How to be negative in Spanish: There isn’t / There aren’t,: NO HAY!

Third instalment of the Spanish term HAY.

But don’t be so negative!

Before you start out you can look back on previous  two posts on this topic for beginners in Spanish, “There’s” a really useful word  and  “There are” so many words in Spanish!

In those post  we saw how both’THERE IS’  and ‘THERE ARE’ are rendered by the same word in Spanish: HAY. 

How cool is that?

Take a quick look back at those two posts to refresh the old memory neurons.

Don’t be so negative!

This post is a simple article showing, as always, how easy it is to express the NEGATIVE in Spanish and the negative of HAY, fortunately, is no exception.


So this is post is teaching:  THERE ISN’T …..or ……THERE AREN’T……


THERE IS = HAY               THERE ISN’T = NO HAY



HAY una mesa = There’s a table


A lovely table, but imagine it was just a dream……and it disappeared! Photo Credit

NO HAY  mesa = There isn’t a table                OOOPS IT’S GONE!







HAY una televisión = There’s a television


Una televisión antigua (An antique television)

NO HAY  televisión= There isn’t a television









HAY una silla = There’s a chair              camping-chair

NO HAY silla = There isn’t a chair




HAY mesas = There are some tables

NO HAY mesas = There aren’t any tables


HAY televisiones = There are some televisions

NO HAY televisiones = There aren’t any televisions


HAY  sillas = There are some chairs

NO HAY sillas = There aren’t any  chairs


                                      AMAZING CONCLUSIONS

NO HAY mesa                    There isn’t a table

NO HAY silla                      There isn’t a chair

NO HAY televisión           There isn’t a television

NO HAY mesas                 There aren’t any tables

NO HAY sillas                   There aren’t any chairs

NO HAY televisiones       There aren’t any televisions

Can you see any pattern emerging? Of course you can. They’re ALL the SAME.

There can’t be anything anything easier than this! (Well, maybe)

Repeat all the above sentences out loud, even though people will think you are going bonkers…Your Spanish is more important than what they think of you.

See a previous post, Repeat, repeat, repeat, about the benefits of serious repetition (aloud) in language learning.

                                                         SOMETHING TO DO


Now you have to make this lovely little term your own…

Don’t be lazy using the examples from MY living room…use YOUR OWN living room!

Look around your room, house, office, place where you’re at, and create YOUR OWN TRUE SENTENCES…

A great on-line dictionary to help you is Make your OWN sentences.

I can help you make some of those sentences. Jot down in the comments what you would like to say, using this Spanish term NO HAY , and I can help you make your VERY OWN SENTENCES.

Sentences that make sense to you.

Leave some sentences in the comments below and let me help you…

We haven’t finished with HAY yet! See next post!

More next time…








HAY: “There are” so many words in Spanish!

If you’re a beginner starting out to learn Spanish, then you might  have felt sometime that there are so many more words in Spanish than in English.

The famous novel by Cervantes, Don Quijote, boasts exactly 327,360 words!

quijote page

                                Don’t worry, you don’t need o learn that many!

Actually  experts consider that English has double the amount of words compared to Spanish! If you are interested in reading more about this, here is an interesting article Does Spanish have more words than English? to find out exactly what the experts say.


 Let’s get back to this lovely little word :  HAY

In my previous post : Hay: “There’s” a really useful Spanish word about HAY (pronounciation : AYE, as in “Aye Aye Captain”), we saw it can mean There’s… as in the examples below…

Hay una mesa.                                  There’s  a table

Hay una televisión.                         There’s a television

Hay una cocina.                                There’s a kitchen

Hay una silla                                      There’s a chair


Today’s post is about ANOTHER use of HAY , which shows how cool, how useful this word is.       

                      HAY also means THERE ARE !

IMPORTANT NOTE: Very often,  simply adding ‘s’ to a singular noun converts that noun into a plural form ….That’s easy !

Hay  mesas.                                                         There are  tables

Hay  gafas.                                                            There are  reading glasses

Hay niñas.   (Pron: NINYAS)                            There are girls

Hay  sillas    (Pron: SEEYAS)                             There are chairs

Your task here will be to repeat these sentences out loud, even though other people think you are going mad…


Then invent some of your own, which are relevant in your own life (vida). You can look around your living room (salón) or the whole house (casa) and make a few sentences (frases)  about what you can see. Write these down. Say them, learn them, shout them, whisper them…whatever it takes…

A good online dictionary (diccionario) to find the words you need is

If you need help ayuda to make up your own sentences (frases), let me know in the comments below what you need .

                                 AMAZING CONCLUSION


                            THERE ARE ….    =            HAY                    



       HAY =      THERE’S…(THERE IS…)


     One little word HAY in Spanish doubles up for a few words in                                                                     English!

