Typically, “there is” or “there are” is expressed in Spanish using the verb hay (a form of haber). However, there are some instances where forms of the verb estar —typically está (singular) or están (plural)—should be used. The difference is in the meaning: Hay is used to refer to mere existence, while está or están is used when describing a location.
As an example, let’s look at the simple sentence “There is a book.” The English meaning may be a bit ambiguous, but in Spanish, the verb selection would be based on the context.
If you want to say “a book is there,” meaning it is in a certain location, you would say “El libro está allí.” If you want to express that a book exists, you would say “Hay un libro.”
Getting comfortable with the nuances of Spanish verbs can take some time. But remember, you don’t have to tackle them all at once. As you move forward on your language journey, you’ll learn to distinguish the exact meaning of the word through the context of the sentence.
Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teaches you to speak the language, not just memorize the words. What makes it effective is that we prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. So it’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them. It helps you get ready to handle situations with confidence.
Learn Spanish Words and Phrases
For new language learners, there are some basic building blocks that are a great place to start. These are essential Spanish words and phrases such as who, what, when, where, why, yes, no, please, and more. Getting a handle on these basics can put you on the path to having everyday conversations in Spanish. Here’s a more complete list of the basic words and phrases:
- ¿Quién? = Who?
- ¿Qué? = What?
- ¿Por qué? = Why?
- ¿Dónde? = Where?
- Hola = Hello
- Me gusta = I like
- No me gusta = I don’t like
- Sí = Yes
- No = No
- Adiós = Goodbye
- Por favor = Please
- Gracias = Thank you
- Lo siento = Sorry
- Salud = Bless you
Of note, if you already speak another major European language, learning Spanish should go smoothly. Because English, just as Italian and French, has deep roots in Latin, and these languages all share thousands of words with contemporary Spanish. These shared words are called cognates and have significant similarities in spelling and/or pronunciation. That’s why you’ll notice that there are many English words and phrases like the word “air” that sound remarkably similar in French (air), Italian (aria), and Spanish (aire).
To fine tune your pronunciation, you’ll need immediate feedback on your efforts. Feedback will guide you in making needed corrections. Rosetta Stone helps you dial in your pronunciation with our TruAccent™ speech-recognition engine. TruAccent compares your voice to native and non-native speakers—in real-time—so you get the feedback you need for the most accurate pronunciation. It’s also adjustable, which allows you to tweak your accent as needed. TruAccent is a powerful tool for helping you learn and speak the Spanish language.
Once you have learned to pronounce basic words and short phrases, it’s a natural transition to move to the longer phrases you’ll use in everyday conversation. Rosetta Stone’s short, 10-minute lessons are built in just this way—first teaching the basics, then tackling the longer phrases. This approach helps you acquire the skills to speak Spanish with confidence.
Try Our Award-Winning App
Surround yourself with Spanish whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.