HomeQ&AA little confused with haber

A little confused with haber


Anyone of you guys could help me out. I asked three different Spanish natives the same question and I had three different answers.

The question is. How do you say: There were lots of people gathered at the plaza.

The answers were:

Habia muchas personas reunidas en la plaza

Hubo muchas personas reunidas en la plaza

Hubieron muchas personas reunidas en la plaza

Which one is the correct one?


updated ABR 28, 2010
posted by dsmith70

2 Answers


The most ´correct´ one is the ´había muchas personas reunidas en la plaza´. You can also see instances of ´hubo´ but that´s the preterit form of ´haber´ and depends mostly on the point of view of the speaker, the way they want to express something.

´Hubieron´ is totally incorrect, even though some might say that. Just like in the present form when we say ´hay 5 personas en la plaza´, there´s only one form, which is ´hay´ and doesn´t vary even when used with something more than one (plural). That´s the tendency though in spanish, it´s very natural and happens all the time, the agreement between verb and subject so that´s what makes some people say stuff like ´habían 5 personas´ so as to utilize ´haber´ in a plural form. But as said, in this instance, this does not happen. Había!


updated ABR 28, 2010
posted by Charlius
By the way, some of the natives said "habian" but she wasn't sure. Thank you Charlius, very interesting - dsmith70, ABR 28, 2010

I would use "Habia muchas personas reunidas en la plaza" because the imperfect fits in this situation -- you're not talking about a specific period of time that started and ended. Instead, you're giving a description of what was.

updated ABR 28, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
Thanks Marianne. Let's wait for a native at the forum - dsmith70, ABR 28, 2010
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.