Resources and exercises

Idiomatic expressions with the verb "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 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.

Take a look at some examples:

  • "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 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: Spanish idiomatic expressions using the verb 'TENER'



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