Expressions with Tener in Spanish

The verb tener literally means "to have," but it is used in many expressions to convey states of being or emotions. In English, we typically express these situations using "to be." We say "I am hungry," or " They are thirsty." In Spanish, however, you say sentences that translate literally to mean "I have hunger," or "They have thirst. It's important to learn these phrases since your impulse will be to translate this sort of phrase using "to be," which is incorrect.

Here's how you conjugate tener in the present tense:

yotengo      nosotros/as tenemos
tútienes      vosotros/as tenéis
él, ella, Ud. tiene      ellos, ellas, Uds. tienen

Here are some of the most common tener expressions

Tenercalor [To be hot]
¿No tienescalor en éstasuéter? [Aren't you hot in that sweater?]

Tenercelos [to be jealous]
Elena tienecelos de la chicaalta y rubia. [Elena is jealous of the tall blonde girl.]

Tenercuidado [to be careful]
Mi madresiempretienecuidadocuandovamos a la playa. [My mother is always careful when we go to the beach.]

Tener la culpa [to be guilty]
El criminal tiene la culpa. [The criminal is guilty.]

Teneréxito[to be successful]
Canadátieneéxito en los JuegosOlímpicos de Invierno. [Canada is successful in the winter olympics.]

Tenerfrío [to be cold]
Tengofríocuandovoy al cine. [I'm cold when I go to the movie theater.]

Tenerganas de [to feel like]
¿Tienesganas de salir? [Do you feel like going out?]

Tenerhambre [to be hungry]
Ya son lastres! No tienenhambre? [It's already three! Aren't you hungry?]

Tenermiedo a + noun [to be afraid of a noun]
Mi hermanomenortienemiedo a lasarañas.

Tenermiedo de + verb [to be afraid of an action]
Muchagentetienemiedo de hablar en público.[Many people are afraid to speak in public.]

Tenerprisa [to be in a hurry]
Lo siento, no puedohablarahoraporquetengoprisa. [I'm sorry, I can't talk right now because I'm in a hurry.

Tenerrazón [to be right]
Pregunta a tuabuela. Ella siempretienerazón. [Ask your grandmother. She is always right.]

Tenersed [to be hungry]
Tengoseddespués de correr. [I'm thirsty after running.]

Tenersueño [to be sleepy]
Tenemosqueir a casa porque el bébétienesueño. [We have to go home because the baby is sleepy.]

Tenersuerte [to be lucky]
Mi primo tienesuerte - suesposaesmuybonita! [My cousin is lucky - his wife is really pretty.]

Tenerverguenza [to be ashamed]
Tengoveuguenzadespués de hablar con ella de esamanera. [I'm ashamed after speaking to her like that.]

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