So don’t ignore this great ‘little’ word in Spanish. Try and incorporate this word into your own Spanish learning life and use it as much as you can. It really can help you out in a lot of situations.

Try it and see.

If you need any help making your own relevant sentences, let me know in the  comments below and I will help you.

We’re not quite finished with HAY yet.

More next time!






Hay: “There’s” a really useful Spanish word to learn!

You are battling on with  Spanish and  need to have a quick fix to get your Spanish back on track?

I’ve got the word you need HERE…..IT’S “HAY

round_hay_bale2c_partially_eaten                                                      There’s a lot of HAY here! photo credit

                                ” HAY” = THERE’S

(pronounciation :   “I”, as in “I”  am tired )

(Look back at the title of this post and see if you get the pun?)

So what’s so exciting about this “HAY”?

The great news is it means that HAY is always very, very useful, especially when you’re searching for words you need in Spanish.

Imagine the scenario

There’s… a snake in the garden      Hay…una culebra en el jardín

There’s…a fly on the wall              Hay …una mosca en la pared

There’s…a hole in my bucket        Hay…un agujero en mi cubo

There’s…a beer in the fridge          Hay…una cerveza en la nevera

                                               See how USEFUL…HAY  can be for you?


I’m looking around my home as I’m writing this post, and I could use  HAY to describe what I can see. For example:

Hay una mesa.                                  There’s  a table

Hay una televisión.                         There’s a television

Hay una cocina.                                There’s a kitchen

Hay una silla                                      There’s a chair

Say these sentences out loud, even though others listening think you are mad!

(Remember pronounciation of HAY:   “I”, as in “I”  am tired )

Make up your own sentences, maybe looking back a other articlesI have posted here on Patterns or using




If you need help with making those sentences, leave a comment below and I could help you out


Perhaps you know someone interested in learning Spanish, and about the use of HAY.  You could share this post with them and make them happy!

I really hope this helps….

Useless at languages? No, just good at languages!



Isn’t it lovely? This is what language learners used before Internet  Photo credit

I can hear some of you even from here saying “Yes…that’s me…I’m useless at languages!”(I’m on the south coast of Spain at the moment!)

I’m useless at languages so I’ll never learn Spanish!

Throughout my time teaching Spanish to English people, the one consistent lament I hear , as I take on a new student, is “I’m useless at languages so you’ll have your work cut out with me!” Or “I’m useless at languages so I’ll never be able to really learn Spanish.”


You seriously would not believe how many of my first-time students start out with that first sentence when I meet them.

And I get it. I really do.


I was labelled “useless at languages” too.

At Secondary School in the UK, many years ago I remember, perhaps it was after my first Spanish lesson, feeling that I was ‘useless at languages’. (The same way some of us have been labelled ‘useless at Maths’ or ‘useless at History’; labels encouraged by the education system to exonerate itself of any obligation or duty to provide efficient teaching resources.)


I have to admit that it took several years before I managed to shake off that label of being ‘useless at languages’. But I finally began to realise that I had been tagged with that label unfairly. And I can bet you that the chances are that you have been unfairly tagged too.


So you are ‘useless at languages’?  There maybe several reasons why you feel that way, so let’s analyse them.



  1. Your first Foreign Language class made you feel that way, so gave up.
  2. You have since signed up for language lessons at the local community hall but made little progress, so gave up.
  3. You paid a lot of money to a private tutor once a week and learned very little in 2 months, so gave up.


Feel free to add your own reasons as to why you feel you are ‘useless at languages’. There may be many more.

Add your reason here…………………………………………………….


                                      But  this is MY story


I was labelled, as perhaps you were, at a young age, as being ‘useless at languages’. But I still dreamt of being able to speak another language. I couldn’t shake the bug. I had loved my first foreign language lessons at school and desperately wanted to succeed…in Spanish. But I felt useless.

My Spanish teacher insisted on  giving out a very clear signal which was: “You are useless at languages.” I tried so hard to overcome that with extra homework but kept failing miserably every time. I still had the dream of speaking Spanish, and in my first ever post here I talked  about falling in love with Spanish


Remember we are talking a long time ago here. With that I mean ….NO INTERNET! But we had something in the UK called “The Teach Yourself” series. They were little yellow and blue hardback books and there was one for every subject under the sun (at the time).

My elder sister Angela bought me one. I remember it to this day: “Teach Yourself…Spanish”, in a desperate attempt to get me, useless at languages, through a Spanish exam.


I even hid this book from my teacher. I didn’t want her to see I was looking at something different. Something SHE hadn’t given me to study…..

It was a different approach. I remember it had a few humorous touches. I don’t know why, but for some reason it worked for me.

The extra dedication worked. Unfortunately something had to be sacrificed and that was dedication to Maths. (But that’s another story.) The point was that I became a bit obsessed with the Spanish. It wasn’t just another subject for me on the timetable. It sort of turned into the ONLY subject on the timetable, for at least a while.

