Spanish verb TENER: an introduction

Today’s lesson is about learning some basic uses of the Spanish verb TENER. Always from a useful way to learn, we try to give you some tips to start using this verb today… Practice is the best teacher! 🙂

This is one of the most common irregular verbs in Spanish. We saw one of its uses a few weeks before when we studied How To Introduce Ourselves in Spanish. We used it to say how old we are. But this is only one of the very first and basic uses.

Lets see first how we conjugate the present of verb TENER:

verbo-tener-presente

 

Basic uses of Spanish verb TENER:
Usos básicos del verbo TENER

1.  TELL THE AGE:
DECIR LA EDAD

– ¿Cuántos años tienes?
How old are you?
– Tengo 27 años, ¿y tú?
I’m 27 years old, and you?

2.  POSSESSIONS OR RELATIVES
HABLAR DE POSESIONES O PARENTESCOS

¿Tienes algún hermano?
Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Tengo una casa bastante grande.
I have a very big house.

Tengo una cita con el médico el miércoles.
I have a medical appointment on Wednesday.

3. TO EXPRESS PHYSICAL SENSATIONS AND FEELINGS*
EXPRESAR ESTADOS FÍSICOS O SENSACIONES

En esta casa siempre tengo frío. (yo)
I’m always cold in this house.

Por la noche siempre tiene sed. (él o ella)
He is always thirsty at night.

¿No tienes hambre todavía? (tú)
Aren’t you hungry yet?

4. DESCRIBING PLACES, THINGS OR PEOPLE
DESCRIBIR LUGARES, COSAS O PERSONAS

El Museo del Prado tiene cuadros muy famosos.
Prado Museum has very famous paintings.

Madrid tiene barrios muy bonitos.
Madrid has really nice boroughs.

Este edificio tiene por lo menos 20 pisos.
This building has 20 floors at least.

Las islas Canarias tienen buen tiempo todo el año.
Canary Island have a good weather the whole year.

¿Tu ciudad tiene carril bici?
Does your city have bicycle path?

El piso tiene tres habitaciones y dos baños. Tiene mucha luz por el día.
It is a three bedroom flat with two toilets. It is very luminous during the day.

*BONUS TRACK FOR YOUNG WILD BOARS!!!
Más información, ¡sólo para jabatos! 

If you read till here that means you are now an expert with the Spanish verb TENER basic uses! So now get ready to learn more expressions about useful Spanish. As we see in the third point, there are a lot of idiomatic expressions with verb TENER. An idiomatic expression is something that cannot be literally translated into other language. For example in English to be “on the go” if we translate it literally into Spanish doesn’t have the same meaning. Same in Spanish! Lets see an example:

Idiomatic expression: Tengo frío.
Literally: I have cold.
True Meaning: I’m cold.

Many other idiomatic expressions in Spanish to express physical sensations:

Tener sed   To be thirsty
Tener calor o frío   To be hot or cold
Tener hambre   To be hungry
Tener sueño  To be sleepy
Tener dolor   To hurt

Also many other to express psychological sensations:

Tener miedo   To be afraid
Tener cuidado   To be careful
Tener confianza   To be confident
Tener prisa   To be in a hurry
Tener vergüenza   To be ashamed
Tener razón   To be right
Tener éxito   To be successful
Tener la culpa   To be guilty
Tener suerte   To be lucky
Tener ganas de… To feel like

Do you think you were a beginner? Not at all! Start using these expressions today and your Spanish will sound natural!

We will see more uses of the verb TENER in future posts!

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