Common Spanish Verbs: Tener
This blog post is kicking off my new series on the most common Spanish verbs. These posts will contain useful and relevant help to all of you out there who are beginning to speak Spanish. Please let me know if there are verbs you'd like me to review.
In Spanish verbs end in -AR, -ER, or -IR. Remember that verbs are action words. I have a unique perspective on Spanish verbs that I explain in depth in my Spanish course. I believe there are two types of verbs, simple and vague. First, the simple verbs are easy to imagine or visualize in your mind. It's easy to picture someone running, eating, or talking. And sure enough, to run, to eat, and to talk are all verbs. These are examples of the simple verbs and include nearly all verbs. The second group is what I refer to as vague Spanish verbs, or the verbs that are more difficult to imagine. Unfortunately, these are the most common verbs that are used multiple times in nearly every string of communication, such as to be, to have, to exist, and to be able to. The mastery of verbs--both simple and vague--comes with listening, practice, and confidence.
For this post, I thought I'd address one of my favorite verbs, tener. Tener means 'to have' in Spanish, and you can use it to say things like "I have a meeting", or "You have to go", or "She has a pet cat". Here is a breakdown of the verb tener in the present tense:
Yo tengo - I have
Tú tienes - you have (informal)
Ella tiene - she has
Él tiene - he has
Usted tiene - you have (formal)
Nosotros tenemos - we have
Vosotros tenéis - you guys have (informal)
Ellos tienen - they have
Ellas tienen - they have (group of females)
Ustedes tienen - you all have (formal)
Some examples of phrases using tener:
Yo tengo un amigo - I have a friend
Nosotros tenemos que ir - We have to go
Ella tiene una cita - She has an appointment
Tener is perhaps one of the top 3 verbs used in the Spanish language, so get used to it, memorize it, and start loving it!
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