                              Then it got pathological!





Identity crisis!

I  changed my name from ‘Marie’ to ‘María’., and wouldn’t answer to anything else, not even at home.

I named all my work ‘María’ to such an extent that all my school certificates show the name ‘María’ on them. Remember I was only about 13 at the time so I was allowed to do strange stuff like that!  I turned into ‘María’ . NOT RECCOMMENDED.

(What I didn’t realise was that this caused a tremendous amount of confusion later on in life when I had to convalidate these qualifications before the Spanish authorities. I paid a couple of hundred  pounds to have the certificates verified as belonging to me…but that’s another story, too)

Only after concentrating all my efforts on Spanish did I slowly I begin to realise I wasn’t particularly “useless” at languages. I began to view Spanish as an equivalent to English, which I already knew very well…. but just with funny words.

Now this is the part where I’m going to surprise you!

One major fact is that generally we all speak a language and have gone through the ‘language acquisition’ process.

I’m hearing you think “No, not me. I haven’t gone through a language acquisition process.”

But you speak a language, don’t you? Your own native language!

You may be even quite fluent in that language?  I would even go so far as to say that you believe you speak that language very well.

Well there you have it. You are a linguist and you weren’t even aware of the fact!

Now you know you are great at languages, you have to remember the next stage is to realise that you are Never too old!


           We are all linguists…you are a linguist!

We are all linguists in as much as we all (or mostly all) have been able to ‘acquire’ a native language. This in itself constitutes language acquisition.

Now is the time to harness in the linguist in you and be determined to reach some of your linguistic goals,,,,,

because after all, you ARE a linguist, aren’t you?


Do you believe you’re a linguist and  that you are …great at languages?

Tell me in the comments below how you feel about your language journey.

Would you consider yourself useless at languages? If so, why?


They’re Spanish! ¡Son españoles!

When you look at it, from an outsider’s point of view, it must seem a funny old word:                                                                            SON

But there you have it, and it is what it is!

Of course in English, that word even has a meaning, as in progeny, e.g., “I met your youngest son at Julia’s wedding.”

None of that is going to help us here…let’s get back to the Spanish word:




They are Spanish! ¡Son españoles!


Son inglesas                    They’re English

Son españolas                They’re Spanish

Son inteligentes            They’re intelligent

Son tontas                      They’re silly




Are they English?  ¿Son  ingleses?        source

                                                  Are they, really??


¿Son inglesas?                    Are they  English?

¿Son españolas?                Are they Spanish?

¿Son inteligentes?           Are they intelligent?

¿Son tontas?                       Are they silly?


I know we don’t want to be negative here, but there is a time in learning Spanish when you need to be able to deal with a bit of negativity!

                                          No, They’re not!



They aren’t English. They’re Spanish No son ingleses. Son espanoles.

No son inglesas                    They’re not English (They aren’t English)

No son españolas                They’re not Spanish (They aren’t Spanish)

No son inteligentes            They’re not intelligent (They aren’t intelligent)

No son tontas                      They’re not silly (They aren’t silly)



All of this could lead to some intersting observations and more complex sentences about people! When learning a new language, it helps immensely to make your  very own sample sentences to practise the language with.

A typical conversation could go something like this:

You: Son inglesas?

Friend: No, no son inglesas. Son españolas.

You: Son inteligentes?

Friend : No, no son inteligentes. Son tontas.


Make up your very own sentences, relevant to you, your family and friends, other collective groups you want to talk about. eg. “My daughters are wonderful.”  “My teachers are intelligent” etc. Use to find suitable words to use in your context.

You can look back on my previous posts about all the other forms of the verb SER (TO BE) in the Present Tense where I show SOYERES,ES, SOMOS, and SOIS



Was that confusing for you?

Have I not been clear enough?

                 Do you need more examples and more vocabulary?

Everyone’s different and that’s ok!



I hope this helps…



































































Is it easy to learn to speak Spanish?

Is it easy to learn to speak  Spanish??


source                               It will be very EASY to speak Spanish here

It’s always been a difficult question to answer, because it depends; and nobody likes to hear a fluffy answer like  “It depends”!

Learning to speak Spanish depends on several factors and so if it’s going to be easy or not also depends on several factors.


These factors include:

  • Goals:

    What do you want or need to know in Spanish? This can go between a few simple words, basic Spanish conversation for social means, basic Spanish for business purposes, advanced Spanish for social means, advanced spanish for business purposes and even higher.



  • Motivation:  How motivated and driven you are to learn the language.

