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Tener Conjugation: How To Conjugate “To Have” In Spanish

Conjugation tables for tener in Spanish

The Spanish verb tener is one of the most most important verbs in the Spanish language. The meaning of tener is “to have”. The conjugation of tener in the present tense is: Yo tengo (I have), tú tienes, él/ella/usted tiene (he/she has, you have), nosotros tenemos (we have), vosotros tenéis (you have) and ellos/ellas/ustedes (they, you have). This post offers complete conjugation tables for tener with with example sentences.

Tener (to have) conjugation charts

Tener is an irregular ER verb. This means that it’s endings when conjugated in the present tense are different than all of the other regular ER verbs. This page on our site covers Spanish ER verbs in detail.

Tener (to have) conjugation in the present tense.

This page will cover how to conjugate tener in ten verb tenses which are necessary to speak Spanish fluently. We’ll also provide a list of the most common usages and several expressions containing tener.

We’ve provided conjugation charts (see below) with the following nine tenses:

  • Present tense (presente de indicativo)
  • Progressive present (presente progresivo)
  • Near future (futuro inmediato)
  • Future tense (futuro)
  • Preterite (pretérito)
  • Present perfect indicative (perfecto de indicativo)
  • Imperfect (imperfecto de indicativo)
  • Conditional (potential simple)
  • Present subjunctive (presente de subjuntivo)

Tener conjugation table

Tener conjugation table

Tener usage: Idioms with tener

Tener is a very versatile verb and has many usages.

1. Possession

The first usage of tener is possession. Simply put, tener equates to “to have” in English. For example:

  • Yo tengo un perro. I have a dog.
  • Tú tienes un gato. You have a cat.
  • Ella tiene una pregunta. She has a question.
  • Tenemos una casa en México. We have a house in Mexico.

2. Age

Tener is also used to express age, or “years-old”. The grammatical construction is: Tener + number + años. For example:

  • ¿Cuanto años tienes? How old are you (literally how many years do you have)?
  • Yo tengo veinticinco años. I’m 25 years-old.
  • Mi abuelo tiene setenta anos. My grandfather is 70 years-old.

3. Tener que + infinitive

The construction tener que + infinitive means “to have to” or “must”.

  • Tengo que comprar un nuevo coche. I have to buy a new car.
  • Tengo que irme. I have to go.
  • Usted tiene que aprender español. You need to learn Spanish.
  • ¡Tienes que estudiar los verbos! You need to study the verbs!

4. Expressing feelings

Tener is also associated with expressions of feelings and “states” of being.

  • Yo tengo sueno. I’m tired.
  • Nosotros tenemos miedo. We’re scared
  • Martín tiene celos. Martin is jealous.
  • María tiene rabia. María is annoyed.

5. Hungry and thirsty

Tener is used to express being hungry and thirsty.

  • Nosotros tenemos habre. We’re hungry.
  • ¿Tiene usted sed? Are you thirsty?

6. Hot and cold

Expressions for being hot and cold also use tener.

  • Pablo tiene frío. Pablo is cold.
  • Julia tiene calor. Julia is hot.

7. To be right

The expression for “to be right” is tener razón.

  • Usted tiene razón. You are right.
Tener conjugation in 12 tenses in the first-person singular (yo) form.

Tener conjugation charts.

Present tense (presente de indicativo)

In the present tense, yo tengo translates to “I have” as well as “I am having”.

yo tengoI haveYo tengo una casa grande. I have a big house.
tú tienesyou haveTú tienes un coche nuevo. You have a new car.
él/ella, usted tienehe/she has, you haveElla tiene un novio.She has a boyfriend.
nosotros tenemoswe haveNosotros tenemos dos gatos.We have two cats.
vosotros tenéisyou haveVosotros tenéis un chalé en Francia. You have a villa in France.
ellos/ellas, ustedes tienenthey, you haveEllos tienen un negocio muy rentable.They have a very profitable business.

Progressive present (presente progresivo)

In Spanish, the progressive present combines the present form of estar (to be) with the present participle. Yo estoy teniendo translates to “I am having”.

yo estoy teniendoI am havingYo estoy teniendo problemas con mi jefe.I'm having problems with my boss.
tú estás teniendoyou are havingTú estás teniendo recuerdos.You are having memories.
él/ella, usted está teniendohe/she is having, you are havingÉl está teniendo un día mejor.He is having a better day.
nosotros estamos teniendowe are havingNosotros estamos teniendo dificultades para perder peso.We're having a hard time losing weight.
vosotros estáis teniendoyou have havingVosotros estáis teniendo algunas problemas. You are having some problems.
ellos/ellas, ustedes están teniendoyou, they have havingEllos estan teniendo mucho éxito.They are having a lot of success.

Near future (futuro inmediato)

In Spanish, the near future tense equates to “going to” in English and is formed by combining ir (to go) in the present tense with the preposition a and an infinitive. For example, yo voy a tener means “I’m going to have”.

yo voy a tenerI'm going to haveYo voy a tener muchísimo éxito. I'm going to have a lot of success.
tú vas a tener you're going to haveVas a tener una experiencia maravillosa.You're going to have a wonderful experience.
él/ella, usted va a tenerhe/she's going to have, you're going to haveÉl va a tener un hijo. He's going to have a son.
nosotros vamos a tenerwe're doing to haveNosotros vamos a tener hambre.We're going to be hungry.
vosotros vais a teneryou're going to haveVosotros vais a tener frío. You're going to be cold.
ellos/ellas, ustedes van a tenerthey're / you're going to haveEllos van a tener que tomar una decisión.They're going to have to make a decision.

