The Chabacano Tiene and No hay

Last week, I was listening to a friend of mine teach our colleague at work how to speak Chabacano. Now since this person spoke Spanish it made things a bit easier. It was strange to find out though that Chabacano grammar is not at all that simple.

My friend told this person that in Chabacano when asking someone if he/she has something, you simply have to say tiene + pronoun + thing. An example is this:

Chabacano: Tiene tu comida?

Spanish: Tienes comida?

English: Do you have (any) food

This person then told me, tiene yo pregunta” (which was correct) and then I asked him, “cosa tuyo pregunta?” This was where he made a mistake because he said, “no tiene yo pregunta”. That was when I realized that the rule he was taught only applies to positive sentences. However, in the negative, it should be no hay + pronoun + thing. Here is a negative response to the sample sentence above:

Chabacano: No hay yo comida

Spanish: No tengo comida

English: I don’t have any food

This form though is not only used in declarative sentences but can also be used in questions. Here is an example:

Chabacano: No hay tu comida?

Rough English Translation: Don’t you have any food?

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