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Una amiga me ha enviado un mensaje que dijo “hay que hacer algún viaje con Miguel cuando vengas” - la traducción en inglés, según Google Translate, es “you have to make a trip”.

Pero otra frase que tiene “hay que” podría significa algo diferente sin utilizar una conjugación por ejemplo “hay que esperar” - la traducción en inglés es “we have to wait”

¿Por qué “hay que” no necesita tener una conjugación después de "hay que" para dirigir a quien está hablando la persona?

Y como se distingue también?

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    Douglas, would you be more comfortable writing your question in English? // "You have to make a trip" is a very approximate translation, of a construction that doesn't line up neatly with any English expression. Perhaps it's better to think of it as "It is necessary to ...", because this thought would be completed with an infinitive. Dec 29 '19 at 7:59
  • Exactly, what @aparente001 said. The best translation would be "it is necessary to", and it does not explicitly mention the subject. aparente001 might want to convert that to an answer.
    – wimi
    Dec 29 '19 at 8:21
  • @aparente001 i’ve Made that sentence more clear now :) Dec 29 '19 at 8:46
  • And the translation I simply got it off google translate since I wasn’t exactly sure how to translate it word for word. Dec 29 '19 at 8:47
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    @pablodf76 - Here's another fun one -- I learned this one from a friend from Sri Lanka: "Helen will need visiting." Dec 30 '19 at 16:22
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"You have to make a trip" is a very approximate translation, of a construction that doesn't line up neatly with any English expression. Perhaps it's better to think of "hay que" as "It is necessary to ...", because this thought would be completed with an infinitive. (But then just keep in mind as you're reading "hay que" that it's not as stiff in tone as "it is necessary to.")

An interesting thing about the sentence your friend wrote, “hay que hacer un algún viaje con Miguel cuando vengas," is that the "hay que" doesn't specify exactly who it is that needs to do the action. That will always come from the context. In this case, I would guess that the people who will travel with Miguel will be, at least, you and the friend who wrote the sentence.

¡Buen viaje!

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hay que... usually means obligation, mandate.

Your question is not about the use of haber que (hay comes from haber), I would say that your question is about hay itself. Hay is used when there is not subject (sujeto). Example: hay manzanas en casa. there are apples at home.

Sometimes you can find hay just to remove the focus on the subject.

Example:

hay que hacer un viaje vs tenemos que hacer un viaje. The second option is more mandatory for us, the first one... well, we don't know who has to travel, but someone has to... we are not pointing to anybody in particular, even though you can tell by the context.

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As mentioned by others, "hay que" is a little softer and more general that using "tener que" but I think the main reason its use is so widespread is that it saves you from having to conjugate the verb tener. It's much easier and faster to say "hay que" rather than "tenemos que" or "tienes que" or "tienen que," etc.

It reminds me of how "on" is used in French I'm guessing for similar reasons.

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  • And let's not forget "il faut," which is followed by an infinitive. Dec 30 '19 at 16:18

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