Tener Verb Conjugation in Spanish

When you start learning Spanish, you're bound to come across the verb tener. It is usually translated as "to have", since is conveys meanings such as "to possess" and "to carry", but the meaning of tener is much broader.

tener verb conjugation tener verb conjugation

This verb can also be used to talk about someone's age, to describe feelings such as being hungry, hot, or cold, and as a possible translation for "to hold", among other things.

Tener can also be used as an auxiliary verb that expresses obligation or supposition when paired with que:

  • Tengo que limpiar el baño. - I have to clean the bathroom.
  • Ese coche tiene que ser de Pedro. - That car must be Pedro's.
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Conjugations

Tener is quite irregular in its conjugation, so pay attention to the following sections to learn how to properly use it in these tenses.

Present

Yo

tengo

Nosotros/Nosotras

tenemos

Tú (Vos)

tienes (tenés)

Vosotros/Vosotras

tenéis

Él/Ella/Usted

tiene

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

tienen

Examples:

  • Tengo 20 años. - I'm 20 years old.
  • Ten la cartera mientras abro la puerta. - Hold the purse while I open the door.

Imperfect

Yo

tenía

Nosotros/Nosotras

teníamos

Tú (Vos)

tenías

Vosotros/Vosotras

teníais

Él/Ella/Usted

tenía

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

tenían

Examples:

  • Cuando era niña, Luisa tenía 3 gatos. - When she was little, Luisa had 3 cats.
  • Mi abuela tenía ojos azules. - My grandmother had blue eyes.

Preterite

Yo

tuve

Nosotros/Nosotras

tuvimos

Tú (Vos)

tuviste

Vosotros/Vosotras

tuvisteis

Él/Ella/Usted

tuvo

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

tuvieron

Examples:

  • Marina tuvo que volver a su casa. - Marina had to go back home.
  • Mi prima tuvo gemelos. - My cousin had twins.

Future

Yo

tendré

Nosotros/Nosotras

tendremos

Tú (Vos)

tendrás

Vosotros/Vosotras

tendréis

Él/Ella/Usted

tendrá

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

tendrán

Examples:

  • Un día tendré una casa en Grecia. - One day I'll have a house in Greece.
  • Cuando me gradúe tendré 18 años. - When I graduate, I'll be 18 years old.

Conditional

Yo

tendría

Nosotros/Nosotras

tendríamos

Tú (Vos)

tendrías

Vosotros/Vosotras

tendríais

Él/Ella/Usted

tendría

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

tendrían

Examples:

  • Si no hubiese comido una manzana, tendría hambre. - I would be hungry if I hadn't had an apple.
  • Si abrieran la ventana, tendríamos calor. - If they opened the window, we'd be hot.

As you can see, tener is a very versatile verb that can be used in a lot of different situations. So, even though it is irregular, it's worth the effort of learning and memorizing how to properly conjugate it.