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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

14 Spanish Expressions with Tener That Go Past “To Have”


You in all probability know the phrase tener means “to have.”

It’s a typical phrase, too, utilized in all kinds of phrases and expressions.

Between its irregular yo kind and an affinity for stem-changing, tener is an ongoing conjugation problem that solely will get simpler with plenty of observe. 

Studying a few of the most typical Spanish expressions with tener will allow you to get the grasp of this difficult verb—and also you’ll even come away with a couple of colourful phrases so as to add to your repertoire to speak like a local speaker!


1. Tener que — To should

For these occasions once you simply should do one thing, tener que is the phrase you’re in search of.

That is a kind of makes use of of que that illustrates the pliability of the phrase (translating as “to” slightly than the same old “that”), however simply consider the entire phrase as “to should” and also you’ll be good to go.

Tengo que comprar unas manzanas.
I should purchase a couple of apples.

No tenemos que visitar la biblioteca mañana.
We don’t should go to the library tomorrow.

2. Tener un buen día — To have a very good day

This phrase is usually used when saying goodbye if you wish to want somebody a pleasant day—and hey, life’s too quick to not supply nicely needs.

After all, it’s not possible to know whether or not the particular person in query will then have a very good day or not, so that you’ll want to interrupt out the subjunctive temper for this one.

One other trace: The expression usually carries que (that) on the entrance, with the implication being one thing like “(I hope) that you’ve got a pleasant day.”

Tengo que salir. Que tengas un buen día.
I’ve to go away. Have a very good day.

Adiós, María. Adiós, Carlos. Que tengan un buen día.
Goodbye, Maria. Goodbye, Carlos. Have a very good day.

3. Tener que ver (con) — To should do (with)

You know the way to say “to have,” and you understand how to say “to do,” however if you happen to begin happening about “X tiene que hacer con Y,” you’re prone to get some humorous seems. Nope! The expression in Spanish is tener que ver.

Mi queja tiene que ver con el servicio a la habitación.
My grievance has to do with the room service.

Eso no tiene nada que ver.
That has nothing to do with it.

4. Tenerlo fácil — To have it straightforward

Happily, there are nonetheless a couple of Spanish expressions which are precisely what the label says. Tenerlo fácil actually means “to have it straightforward,” and it means the identical factor it does in English.

Juan tiene un trabajo que paga bien. Lo tiene muy fácil.
Juan has a job that pays nicely. He has it really easy.

Si quieres tenerlo fácil, debes trabajar duro al principio.
In order for you to have it straightforward, it is best to work exhausting to start with.

5. Tener hambre/sed/sueño — To be hungry/thirsty/sleepy

Tener can also be used to specific numerous states of being.

Whereas in English we might say “I’m hungry,” “I’m chilly” or “I’m in a rush,” a Spanish-speaker would use tener. For example, tengo hambre—actually “I’ve starvation”—means the identical factor similar factor as “I’m hungry.”

¿Tienes calor? Has trabajado todo el día bajo el sol.
Are you scorching? You’ve labored within the solar all day.

No puedo hablar ahora. Tengo prisa.
I can’t discuss now. I’m in a rush.

6. Tener (número) años — To be (quantity) years previous

On a associated word, tener may specific age. What number of years do you’ve got?

No puedes beber cerveza hasta que tengas 21 años.
You may’t drink beer till you’re 21 years previous.

Después de mi cumpleaños, tendré 25 años.
After my birthday, I shall be 25 years previous.

7. Tener lugar — To happen

Do you have to describe the place one thing is occurring? Don’t be fooled into utilizing tomar (to take) for this expression. It’ll should be tener!

Esta escena tiene lugar en un bosque cerca de Atenas.
This scene takes place in a forest close to Athens.

La conferencia tendrá lugar en Nueva York.
The convention will happen in New York.

8. Tener ganas de (infinitivo) — To really feel like (doing one thing)

Strive to not get this combined up with ganar (to win, to achieve). Gana merely means “want” or “want.” Due to this fact, tener ganas de adopted by a verb expresses a want or want to do one thing.

Después de esa comida, tengo ganas de dar una vuelta.
After that meal, I really feel like taking a stroll.

Supongo que no tiene ganas de jugar con nosotros.
I suppose he/she doesn’t really feel like taking part in with us.

9. Tener en cuenta — To take note of

You could be accustomed to cuenta from earlier adventures in restaurant Spanish: The phrase means “account” and will also be used for “invoice” or “verify.”

When used with tener, nonetheless, it refers to taking one thing into consideration within the sense of protecting it in thoughts.

Ten en cuenta que aún tengo que devolver la chaqueta.
Keep in mind that I nonetheless should return the jacket.

Tuve en cuenta la edad del carro cuando lo compré.
I took the age of the automobile into consideration after I purchased it.

10. Tener éxito — To achieve success

When you’ve discovered to not be tripped up by the false cognate éxito (the phrase means “success,” not “exit”), it’s time to get used to inserting tener in entrance of it.

“To have success” might sound unusual to an English speaker’s ears, however tener éxito is the equal of phrases which are extra widespread in English: “to achieve success” or “to succeed.”

Ha tenido éxito en todo lo que hace.
He’s been profitable at every thing he does.

Es importante estudiar mucho para tener éxito en tus exámenes.
It’s necessary to review quite a bit to succeed in your exams.

11. Tener la culpa — To be at fault

Culpa means “fault” or “guilt” (sure, similar to mea culpa in Latin), so, naturally, it’s not one thing you need to have.

Nevertheless, if you happen to ever really feel the necessity to name out another person’s wrongdoing (or your individual), use tener la culpa.

No tiene la culpa de lo que sucedió en la casa.
What occurred on the home isn’t his fault.

Les voy a convencer de que tienes la culpa.
I’m going to persuade them that you’re in charge.

12. Tener a (alguien/algo) por — To take (somebody/one thing) for

We’ve already seen how tener can line up with “to take” in sure phrases. In case you hold that in thoughts, you shouldn’t have any hassle understanding the way it’s getting used right here.

Me tuvieron por un plomero o milusos o algo.
They took me for a plumber or handyman or one thing.

Tengo a Carlos por un amigo leal.
I think about Carlos to be a loyal pal.

13. No tener remedio — To not have the ability to be helped

There are many occasions in life when your issues don’t have straightforward options and once you really feel like throwing your palms up and saying it might’t be helped.

Happily, studying easy methods to use the phrase no tener remedio isn’t a kind of conditions.

Quería solucionar el problema, pero no tiene remedio.
I wished to resolve the issue, however it might’t be helped.

Su tendencia a comportarse como un bobo no tiene remedio.
His tendency to behave like a idiot can’t be helped.

14. Tener claro — To make certain

Claro means “clear,” so tener claro is used for conditions when one thing may be very clear to somebody or when somebody is certain about one thing.

Tienen claro que el proyecto es necesario.
They’re certain that the mission is important.

Tengo claro que tengo que seguir aprendiendo español.
It’s clear to me that I’ve to continue to learn Spanish.

Learn how to Follow Expressions with Tener 

The phrases included on this publish are only a small pattern of the expressive prowess of tener. To maintain training by yourself, strive the next ideas:


If phrases are the constructing blocks of language, tener is sort of a keystone. The truth that it’s utilized in so many alternative expressions signifies that mastering the phrase is a vital step towards studying easy methods to specific your self in new methods.

Hold training tener, hold utilizing the phrases on this publish and tendrás mucho éxito  (you’ll be very profitable).

¡Que tengas un buen día! (Have a very good day!)

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