Tener: To Have

The verb Tener means to have. Tener is an irrregular verb in the present tense. Let’s see the conjugation of the verb tener in the present tense.

Yo tengo I have
tienes You have
El/Ella/Usted tiene He/she/you (formal) have
Nosotros/as tenemos We have
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes tienen They/you (plural & informal) have

Like in English, the verb “to have” can be used either to literally mean, “I have something,” or to mean “I have to do something.”

To have something

I have a Honda.        Yo tengo un honda.


To have to do something

To say you have to do something, we use the sentence construction:

“Tener + que + infinitive verb”

 I have to work.          Yo tengo que trabajar.

Common expressions with “tener”

To be sleepy Tener sueño
To be thirsty Tener sed
To be hungry Tener hambre
To be lucky Tener suerte
To be hot Tener calor
To be cold Tener frío
To be __ years old Tener __ años


Tengo hambre.                      I’m hungry.
¿Cuántos años tienes?         How old are you?
Ella tiene mucho frio.          She is very cold.
¿Tienes sueño?                      Are you sleeply?


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