guaha and taya’
Guaha is used to indicate existence or possession. Tåya’ indicates non-existence or non-possession.
guaha – there is / there are
Examples showing existence and non-existence:
Guaha klas Chamoru gi Lunes yan Mietkoles.
There’s Chamorro class on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Guaha siette dias gi semåna.
There are seven days in a week.
Guaha dosse meses gi un año.
There are twelve months in a year.
Tåya’ klas gi Lunes sa’ Labor Day.
There is no class on Monday, because it is Labor Day.
Tåya’ taotao gi gima’ Yu’us.
There are no people in church.
Tåya’ ti un tungo’.
There is nothing you don’t know.
Expressing “to have” something
If we want to say we “have” something, we follow this pattern:
Guaha OBJECT-(possessive pronoun). The possessive pronoun used is how you inform who your subject is. Look at the following examples.
I have a car.
Guaha che’lu-ña palao’an.
He has a sister.
We have a house.
She has no money.
We have no drinks.
Kåo tåya’ maleffå-mu?
Did you forget anything? (lit. “Was there nothing you forgot?”)
Everyday Expressions: Tåya’ guaha! Literally meaning “nothing is there”, that is, there is no problem or issue, or something is of little consequence, and is the equivalent of the English expression “it’s no big deal!”
Examples of tåya’ guaha as a response:
MARIA: Are you sure I can borrow your book?
LOLA: Ai, tåya’ guaha! Oh, no big deal!
Or, asking for assurance:
MARIA: Tåya’ guaha, if I use your computer?
No big deal if I use your computer?
LOLA: Guse’ ha’. (or Tåya’ guaha!)
Just go right ahead.
Guaha and tåya’ are also used in other ways. It is often used with the linking particle na and can take on different meanings depending on what follows.
With na, guaha and tåya’ can mean that there is/are “some” or “none” of something.
Guaha na taotao ti yan–ñiha matågo’.
Some people do not like to be told what to do.
Guaha na flores manggof paopao.
Some flowers are very fragrant.
Some related words:
guinaha – wealth, possessions
mangguaha – to describe a family or group as having wealth