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What is the Spanish word haiga? Is it a properly conjugated form of a verb? Or a regional variant or improper conjugation? Where/when is it used?

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I think it's pretty much like "thunk" (as past participle) in English. It's not unheard of, it follows an existing conjugational pattern (that of "caer" in Spanish or "to drink" in English, for example), but is deemed incorrect and substandard (and would make you look illiterate). –  Juan Pablo Califano Feb 7 '12 at 15:02
    
@JuanPabloCalifano: Great comparison! That makes a lot of sense. –  jrdioko Feb 7 '12 at 17:23
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It is a regional variant of "haya" (first and third singular person, subjunctive present of the verb "haber"). You will hear that word from some people with low education in a natural manner, and also from well-educated people in an informal conversation, either trying to make a joke or just put emphasis on the word by pronouncing it incorrectly (especially when "haiga" is pronounced slowly).

If you find that word in a written document, it will probably be part of a dialogue, in which case you should probably assume that the character is not well educated.

According to the dictionary, "haiga" it is also a noun, an informal word for a big, ostentatious car. However, this is the first time I hear about that meaning, and I'm a native speaker of Spanish. Maybe it's just a local word in some country, and this origin might be irrelevant since the word is not used very much (that, according to the diccionary as well).

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I don't know if this story about the origin of "haiga" as "big car" is true, but it is funny. –  MikMik Feb 3 '12 at 6:43
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+1 Haiga is.... VERY incorrect. –  Joze Feb 3 '12 at 6:49
    
@MikMik Sounds logical to me :p –  Joze Feb 3 '12 at 6:50
    
If you want a specific example of its use in written dialogue, you could take the Aragonese campesinos of Incierta gloria by Joan Sales. (I suspect the intention there is to convey something similar to the impression conveyed in the original Catalan text by them speaking in Aragonese). –  Peter Taylor Feb 3 '12 at 19:04
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Depends on the context.

Haiga - big/posh car (slang)

Haiga - A common incorrect conjugation of the verb 'haber'. I have seen this been used a few times when the person really wants to say 'haya'.

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Haiga as a car, is an obsolete term nowadays. –  pferor Feb 4 '12 at 23:09
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