Sometimes what makes the Portuguese language so hard to learn are the little words full of meaning, but they’re so little that we often forget about them. One of those little but important words is the verb “há”.
“Há” is a form from the verb “Haver”, a very peculiar verb only conjugated in the third singular form and means “there is” or “there are”. First thing to remember is that we don’t pronounce the initial “h”. We only pronounce a very open “a”, as in the second syllable of the Portuguese “Olá”.
Let’s have a look at some examples to understand a little bit better how this verb “há” works. One common example you can see in many restaurants or snack bars is something very Portuguese and traditional: “Há caracóis”. Have you ever noticed this? This means, “There are snails” and is a way of telling possible customers that they serve snails.
Let’s have a look at other examples:
➢ Há uma casa amarela na minha rua. (There is a yellow house in my street).
With this verb we don’t have to consider whether it is singular or a plural. It doesn’t matter if it is “ há uma praia” (There is a beach) or “há praias” (There are beaches).
This is the verb we also use when we want to talk about time in the past, such as :
➢ Eu vivo em Portugal há dois anos. (I’ve lived in Portugal for two years)
➢ Eu encontrei-o há um mês. (I met him one month ago)