Hay y está
Learning how to explain where things are is a basic thing to do in a foreign language. Think of expressions like there is and there are, which we use every day: There is a dwarf in my garden How would you translate that into Spanish? Very easy. Here you have a very clear and simple explanation.
Easy, isn’t it? Click here to get the answers.
So basically we use hay + noun (singular or plural) to say there is or there are:
There is a sofa on the beach = hay un sofá en la playa.
There are some flowers in the vase = hay una flores en el jarrón.
But we use está or están when we want to locate:
The car is in the garage = el coche está en el garaje.
The fowers are in the vase = las flores están en el jarrón.
Remember that, as in English, if we say hay, we always use a non definite article: un/una/unos/unas. But if we say está/están, it means we are locating and we already know what we’re talking about, so we need to use a definite article: el/la/los/las.
So why don’t you try to do the following exercise? You just need to fill in the blanks with HAY/ESTÁ/ESTÁN. You will find the solutions at the end. We use estar to talk about space (among other things). If you have trouble with verbo estar in present, check this box: