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How to conjugate Tener in Spanish

To have Irregular

Introduction

Tener is the Spanish verb "to have". It is an extremely useful verb and is largely irregular when conjugating. It is important to note that in Spanish, tener is used to portray a person's age; for example: "tengo 21 años". This literally translates to "I have 21 years". Another common use for Tener is to indicate an obligation, for example: "tengo que irme a casa" - "I have to go home". It is always followed by "que" to indicate this type of obligation or "must".

Similar verbs to tener include: poseer (to have/ possess).

SpanishSpanishEnglish
Infinitivetenerto have
Past participletenidohad
Gerundteniendohaving

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Indicative Tenses of Tener

Tener in the Indicative Present

The Indicative Present of tener is used to talk about situations, events or thoughts that are happening now or in the near future. It is also used to talk about facts and truths. For example, "tengo un gato gris", meaning "I have a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YotengoI have
tienesyou have
Ella / Él / Ustedtienes/he has, you (formal) have
Nosotras / Nosotrostenemoswe have
Vosotras / Vosotrostenéisyou (plural) have
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestienenthey have, you (plural formal) have
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Tener in the Indicative Preterite

The Indicative Preterite of tener is used to talk about actions completed in the past, at a specific point in time. For example, "tuve un gato gris", meaning "I had a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YotuveI had
tuvisteyou had
Ella / Él / Ustedtuvos/he had, you (formal) had
Nosotras / Nosotrostuvimoswe had
Vosotras / Vosotrostuvisteisyou (plural) had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestuvieronthey had, you (plural formal) had
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Tener in the Indicative Imperfect

The Indicative Imperfect of tener is used to describe regular and repeated actions that happened in the past and descriptions of things you used to do. For example, "tenía un gato gris", meaning "I used to have a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoteníaI used to have
teníasyou used to have
Ella / Él / Ustedtenías/he used to have, you (formal) used to have
Nosotras / Nosotrosteníamoswe used to have
Vosotras / Vosotrosteníaisyou (plural) used to have
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesteníanthey used to have, you (plural formal) used to have
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Tener in the Indicative Future

The Indicative Future of tener is used to talk about something that will happen in the future. For example, "tendré un gato gris", meaning "I will have a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YotendréI will have
tendrásyou will have
Ella / Él / Ustedtendrás/he will have, you (formal) will have
Nosotras / Nosotrostendremoswe will have
Vosotras / Vosotrostendréisyou (plural) will have
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestendránthey will have, you (plural formal) will have
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Tener in the Indicative Conditional

The Indicative Conditional of tener is used to talk about something that may happen in the future, hypothesis and probabilities. For example, "tendría un gato gris", meaning "I would have a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YotendríaI would have
tendríasyou would have
Ella / Él / Ustedtendrías/he would have, you (formal) would have
Nosotras / Nosotrostendríamoswe would have
Vosotras / Vosotrostendríaisyou (plural) would have
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestendríanthey would have, you (plural formal) would have
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Tener in the Indicative Present Perfect

The Indicative Present Perfect of tener is used to describe actions that started recently (in the past) and are still happening now or things that have been done recently. For example, "he tenido un gato gris", meaning "I have had a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohe tenidoI have had
has tenidoyou have had
Ella / Él / Ustedha tenidos/he has had, you (formal) have had
Nosotras / Nosotroshemos tenidowe have had
Vosotras / Vosotroshabéis tenidoyou (plural) have had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshan tenidothey have had, you (plural formal) have had
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Tener in the Indicative Past Perfect

The Indicative Past Perfect of tener is used to talk about actions that happened before another action in the past. For example, "había tenido un gato gris", meaning "I had had a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabía tenidoI had had
habías tenidoyou had had
Ella / Él / Ustedhabía tenidos/he had had, you (formal) had had
Nosotras / Nosotroshabíamos tenidowe had had
Vosotras / Vosotroshabíais tenidoyou (plural) had had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabían tenidothey had had, you (plural formal) had had
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Tener in the Indicative Future Perfect

The Indicative Future Perfect of tener is used to talk about something that will have happened in the future after something else has already happened. For example, "habré tenido un gato gris", meaning "I will have had a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabré tenidoI will have had
habrás tenidoyou will have had
Ella / Él / Ustedhabrá tenidos/he will have had, you (formal) will have had
Nosotras / Nosotroshabremos tenidowe will have had
Vosotras / Vosotroshabréis tenidoyou (plural) will have had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrán tenidothey will have had, you (plural formal) will have had
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Tener in the Indicative Conditional Perfect

The Indicative Conditional Perfect of tener is used to talk about something that would have happened in the future but didn’t due to another action. For example, "habría tenido un gato gris", meaning "I would have had a grey cat".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabría tenidoI would have had
habrías tenidoyou would have had
Ella / Él / Ustedhabría tenidos/he would have had, you (formal) would have had
Nosotras / Nosotroshabríamos tenidowe would have had
Vosotras / Vosotroshabríais tenidoyou (plural) would have had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrían tenidothey would have had, you (plural formal) would have had
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Subjunctive Tenses of Tener

