Spanish The Verb "to have"


The Spanish verb tener, which means "to have" or "to possess," is one of the most irregular verbs in the language. This article includes tener conjugations in the indicative mood (present, past, future and conditional), the subjunctive mood (present and past), the imperative mood, and other verb forms like the gerund and past participle.

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One of the most common verbs in the Spanish language is the verb TENERTENER means to have in its base form but can actually change meaning based on the phrase it is used with. Don’t worry, we will talk about that in our next lesson! For now, let’s talk about TENER and how we use it.As we learned in our past three conjugation lessons, Tener is an -ER verb because it ends in the two letters -ER. That means we will use our -ER verb endings in order to conjugate it. Also, like the verb querer we talk about in a previous lesson, TENER is also a stem change verb. Note the spell change happening in the stem. This spell change is an e to an ie.

NOTE! Remember stem change verbs will never have the stem spell change in the nosotros or vosotros forms.

TENER = To have

Yo tengo – I have
Nosotros(as) tenemos – We have
Tú tienes – You (informal) haveVosotros(as) tenéis – You all have

Él tiene – He has Ella tiene – She has Usted tiene – You (formal) have
Ellos tienen – They have Ellas tienen – They have Ustedes tienen – You all have

Notice the yo form of the verb TENER also has its own irregular rules. It does not stem change in this form like most stem change verbs, and we also change the ending by adding a “g”!

A few examples: Yo tengo dos perros – I have two dogs. ¿Tú tienes un regalo para mí? – Do you have a gift for me? Mi hermano tiene un trabajo muy bueno. – My brother has a very good job. Nosotros tenemos una casa en San Francisco. – We have a house in San Francisco. Nuestros empleados tienen ideas fantásticas. – Our employees have fantastic ideas.  

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.