  • Time available:

    How much free time, outside work constraints and family commitments are you prepared devote to learning? (This could encompass time for lessons, on-line courses  or contacts, travel abroad to practise with native speakers, etc. )


  • Finance:

    How much money you are prepared to invest; on lessons, on-line courses, travel abroad, etc. ?
  • Feedback:

    We all need some positive feedback or indication that we are progressing and improving in our language skills. Without this feedback, language learning flounders and drowns fast!



Basing your answers on the above, let’s have a bit of fun to assess if you are going to find it easy to learn Spanish:

MOTIVATION: Where are you really on “Motivation”? WHY do you want or need to speak this language?

TIME AVAILABLE: Realistically how much time are you willing to invest? (The language-learning process for adults  can take time, all this depending on a) motivation, b)time available, c) finance and d) feedback.


Time on the beach! source

FINANCE: How much finance are you willing to invest? The whole language-learning process can be accomplished absolutely free. Free on-line resources, living in a country where your chosen language is spoken, these are all valid options.

However, if you can’t find the suitable on-line course, or friendly neighbour who happens to speak the language you want to speak, then it may be necessary to invest some finance into your mission.

FEEDBACK: You need your feedback. You need to know how you’re doing, because chances are you will feel you are doing badly. It’s a strange thing about new language learners but in my experience they don’t seem to credit themselves on their language progression and they generally feel they are not progressing enough or even at all. So get feedback from your on-line community, take some basic Spanish tests that can be found easily on-line. This will help the ……

Goals to lead to the Motivation to lead to the Time Availability to the Finance to the Feedback to the Goals…….

If you have any questions or thoughts about language learning or learning Spanish, please leave a comment below.

I can help you. …










SOIS: How and When to use ‘Sois’: Spanish verb Ser (to be)


The Teide in Tenerife, the Canary Islands. A challenge  I was unable take on a few weeks ago while I was visiting! photo credit

But you could take on the challenge and get your head round the two differnt ways of saying “You’re” in Spanish.


It’s a bit of a tricky one, this one, for the anglo-saxons of us reading.

But once you get the idea, it´s pretty simple really.

 If all languages were so simple, then EVERYONE would be learning them, right?

                    ” YOU’RE…or  YOU’RE… “That is the question!

In a previous post, Patterns(2), we looked at how to say “You’re” in Spanish, when describing someone’s, nationality, personal character traits, or some other permanent quality of a person.

For example

Eres inglesa                    You’re English

Eres española                You’re Spanish

Eres inteligente           You’re intelligent

Eres tonta                      You’re silly

However,  eres can only be used when addressing, or speaking to, ONE PERSON.

The English language has evolved into using only one form “You’re ” for addressing ONE PERSON, TWO PEOPLE, OR A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE.

(Hint: Non-English speaking people LOVE this part of English Grammar)

Spanish and other latin-based languages,however, have maintained a plural form for YOU in verbs.

In Castillian Spanish (from  Spain), the plural  of the ‘YOU’ form in the verb SER is……                                        


                        (pronounced SOYS)

Looking at the examples above you can see that to speak to ONE PERSON  and to say

“You’re Spanish” =  Eres española

“You’re inteligent”= Eres inteligente

But speaking to two or a group of people, we have to use the PLURAL FORM of eres

“You’re Spanish” = SOIS españolas

“You’re intelligent” = SOIS inteligentes 



Adjectives, when describing more than one person or object, have to be in the PLURAL FORM. This generally means  adding an “S” to the singular form.

See above . Singular: española . Plural : españolas

Singular: inteligente    Plural inteligentes

                          “ERES OR SOIS” ?

 In English we would look for other clues in a sentence or context to know if the speaker was addressing

ONLY ONE person (ERES), or






Student addressing friends in a group would use SOIS quite a lot!photo credit


  • Imagine you are having  coffee in a cafeteria and there are two ladies on the next table chatting.

You notice they are speaking what could be Spanish so you might ask them BOTH :

“Are you Spanish?”  ¿SOIS ESPAÑOLAS?

  • Imagine you’re with a group of friends in a restaurant, and you want to tell them all they’re not silly but great, intelligent people!

“You’re not silly.  You’re intelligent!  NO SOIS TONTAS. SOIS INTELIGENTES

More examples in a PLURAL context would be:

Sois bajas                         You’re short

Sois altas                         You’re tall

Sois trabajadoras          You’re hard-working

Sois perezosas                You’re lazy

Sois graciosas                 You’re funny

Sois simpáticas               You’re nice

Sois  mujeres              You’re  women

Sois  hombres            You’re  men

                                             NOW  TAKE ACTION

Consider your OWN personal situation and try and imagine some contexts where you might find yourself using  SOIS. 

Make five relevant sentences using an online dictionary such as and memorize those sentences which are relevant to you, or at least could be relevant.

Repeat them as often as you can. Internalize them as much as possible.

Please ask any questions about the use of SOIS or any other question about Spanish grammar in the comments below. 

 I hope this helps…