Future tense (futuro)

In the Spanish future tense, yo tendré translates to “I will have”.

yo tendréI will haveYo tendré que comprar un coche nuevo.I'll have to buy a new car.
tú tendrasyou will haveTú tendras que vender la casa.You'll have to sell the house.
él/ella, usted tendrahe, she, you will haveElla tendra que aprendre fancés. She'll have to learn French.
nosotros tendremoswe will have Nosotros tendremos que salir mañana.We'll have to leave tomorrow.
vosotros tendréisyou will haveVosotros tendréis que hacer caso.You'll have to pay attention.
ellos/ellas, ustedes tendránthey will haveEllos tendrán dos opciónes.They will have two options.

Preterite (pretérito)

In Spanish, the preterite is used to describe past actions which occurred at specified times. Yo tuve translates to “I had”.

yo tuveI hadYo tuve un buen viaje. I had a good trip.
tú tuvisteyou hadTú tuviste muchísima suerte en España.You had a lot of luck in Spain.
él/ella, usted tuvohe, she, you hadElla tuvo algunas buenas ideas.She had a few good ideas.
nosotros tuvimoswe hadNosotros tuvimos una buena oportunidad.We had a good opportunity.
vosotros tuvisteisyou hadVosotros tuvisteis que enunciar a vuestro trabajo.You had to quit your job.
ellos/ellas, ustedes tuvieronthey, you hadEllos tuvieron que quedarse en Argentina.They had to stay in Argentina.

Present perfect indicative (perfecto de indicativo)

In Spanish, the present perfect indicative tense is used to express past actions which occurred at unspecified times and may have an an ongoing impact on the present.

The tense is formed by combining the present tense of haber (to have) with the past participle. Yo he tenido translates to “I have had”.

yo he tenidoI hadYo he tenido mucho trabajo. I have had a lot of work.
tú has tenidoyou hadTú has tenido mucha suerte.You've had a lot of luck.
él/ella, usted ha tenidohe, she, you hadElla ha tenido la misma experiencia.She had the same experience.
nosotros hemos tenidowe hadNosotros hemos tenido un buen día.We've had a good day.
vosotros habéis tenidoyou hadVosotros habéis tenido que hacer ejercicios.You've had to exercise.
ellos/ellos, ustedes han tenidothey, you hadEllos han tenido que contratar a un empleo.They've had to hire an employee.

Imperfect (imperfecto de indicativo)

In Spanish, the imperfect is used to describe past actions which used to happen regularly and unspecified times.

yo teníaI used to have, was having, hadCuando era nino, teníaun gato.I used to have a cat when I was little.
tú teníasyou used to have, were having, had¿Qué coche tenías?What car did you used to have.
él/ella, usted teníaHe/she used to have, was having had / You (same as above)Él tenía un casa en España.He used to have a house in Spain.
nosotros teníamosWe used to have, were having, hadNosotros teníamos dos perros. We used to have two dogs.
vosotros teníaisyou used to have, were having, hadVosotros teníais un coche deportivo.You used to have a sports car.
ellos/ellas, ustedes teníanthey used to have, were having, hadEllos tenían un departamento en una estación de esquí.They used to have a condo in a ski resort.

Conditional (potential simple)

In Spanish, the conditional is used for potential or “would” situations. Yo tendría transaltes to “I would have”.

yo tendríaI would haveYo tendría un perro si tuviera una casa.I'd have a dog if I had a house.
tú tendríasyou would haveTú tendrías más si fueras más amable.You'd have more friends if you were nicer.
él/ella, usted tendríahe, she, you would haveElla tendría un gato si no fuera alérgica.She's have a cat if she wasn't allergic.
nosotros tendríamoswe would haveNosotros tendríamos más dinero si ahorráramos.We'd have more money if we saved.
vosotros tendríaisyou would haveVosotros tendríais más tiempo libre si trabajarais menos.You'd have more free time if you worked less.
ellos/ellas, ustedes tendríanthey, you would haveEllos tendrían dos coches si no vivieran en la ciudad.They'd have two cars if they didn't live in the city.

Present subjunctive (presente de subjuntivo)

In Spanish, the present subjunctive is used to express wishes, emotions and doubts.

yo tengaI haveEs important que tenga buenas relación con los vecinos.It's important that I have good relations with the neighbors.
tú tengasyou haveEspero que tengas tu proprio coche.I hope you have your own car.
él/ella, usted tengahe/she has, you haveNo sé si él tenga el día libre. I don't know if he has the day off.
nosotros tengamoswe haveEs importante que tengamos paciencia.It's important that we have patience.
vosotros tengáisyou haveEs necesario que tengáis pasaporte.It's necessary that you have passports.
ellos/ellas, ustedes tenganthey, you haveEs posible que tengan un compromiso.It's possible that they have a conflict.

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David Issokson