelling, so that we can distinguish it from “halla” and “haya”.

English equivalent: governess.

2. Haya. There are tree “hayas” in Spanish: two “hayas” (nouns) and one “haya” (verb):
  1. haya” (feminine noun) is the name of a tree. Its English translation is “beech”.

    Example: Hay muchas hayas. (There are a lot of beeches.)>

    (Note we say “el haya”, but “las hayas”. The tree “haya” is a feminine word in Spanish.)

  2. haya” (noun) is a donation, from the Spanish dance schools students, to their teachers, during Easter and other festivities.

  3. haya” (verb). corresponds to the first and third persons singular, verb “haber”, present subjunctive tense.
    Example: No creo que Juan haya ido al cine. (I don’t think John’s gone to the cinema.)

3. Halla. “Halla” corresponds to the third person (singular), present indicative tense, of the verb “Hallar” (To find). It also corresponds to the second person, informal (tú), of the imperative, for the same verb, “hallar”.

Ana halla la solución a todos los problemas. (Third person singular, present indicative)
(Ana finds the solution to all the problems.)

Halla dos sinónimos para la palabra “grande”. (Command form)
(Find two synonyms for the word “big”.)

Note, we can replace this verb “hallar” with the verb “encontrar”:

Ana encuentra la solución a todos los problemas.
Encuentra dos sinónimos para la palabra “grande”.

Here is a quiz about “haya”, “aya” and “halla”. This will help you identify and use these three Spanish words.: Using Spanish words "halla", "haya" and "aya".

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