From: Nikolay Ivankov <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:56 AM
Subject: Re: Curious verb construction

On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM, Njenfalgar <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 2012/1/24 Nikolay Ivankov <[log in to unmask]>
> > On Tue, Jan 24, 2012 at 6:53 AM, Nikolay Ivankov <[log in to unmask]
> > >wrote:
> > >
> > > In most cases it is indeed a verb. Cf.
> > >
> > > Le hay cantar.
> > >
> >
> > Sorry, "hay" -> "hay que".
> >
> > Or maybe I'm mistaken again... I haven't spoken the language for quite a
> > while.
> >
> No, either it is "Tiene que cantar" ("He has to sing"), which is the normal
> way to say it, or else "Ha de cantar", which is, I've been told, the same
> but more formal/literary. I think I would express "He is to sing tomorrow"
> just with "Canta maņana", "He sings tomorrow". I don't know any language
> apart from English where I wouldn't use a stupid present tense there...

Right on "ha de cantar" although I think it has definite connotations of "is obligated to...", "is scheduled to...", "is supposed to...", whereas "tiene que..." simply expresses the requirement.

"hay que + infinitive" usually means 'one must....' and in my experience is always impersonal (i.e. no "he que..., has que...". etc.)

> "Hay" is actually a contraction of "ha" (which comes, indeed, from "haber")
> with the locative particle that survives in French as "y" and in Catalan as
> "hi". The full "hay" corresponds etymologically with French "il y a" and
> with Catalan "hi ha", but the Spanish have reversed the order of the two
> words.

Yes; further info: IIRC _y_ is reduced from Latin. ibi 'there' and occurs as a free form in older writing (I seem to recall it in Cervantes and earlier) (or it might be from hic 'this', cf. the Catalan???)
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