Verb Tener Conjugation and Its Uses in Present Tense Spanish

“Tener” can sometimes mean “having”, but only when speaking in the present tense, never in the future tense…When used to show something that’s happening now, it’s often accompanied with a word like “now” or “lately”…This way you can distinguish it from something occurring at that very moment, versus something that happens usually…Below are examples of the “I” form of “Tener”:

I have/I’m having…………………………Yo tengo
I’m having/I have a headache….(Yo) tengo un dolor de cabeza.
I have two children…(Yo) tengo dos hijos.

You have/You’re having (formal)…..Usted tiene
Do you have children?…¿Tiene (usted) hijos?
You don’t have any questions?…¿(Usted) no tiene preguntas?
Are you having pain?…¿(Usted) tiene dolor?

You have/You’re having (informal)..Tú tienes
You have a really nice dog…Tienes un perro muy simpático.
Do you have change?…¿Tienes cambio?
Are you having a headache?…¿Tienes (tú) un dolor de cabeza?

She has/Is having …..Ella tiene
She is having a lot of pain…(Ella) tiene mucho dolor.
Does she have any questions?…¿Tiene (ella) preguntas?
She has a cold…(Ella) tiene un resfrío.

He has/Is having..Él tiene
Does he have a wife?…¿Tiene (él) esposa?
Is he having trouble breathing?…¿Tiene (él) problemas para respirar?
He has a broken arm…(Él) tiene el brazo roto.

We have/Are having …..Nosotros/Nosotras tenemos
We have a hospital nearby…(Nosotros) tenemos un hospital cerca.
Do we have an appointment tomorrow?…¿Tenemos (nosotros) una cita mañana?
We’re having a lot of belly pain…(Nosotros) tenemos mucho dolor estomacal.

They have/Are having …..Ellos/Ellas tienen
Do they have any questions?…¿Tienen (ellos) alguna pregunta?
They don’t have any children…(Ellos) no tienen hijos.
Are they having nausea?…¿Tienen (ellos) náusea?

You (all) have/Are having …..Ustedes tienen
Are you (all) having any vomiting or diarrhea?…¿Tienen (ustedes) vómito o diarrea?
Do you (all) have any children?…¿Tienen (ustedes) hijos?
You (all) don’t have an appointment tomorrow…(Ustedes) no tienen cita mañana.

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Note that When asking a question in Spanish, the pronouns ( “tú” in this example) can come before or after the verb…Example: ¿tienes tú? OR ¿tú tienes? OR just ¿tienes?

Also Note that when using verbs in Spanish, we usually don’t need to use the pronouns such as “Yo”, “Ella/Él”, “Nosotros”, “Ellos” or “Tú/Usted/Ustedes”…Because of the way the verb is conjugated, it’s already known if the person speaking is referring to “I”, “S/He”, “We”, “They”, or “You”. For emphasis or for clarification, however, we can use these pronouns with the verb…

Below is an infographic showing the conjugation of the verb Tener.  We’ve also done a video reviewing the different conjugations of Tener, complete with exercises so that you can start practicing! Be sure to download the infographic and watch the video below! As always, if you have any questions or there is something you’d specifically like us to cover, please shoot us an email or leave a comment here or on social media! We’d be happy to assist you 😉

tener verb chart
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