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145 Expressions with Verb tener in Spanish

Corporate Spanish Trainer

Con cuidado – Peligroso – Tenga cuidado

Expressions with the verb tener in Spanish

How to say ‘I’m hungry’ in Spanish





Post 145/365
Hoy es viernes el 18 de agosto de 2017


Buenos días, ¿Cómo está?

How are you feeling about the e-ie stem-changing verbs this week?

Remember, if you are new to them, give yourself a week or two to let them settle in. We need time to see them several times, say them aloud and then they start to make sense.
Be patient with yourself!


Be sure to ask questions in the comment box below!  I will respond to you so you can move forward. Your question will help other, too.


Idiomatic expressions with tener


An idiomatic expression – una expresión idiomática is an expression or phrase that does not translate word for word in the 2 languages.

For example, in English we say, I am hungry. However in Spanish, we say, I have hungerI’s different!


As English-speakers we want to say, ‘Estoy hambre’, but DON’T say that! It makes no sense in Spanish!


The verb tener has lots of these idiomatic expresions.
So we need to learn them just the way they say them in Spanish. Note that they are different, and then really hook them up with the verb tener.


Here we go!

1. Each expression will be listed like this:

Tener hambre

This is how it would show up in a dictionary. When you see this, know that you have to conjugate the verb tener to indicate who is hungry.

Like this…


Yo tengo hambre – I’m hungry
¿Tienes hambre? – Are you hungry?

Ella tiene hambre
– S/he is hungry. or You (formal) are hungry.

Nosotros tenemos hambre – We’re hungry
Vosotros tenéis hambre – You guys are hungry.


Ellas tienen hambre
– They are hungry.


These expressions work with any and all verb tenses. We’ll continue to apply them as we move forward. (I was hungry, I will be hungry, etc..)


2.  Next to each expression you’ll see a (m) or an (f).  These  stand for (m)=masculino and (f)=feminino.
On a couple you’ll see (m/p) or (f/p) meaning masculine/feminine and plural. This will make sense below.
One expression has a (-) because you won’t modify it.


Q: Why do you need this, you ask?

A: So you can modify these expressions. For example, if you are REALLY hungry, you need to know that ‘hambre‘ is feminine so you can match ‘mucho’ and ‘poco’ to it.


Like this: Tengo mucha hambre – I’m really hungry!

hambre‘ is feminine, therefore, mucha.
poca hambre – I’m a little hungry.



18 Expressions in Spanish with the verb tener

(f) Tener hambre  – to be hungry

(f) Tener sed – to be thirsty


(m) Tener calor  – to be hot

(m) Tener frío  – to be cold

 (m) Tener sueño– to be tired, sleepy


(m) Tener éxito – to be successful


(m)Tener miedo de – to be afraid of


(f) Tener suerte – to be lucky

(-)Tener lugar – to take place


(m) Tener cuidado – to be careful


(f) Tener prisa – to be in a hurry


(f) Tener vergüenza – to be ashamed (embarrassed)


(-) Tener que ver – It has to do with


(m) Tener dolor de cabeza – to have a headache

(f) Tener fiebre – to have a fever


(-) Tener que + inf.   –  to have to do something

(f/p) Tener ganas de + inf.
– to feel like doing something

(m/p) Tener años  – To be so many years old.


3. Práctica


¿Cuántos años tienes?
How old are you?
Tengo 5 años. – I’m 5.


¿Tienes hambre?
Sí, tengo mucha hambre. ¿Qué quieres comer?
Are you hungry?
Yes, I’m really hungry. What do you want to eat?


¿Tienes sed?
Sí, tengo mucha sed.
¿Quieres agua?
Are you thirsty?
Yes, I’m really thirsty.
D you want water?


¡Qué frío!  Tengo mucho frío.
What cold! I’m so cold.


Tengo mucho sueño.
I’m so tired.


Adele y Luis Fonsi tienen mucho éxito.
Adele and Luis Fonsi are very successful.


¡Qué suerte! Tú tienes mucha suerte.
How lucky! You are so lucky.


Ella tiene miedo de arañas y serpientes.
She is afraid of spider and snakes.


La película tiene lugar en España. Tiene que ver con los artistas del siglo XX.
The movie takes place in Spain. It has to do with 20th Century artists.


Él está enfermo. Tiene mucho dolor de cabeza y tiene una fiebre baja.
He’s sick. He has a bad headache and a low fever.



Action steps: Pick 6-8 expressions with tener that you’d like to learn. Jot them in your SB365 Journal.
Reread the ‘Práctica’ various times.


Thanks for stopping by today – Gracias por pasar por aquí hoy.

Hasta mañana,