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I believe I now can differentiate between the non-verbs "allá" and "aya". However I find myself using google every time I have to write a sentence with "halla" and "haya" (verbs). Are there any quick rules or questions, I may ask about the sentence, that may help me choose?

Thanks in advance.

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    I would say that these words look alike (Haya = Have). If that help you remember that "haya" is "had" (for the past perfect form) then the other one is easy (halla = find)
    – DGaleano
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 18:44

2 Answers 2

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  • Haya is the subjunctive form of Haber. It's used like this:

Espero que haya llegado Mario.

  • Halla is like encontrar or descubrir. Similar to to find. While it sounds the same as Haya it's very different. An example would be:

El halló un perro.

With hallar you won't see a verb in the past participial afterwards. For example you'll never see:

El halla encontrado.

Halla will generally be followed by a noun that it's performing an action on.

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  • thanks for your answer. Let me see if I understand...would it be correct to say "Cuando ella haya encontrado el lápiz", but not, "Cuando ella halla encontrado el lápiz" because a verb (encontrado) would not follow "halla"?
    – David
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 17:29
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    Correct! Another way to think about it is in English. The second example would sound like this: "When she finds found the pencil". It sounds very unnatural while "Cuando ella haya encontrado el lapiz" sounds fine. The fact these verbs make the same sounds is unfortunate and confusing. I hope this has helped.
    – Davep
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 17:32
  • It has indeed helped @davep. I really like your suggestion to translate into English to verify the Spanish sentence.
    – David
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 17:47
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    @David: Next quest could be "raya" and "ralla"
    – user13560
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 19:13
  • My suggestion is to think about it in English. Raya is a scratch, ralla, from rallar, is to grate.
    – Davep
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 18:47
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Further more!

There is a secret rule in which these words fall in.

Any verb that has "ll" in its infinitive is conjugated with "ll": Hence Hallar - hallé - hallaríais.

If it does not have "ll" in the infinitive, all its conjugations are with "y": Hence "no creo que Haya hallado las llaves del coche aun", "te llamaremos cuando hayamos hallado el lugar", "cuando hayas hallado la clave todo será cuesta abajo".

The hack is if you know the infinitive, you know how to handle the rest. I am a native speaker and I often have to remember this.

...and then there is the tree, el haya, el hayedo y los hayucos.

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