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Learn Spanish: Tener (to have)

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Tener (to have)


Learn Spanish: Conjugating The Spanish Verb Tener (to have)

In this learn Spanish grammar lesson, we go over the Spanish verb "Tener," which means to have. However, the verb tener is often used to form many common phrases and idioms in Spanish.

Conjugating the Present Tense of Tener:



I have


You have


You have


He/She has
Nosotros/as tenemos We have
Vosotros teneis You (all) have


tienen You (all) have
Ellos/Ellas tienen They have

In Spanish, use the verb tener:

1) To express age

¿Cuántos años tienes? How old are you?
Tengo veintidos años. I am 22 years old

2) To indicate possession

Tengo una casa en California. I have a house in California.
Tengo cuatro hermanas. I have four sisters.

3) To indicate obligations

In order to express an obligation, use tener + que + infinitive

Tengo que estudiar mucho. I have to study a lot.
¡Tienes que prestar atención! You have to pay attention!

 4) To express sensations

In order to express a sensation, use tener + noun. Here are some examples:

Tener calor (to be hot) Tengo calor. I am hot.
Tener frio (to be cold) Tienes frío. You are cold.
Tener hambre (to be hungry) Él tiene hambre. He's hungry.
Tener sed (to be thirsty) Tenemos sed. We're thirsty.
Tener miedo (to be scared) Ellos tienen miedo. They're scared.
Tener suerte (to be lucky) Tengo mucha suerte. I am very lucky.

To see more ways to use Tener to express sensations, click here.

Tener ganas de

In Spanish, to express that you "feel like" doing something, use:

Tener + ganas + de + infinitive

Tengo ganas de dormir. I feel like sleeping.
¿Tienes ganas de comer? Do you feel like eating?