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El, Del, A la, Al / What's the difference?

Masc. Constructions
el. Always the masc. definite article 'the'.
Me gusta el color ~ I like the color.
del = De + el. Often, but not always, 'of the' (in case of an accompanying masc. noun)
Palabra del dia ~ Word of the day.
al = a + el. Often, but not always, 'to the'/'at the' (in case of an accompanying masc. noun)
Voy al estadio para ver el partido ~ I go to the stadium to watch the match.

Fem. Constructions
la. Always the fem. definite article 'the'.
La mujer es muy bonita ~ The woman is very pretty.
de la = de + la. Often, but not always, 'of the' (in case of an accompanying fem. noun)
Son las tres de la tarde ~ It is 3 PM (lit. It is 3 of the afternoon.)
a la = a + la. Often, but not always, 'to the'/'at the' (in case of an accompanying fem. noun)
Vas a la estación todos los días. ~ You go to the station every day.

In speaking, you won't have a problem. del comes naturally, and 'ael' is so hard to pronounce that you will naturally use
'al' :p
Also, contractions don't occur in case of los and las, so 'de los', 'a las' etc.

Haber vs Tener

Tener, usually translated as "to have," is particularly useful. Not only is it used to indicate possession, it is also used in a
variety of idiomatic expressions to indicate emotions or states of being. Note that when tener means "to have," it does
so in the sense of meaning "to possess" or "to own." The equivalent of the English auxiliary verb"to have," as in "you
have seen," is haber (as in has visto, you have seen).

Using Tener To Mean 'To Have'

Most of the time, tener is used in much the same way as "to have" is in English. Depending on the context, it can also be
translated using using synonyms such as "to possess" and "to own":

 Tengo tres hijos. (I have three children.)


 Tiene un coche casi nuevo con una garantía fuerte. (He owns an almost new car with a strong guarantee.)
 Antes de la guerra, tenía tres casas. (Before the war, she possessed three houses.)
 Tuvimos cuatro campeones en el mismo momento. (We had four champions at the same time.)
 En 2016 Paulina no tenía carné de conducir. (In 2016 Paulina didn't have a driver's license.)
 No tenemos suficientes bosques en el planeta. (We don't have enough forests on our planet.)
 ¿Crees que tendremos una mujer presidente? (Do you believe we will have a female president?)

Haber is one of the most common verbs in Spanish, used most of the time as an auxiliary or helping verb.
Although haber is similar in form to "have" and is often translated that way, it is unrelated to the English verb.

Haber has three main uses:

Haber as an Auxiliary Verb in Compound Tenses

When used as an auxiliary verb, haber is the equivalent of the English auxiliary "to have" (which is much different than
the English "to have" when it means "to possess").
Haber is used to form what are known as the perfect tenses because they refer to actions that have been or will be
completed. ("Completed" used to be a common meaning of "perfect.") As in English, the perfect tenses are formed by
following a form of haber with a past participle.

 He comprado un coche. (I have bought a car.)


 ¿Has estudiado? (Have you studied?)
 Han salido. (They have left.)
 Habrá salido. (She will have left.)
 Habría hablado. (I would have spoken.)

In English, it is very common to insert an adverb or other word between the two parts of a compound verb, such as in
the sentence "he has always gone." But in Spanish (except perhaps in poetry), the two verb parts aren't separated.

As a beginner, you don't need to learn all the tenses using haber now, but you should be able to recognize haber when it
is used. You should also be aware that while the perfect tenses in Spanish and English are quite similar in form, they
aren't always used in exactly the same way.

Haber for 'There Is" or 'There Are'

One peculiarity of haber is that it has a unique conjugated form, hay (pronounced basically the same as the English
"eye") that means "there is" or "there are."

 Hay una silla en la cocina. (There is one chair in the kitchen.)


 Hay dos sillas en la cocina. (There are two chairs in the kitchen.)

Note that in the above examples, the English "there" isn't referring to location, but to mere existence. The most
common word for "there" in terms of location is allí. Example: Hay una silla allí. There is a chair there.

Haber can be used in this way in tenses other than the present, although not as commonly. In formal Spanish, as in the
second example above, the singular form of the verb is used even when it refers to more than one person or thing.

Note: Tener means to literally have something tangible. For example, I have an apple=tengo una manzana. With haber,
the only conjugation you need is hay. It means "there are". So if you wanted to say there are many people at the game,
you would say "Hay muchas personas al juego" However, you can also use tener when you need to do something. It
translates to "I have to..." So if I have to eat, it would be "tengo que comer" all you do is add a "que" after tener.

Tener and haber are two of the most common and useful Spanish verbs, but they are not interchangeable.
Haber is seen most often as an auxiliary verb- all the perfect tenses uses some form of haber plus the past participle. You
also see forms of haber to indicate existence:
Hay dos perros - there are two dogs.
Había tres gatos- there were three cats.
And various haber expressions- "Hay que" = "it is necessary.
Tener, on the other hand, is used for "to have" meaning "to possess".
Tengo dinero. = I have money.
In Spanish, hunger and thirst are things that you "have", and so you use tener for that.
Tengo hambre = I am hungry. Tengo sed,= I am thirsty.
And "tener que" means to have to do something, an extremely common expression.
Tengo que hacer mi tarea. - I have to do my homework.