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    #1

    Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    Hi

    A bit specific but hoping someone can shed some light on this.

    I'm developing some lesson plans for Spanish students (L1 : Castilian Spanish) learning English. From my investigations I see the use of 'to have' as an auxiliary verb is very similar to the use of 'haber' as an auxiliary verb in Spanish, within the context of compound verbs.

    I would appreciate any views on whether I can base lessons on this assumption or if there are differences to be taken into account.

    My students are established intermediate level.

    Sadly my Spanish was learnt informally over many years so I cannot relate to my own experience in terms of grammar rules.

    Gracias

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    #2

    Re: Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    Unless you are genuinely bilingual, it is generally not safe to assume that the equivalent in one language of a word in another is always used in exactly the same way.

    In the days when my German was near fluent, I was happy to use examples of English structures that I knew would ring a bell with my German learners, but I never assumed that any German structure was always and only the exact equivalent of an English one.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    "To have to" uses tener: "I have to go to work tomorrow. Tengo que ir al trabajo mañana."
    So does "have got" meaning "have": "She hasn't got or doesn't have a cat. No tiene gato."
    But, if you're only going to compare 'haber' with 'to have' as an auxiliary followed by the past participle, it should work: "You haven't been here before. No has estado aquí antes."

    http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/have

    But I'd still only teach it this way if I was confident that the above was the whole truth.
    PS: I generally agree with Piscean here but, since I like comparative grammar, I'd also be tempted to teach it like that.

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    #4

    Re: Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    Many thanks guys for the input so far. I am by most definitions fluent in Spanish although with Asturian and Andaluz dialects thrown in some might argue And that is I guess a disadvantage as I do not translate 'haber' when I use it. But in practice I cannot see any fundamental difference.

    For sure I understand the dangers you have pointed out but equally my students are private and not rich (some don't pay at all). Anything I can do to get them quickly to their desired level would be very beneficial.

    And if it works 98% of the time, from what I can tell, then it is no worse or better than most grammar rules .

    But if anyone has found otherwise I'd welcome their input.


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    #5

    Re: Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    I sometimes draw grammatic parallels (such as with have and haber as auxiliary verbs) with Spanish-speakers in my classes.

    The danger is that if the learners can see a formal identity (where two structures look the same, for example I have done... compared with Yo he hecho...), there is a risk of equating the use of the structures, so be careful to emphasise this.

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    #6

    Re: Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    Quote Originally Posted by nigele2 View Post
    And if it works 98% of the time, from what I can tell, then it is no worse or better than most grammar rules .
    I have no argument with that.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    Quote Originally Posted by nigele2 View Post
    And if it works 98% of the time, from what I can tell, then it is no worse or better than most grammar rules .
    Some ideas claiming to be rules are quite a way short of that figure.

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    #8

    Re: Spanish/English auxiliaries haber/to have

    Native Spanish speaker here.

    You are completely right when it comes to structure since they are exactly the same. We even have a "Pasado participio" form of the verbs, and some verbs are irregular but the vast majority are regular.

    The problem is that the meaning is not always the same, especially in the American continent. We usually use the tense only for experiences, like in the following sentence:

    I have never been to Europe.
    Yo nunca he ido a Europa.

    Hope that helps.

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