I’m bringing you another verb this week, and this time round we have TENER. It means ´to have´ or as we commonly say in English ´have got´. It is not used when we deal with the perfect tense in Spanish, whereas in English it’s the same verb in Spanish as they use the verb ´haber´ for ´to have´ as an auxiliary in the perfect tenses, just to remind you the present perfect is ´have been´, ´have seen´, etc.
TENER is an irregular verb, e = ie change except in the ´yo´ form, so it conjugates thus: TENGO, TIENES, TIENE, TENEMOS, TENÉIS TIENEN. As you can see it´s regular in the nosotros and vosotros forms.
When do we use TENER? It´s used in English to show possession, as in I´ve got a pen, He´s got a big house (tengo un bolígrafo, él tiene una casa grande) and it´s also used to show obligation, as in I´ve got to go, we´ve got to see the film, but in this case we have to add the preposition ´que´ after the conjugated verb TENER, so it becomes; tengo que ir, tenemos que ver la película.
We also use TENER in various situations where in English we use a different verb, here are some of the most common uses: Tengo frío – I´m cold, Tienes calor – you´re hot, tenemos suerte – we´re lucky, Él tiene 20 años – he´s 20 years old, tengo hambre – I´m hungry, ella tiene sed – she´s thirsty, ¿tienes sueño? – are you sleepy? Tengo dolor de la cabeza – I´ve got a headache, tienes razón – you´re correct (right).
There are more idiomatic expressions that are more general such as tener prisa – to be in a hurry, tener éxito – to be successful (note the ´false friend´ there – éxito), tener la culpa – to be guilty, tener ganas de – to feel like, as in tengo muchas ganas de ir a Londres – I really feel like going to London, it can also mean ´looking forward to´, tener in cuenta – to bear in mind.
Note in all the above phrases the word TENER is joined with a noun e.g: el año, el frío, el calor, el hambre, la sed, la culpa, la prisa, therefore the word is modified by an adjective not an adverb, basically it means we use a lot of rather than very. Also remember whether the noun is masculine or feminine as you will, of course, need to change the adjective ending, so how do we say ´a lot of´ in English?
Of course it´s mucho or mucha as in its normal form it ends with an ´o´ then when it´s with a feminine noun we need to change the ending to ´a ´, so how do we say ´I´m very hungry´? Yes, that´s right tengo mucho hambre, and to say I´, very thirsty we say: tengo mucha sed. Don´t worry too much if you´re not sure about what an adjective or adverb is, all you need to remember is to use mucho or mucha with these expressions and never use muy!
I´m going to end with more conjugations of TENER, starting with the indicative: preterite (past tense) tuve, tuviste, tuvo, tuvimos, tuvisteis, tuvieron, imperfect (past tense): tenía, tenías, tenía, teníamos, teníais, tenían. Conditional: tendría, tendrías, tendría, tendríamos, tendríais, tendrían. Future (will) – tender, tendrás, tendrá, tendremos, tendréis, tendrán. Past participle (had): tenido. Present participle (having): teniendo.
Subjunctive: present: tenga, tengas, tenga, tengamos, tengáis, tenga. Imperfect 1 (past): tuviera, tuvieras, tuviera, tuviéramos, tuvierais, tuvieran. Imperfect 2 (past): tuviese, tuvieses, tuviese, tuviésemos, tuvieseis, tuviesen. Future: tuviere, tuvieres, tuviere, tuviéremos, tuviereis, tuvieren.
Imperative: yo – tú ten, él/ella tenga, nosotros tengamos, vosotros tened, ellos tengan.
Here are some sentences for you to translate into Spanish:
I´ve got a blue car, he´s got to go out at six o´clock, we´ve got to eat now, do we have to go to the party tonight? I´m very sleepy, I´ve got a lot of books in my bedroom, are you hungry? I didn´t have time, I´ll have to go to Madrid soon, I´ve got a pain in my leg, I have three children, how old are you? It wasn´t my fault, I don´t have any idea, will they have enough food? Do you have children? I have a lot of friends, do you have a light?
I´ll give you the Spanish translations next week!

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