Idiomatic expressions with "tener"

Beginner Spanish Grammar Notes

Expresiones idiomaticos usando el verbo "tener"

Tenemos dinero - We have money!

In Spanish, as in English, many verbs have multiple meanings and are used in different ways in colloquial expressions and phrasal verbs, for example. You'll be familiar with examples in English such as take in, take out, take down, take on, take over, etc.

The Spanish verb "tener" itself, generally means to have or possess, but is used in various ways such as "to accommodate", to express age, "to experience", "to hold", "to judge", "to keep" and many more.

Some examples of idiomatic expressions in Spanish using "tener":

  • "to possess" - Mi amiga tiene una casa en el lago.
  • "to accommodate" - Tenemos a los abuelos en casa por unos días.
  • to express age - Tengo diecisiete añnos.
  • "to experience" - Tienes un día aburrido?
  • "to hold" - Ten la jarra con cuidado.
  • "to judge" - Tenerse por sabio.
  • "to keep" - Tengo el dinero en la caja fuerte.

Various expressions combine this Spanish verb with other words, and the meanings of the expressions seem unrelated to the separate words. One of them is "tener que ver". As well as the meaning "to have to watch", this expression means to be related to something. Example: "Tu comentario no tiene nada que ver con la conversacíon" - Your comment has nothing to do with the conversation.

Watch this video to learn more about these idiomatic expressions.

Video: Idiomatic expressions using the Spanish verb 'TENER'

Some more examples of idiomatic expressions in Spanish using "tener":

  • "tener en cuenta" - To take into account.- Debes tener en cuenta que ya es tarde.
  • "tener ganas de" - To feel like (doing/having something). - Tengo ganas de un helado.
  • "tener lugar" - To take place. - El mercado tiene lugar los miercoles.
  • "tener verguenza" - To feel guilty. - Tengo verguenza de haber olvidado su cumpleaños.
  • "tener razón" - To be right. - Creo que tu tienes razón.
  • "tener éxito" - To be successful. - Tenemos éxito con nuestra canción.
  • "to keep" - Tengo el dinero en la caja fuerte.



Click below to register for a free class with no obligation - no credit card needed.