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3.18: Tener y venir

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    Verbs "tener" and "venir"

    Before we review "tener" and "venir", let us review "-er" and "-ir" regular verbs conjugations.

    Present tense of regular "-er" and "-ir" ending verbs

    "-er" ending verbs

    "-ir" ending verbs







    Usted, Él, Ella


    Usted, Él, Ella


    Nosotros, Nosotras


    Nosotros, Nosotras


    Vosotros, Vosotras


    Vosotros, Vosotras


    Ustedes, Ellos, Ellas


    Ustedes, Ellos, Ellas


    It is important to be aware that "tener" (to have) and "venir" (to come) are "-er" and "-ir" ending verbs respectively. Thus, their conjugations will have regular endings. In addition, they have an irregular "yo" form, and stem-changes in the conjugations of "tú, él, ella, usted; and ellos, ellas, ustedes". The chart below, indicates the irregularities in the conjugations of "tener" and "venir" in bold.

    Present tense of "tener" and "venir"









    Usted, Él, Ella


    Usted, Él, Ella


    Nosotros, Nosotras


    Nosotros, Nosotras


    Vosotros, Vosotras


    Vosotros, Vosotras


    Ustedes, Ellos, Ellas


    Ustedes, Ellos, Ellas


    Idiomatic expressions with the verb "tener"

    Besides meaning “to have”, the verb "tener" is used in some idiomatic expressions in Spanish that in English translate as "to be". We do not use "estar" or "ser" with these idiomatic expressions. Let us look at the chart:

    Spanish English

    Tener____ años

    To be _____ years old

    Tener (mucho) calor

    To be (very) hot

    Tener celos

    To be jealous

    Tener (mucho) cuidado

    To be (very) careful

    Tener (mucho) éxito

    To be (very) successful

    Tener (mucho) frío

    To be (very) cold

    Tener (mucha) hambre

    To be (very) hungry

    Tener (mucho) miedo

    To be (very) afraid/scared

    Tener (mucha) prisa

    To be in a hurry

    Tener razón

    To be right

    No tener razón

    To be wrong

    Tener (mucha) sed

    To be (very) thirsty

    Tener (mucho) sueño

    To be (very) sleepy

    Tener (mucha) suerte

    To be (very) lucky

    Other expressions

    "Tener que" (to have to) + [infinitive] is used to express obligation.

    Tengo que trabajar esta tarde.
    I have to work this afternoon.

    "Tener ganas de" (to feel like) + [infinitive] is used to ask people if they feel like doing something.

    Nosotros no tenemos ganas de hacer nada ahora.
    We do not feel like doing anything right now.

    ¡Ojo! These idiomatic expressions of "tener" do not change except for the conjugation of its verb. Thus the verb "tener" matches with the subject but the expression is fixed and it does not change. For example: Yo tengo mucha sed, y mis amigos tienen mucha sed también. The idiomatic expression is noted in bold, analyze the conjugation of "tener" in both parts of the sentence.

    Prepositions used with "venir"

    Like the verb "ir" (to go), "venir" uses prepositions such as "a" (to), "de" (from), "para" (for) and "con" (with).

    In the examples below, all prepositions in Spanish and their English counterpart are in bold.

    Anita viene al mercado con su mamá los sábados por la mañana.
    Anita comes to the market with her mom on Saturdays in the morning.

    ¿Tú vienes del aeropuerto?
    Do you come from the airport?

    Nosotros venimos para ayudarte.
    We come to help you.

    Los niños vienen con sus padres a la reunión.
    The children come with their parents to the meeting.

    This page titled 3.18: Tener y venir is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by M. Barrio De Mendoza, K Gutiérrez, H.Ho, C. Lin, & A Stere Lugo (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative) .