High Frequency Word in Spanish – 11 HABER


Haber is the eleventh most frequently used word in the Spanish language.

The two syllable word (and this is the first two syllable word we have had in the top 100 list).

Haber is defined as an auxiliary verb and an impersonal verb.

The dictionary has a number of differing meanings for haber.

Its key meaning is to have as in I have eatenhe comido (he meaning I have is from haber)

As a teacher I know that this verb can cause all sorts of problems, the main one being the confusion with another verb meaning “to have”, tener. The way to avoid the confusion is to think of using haber only in its use as an auxiliary verb, that is when you have done something.

The other meanings is with the use of haber de giving the idea of obligation, of having to do something, as in

hemos de hacer los deberes (we have to do the homework)

an example of the use of haber as an impersonal verb is

hay que tener cuidado – you have to be careful.

So there it is a bright and breezy look at the eleventh most frequent word in the Spanish language.

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