Tener in the Subjunctive Present

The Subjunctive Present is used to talk about situations of uncertainty, or emotions such as wishes, desires and hopes. It differs from the indicative mood due to the uncertainty of the events which are being spoken about. For example, "tenga", meaning "I have".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YotengaI have
tengasyou have
Ella / Él / Ustedtengas/he has, you (formal) have
Nosotras / Nosotrostengamoswe have
Vosotras / Vosotrostengáisyou (plural) have
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestenganthey have, you (plural formal) have
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Tener in the Subjunctive Imperfect

The Subjunctive Imperfect is used to speak about unlikely or uncertain events in the past or to cast an opinion (emotional) about something that happened in the past. For example, "tuviera", meaning "I had".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YotuvieraI had
tuvierasyou had
Ella / Él / Ustedtuvieras/he had, you (formal) had
Nosotras / Nosotrostuviéramoswe had
Vosotras / Vosotrostuvieraisyou (plural) had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestuvieranthey had, you (plural formal) had
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Tener in the Subjunctive Future

The Subjunctive Future is used For example, "tuviere", meaning "I will have".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YotuviereI will have
tuvieresyou will have
Ella / Él / Ustedtuvieres/he will have, you (formal) will have
Nosotras / Nosotrostuviéremoswe will have
Vosotras / Vosotrostuviereisyou (plural) will have
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestuvierenthey will have, you (plural formal) will have
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Tener in the Subjunctive Present Perfect

The Subjunctive Present Perfect is used to describe past actions or events that are still connected to the present day and to speak about an action that will have happened by a certain time in the future. For example, "haya tenido", meaning "I have had".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohaya tenidoI have had
hayas tenidoyou have had
Ella / Él / Ustedhaya tenidos/he has had, you (formal) have had
Nosotras / Nosotroshayamos tenidowe have had
Vosotras / Vosotroshayáis tenidoyou (plural) have had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshayan tenidothey have had, you (plural formal) have had
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Tener in the Subjunctive Past Perfect

The Subjunctive Past Perfect is used to speak about hypothetical situations, and actions/events that occurred before other actions/events in the past. For example, "hubiera tenido", meaning "I had had".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiera tenidoI had had
hubieras tenidoyou had had
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiera tenidos/he had had, you (formal) had had
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéramos tenidowe had had
Vosotras / Vosotroshubierais tenidoyou (plural) had had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieran tenidothey had had, you (plural formal) had had
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Tener in the Subjunctive Future Perfect

The Subjunctive Future Perfect is used For example, "hubiere tenido", meaning "I will have had".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiere tenidoI will have had
hubieres tenidoyou will have had
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiere tenidos/he will have had, you (formal) will have had
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéremos tenidowe will have had
Vosotras / Vosotroshubiereis tenidoyou (plural) will have had
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieren tenidothey will have had, you (plural formal) will have had
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Imperative Tenses of Tener

Tener in the Imperative Affirmative

The Imperative Affirmative is used to give orders and commands, to tell someone to do something. For example, "tenga", meaning "(to you formal) have!".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
ten(to you) have!
Ella / Él / Ustedtenga(to you formal) have!
Nosotras / Nosotrostengamos(to we) have!
Vosotras / Vosotrostened(to you plural) have!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedestengan(to you plural formal) have!
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Tener in the Imperative Negative

The Imperative Negative is used to give orders and commands, telling someone not to do something. For example, "no tenga", meaning "(to you formal) don't have!".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
no tengas(to you) don't have!
Ella / Él / Ustedno tenga(to you formal) don't have!
Nosotras / Nosotrosno tengamos(to we) don't have!
Vosotras / Vosotrosno tengáis(to you plural) don't have!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesno tengan(to you plural formal) don't have!
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Example sentences and usage

  • Tengo que irme a dormir. I have to go to sleep.
  • No tengo la intención de ser egoísta. I don't intend to be selfish.
  • No tengo a nadie que viaje conmigo. I don't have anyone who'd travel with me.
  • Tengo una cuenta pendiente contigo. I have a bone to pick with you.
  • ¡Dame tiempo para darte todo lo que tengo! Give me time to give you everything I have!
  • Lo que no tienes es mejor que lo que sí tienes. What you don't have is better than what you do have.
  • ¿Cuándo se puede decir que una persona tiene problemas con el alcohol? When can one say that a person has alcohol issues?
  • Aquí tiene su cambio. Here is your change.
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Want to explore other verb conjugations?

Why not check out presentar – to present or see the complete list of verbs here.

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Want a better way to learn conjugations?

Ella Verbs guides you through 30 levels of bite sized lessons and verb drills, helping you to master the 16 main Spanish tenses from our verb library of over 1,000 verbs.

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