The definitive guide to conjugating tener in all 16 tenses & moods

Learning how to conjugate verbs in Spanish is one of the most important skills you can pick up early on in your learning journey.

The verb tener (to have) is one of the best ways to invest your time if you’re studying Spanish, as just a few simple conjugation rules will allow you to express many different situations. Of course, the verb “to have” can help you talk about things you own, but it’s also used to express characteristics, moods, feelings, and more.

Unfortunately, tener is an irregular verb, which means that you’ll have to memorize every tense for every person. But don’t let that discourage you! Once you find out just how useful this verb is, you’ll see that spending the time to learn it is well worth it.

So, let’s get started by covering the many uses of the verb tener so you can get excited about learning the conjugations!

The verb tener

The verb tener (teh-nehin Spanish translated into the verb “to have.” You use it to express possession and ownership, just as in English. However, in certain contexts, the verb tener can also translate into the verb “to be” in English.

That’s because English is quite generous with its use of the verb “to be.” For example, when you say, “I’m sleepy,” does that mean you are sleepy? That it’s an intrinsic part of your being? Do you exist in a perpetual state of sleepiness? Although many students would be tempted to answer affirmatively, the truth is that sleepiness isn’t a core part of anyone’s being (although a passion for sleeping can be!).

Spanish pays more close attention to the differences between permanent states of being and temporary states of being. That’s why you’d say “tengo sueño” (I have sleepiness) instead of “soy sueño” (I am sleepy).

Let’s take a look at just how versatile this verb can be.

Take a look at how versatile the verb tener can be.

When to use “tener”

  • Ownership. The most common use of this verb is to establish possession or ownership, such as in “tengo dos perros en casa” (I have two dogs at home) or “¿Tienes un suéter que me prestes?” (do you have a sweater I could borrow?).
  • Emotions and feelings. Transitory meanings and emotions can be possessed in Spanish, as in “tengo miedo” (I am scared) or “aún tengo esperanza” (I still have hope).
  • Age. Unlike English, Spanish uses the verb to have to describe age. For example, you’d say “tengo 38 años” (I am 38 years old).
  • Physical characteristics. You can use the verb tener to describe specific parts of your or someone else’s body, such as “tengo el pelo largo” (I have long hair) or “tienes bonitos ojos” (you have pretty eyes). Great for pickup lines!
  • Duty. Use the verb tener when talking about things you have to do, like “tengo que ir a la escuela” (I have to go to school) or “tengo que trabajar hasta tarde” (I have to work overtime).
  • Necessity. This verb is also used to express physical necessities, such as “tengo hambre” (I’m hungry) or “tengo sueño” (I’m sleepy).
  • Health. You can use the verb tener when talking about ailments or symptoms, as in “tengo un resfriado” (I have a cold) or “tengo dolor de cabeza” (I have a headache).
  • Cravings. To emphasize their temporality, cravings use the verb tener in Spanish, such as “tengo ganas de dormir”(I feel like sleeping) or “tengo antojo de algo dulce” (I’m craving something sweet).

Tener in Spanish: All possible conjugations

Now that you’re hyped for all the different uses of the verb tener, we’ll get right into the conjugations! We’ll review 16 different tenses and modes so you’re well-equipped to use this verb in any situation!

Present tense (presente)

Known as el tiempo presente (elle tee-ehm-poh preh-sehn-teh) in Spanish, the present tense helps us describe things that are true as of this moment. Notably, we use this tense when describing our age in Spanish, as we count the number of years we have.

I amYo tengoyoh tehn-gohˈʝo ˈtenɡo
You aretienestoo tee-eh-nessˈtu ˈtjenes
You are (formal)Usted tieneoos-tehd tee-eh-nehusˈteð ˈtjene
He/she/it isÉl tiene / Ella tiene / Eso tieneelle tee-eh-neh / eh-yah tee-eh-neh / eh-so tee-eh-nehˈel ˈtjene | ˈeʎa ˈtjene | ˈeso ˈtjene
We areNosotros tenemos / Nosotras tenemosnoh-soh-trohs teh-neh-mos / noh-soh-trahs teh-neh-mosnoˈsotɾos teˈnemos | noˈsotɾas teˈnemos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes tienenoos-teh-dehs tee-eh-nehnusˈteðes ˈtjenen
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros tenéis / Vosotras tenéisvoh-soh-trohs teh-nays / voh-soh-trahs teh-naysboˈsotɾos teˈnejs | boˈsotɾas teˈnejs
They areEllos tienen / Ellas tieneneh-yoss tee-eh-nehn / eh-yass tee-eh-nehnˈeʎos ˈtjenen | ˈeʎas ˈtjenen

Examples of present tense Spanish conjugations for “to have”

I have many books.Yo tengo muchos libros.yoh ten-goh moo-chos lee-brohsˈʝo ˈtenɡo ˈmuʧoz ˈliβɾos ‖
They have a lot of money.Ellos tienen mucho tee-eh-nehn moo-cho dee-neh-rohˈeʎos ˈtjenem ˈmuʧo ðiˈneɾo ‖
We have very few problems.Nosotros tenemos muy pocos problemas.noh-soh-trohs teh-neh-moss mooy poh-coss proh-bleh-mahsnoˈsotɾos teˈnemoz muj ˈpokos pɾoˈβlemas ‖

Simple past (pretérito)

El tiempo pretérito (elle tee-ehm-poh preh-teh-ree-toe) talks about actions that happened in the past and aren’t ongoing. You’ll use this to talk about things you had at one point but have since lost or gotten rid of.

I amYo tuveyoh too-vehˈʝo ˈtuβe
You aretuvistetoo too-vees-tehˈtu tuˈβiste
You are (formal)Usted tuvooos-tehd too-vohusˈteð ˈtuβo
He/she/it isÉl tuvo / Ella tuvo / Eso tuvoelle too-voh / eh-yah too-voh / eh-so too-vohˈel ˈtuβo | ˈeʎa ˈtuβo | ˈeso ˈtuβo
We areNosotros tuvimos / Nosotras tuvimosnoh-soh-trohs too-vee-moss / noh-soh-trahs too-vee-mossnoˈsotɾos tuˈβimos | noˈsotɾas tuˈβimos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes tuvieronoos-teh-dehs too-vee-air-ohnusˈteðes tuˈβjeɾon
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros tuvisteis / Vosotras tuvisteisvoh-soh-trohs too-vees-tays / voh-soh-trahs too-vees-taysboˈsotɾos tuˈβistejs | boˈsotɾas tuˈβistejs
They areEllos tuvieron / Ellas tuvieroneh-yoss too-vee-air-ohn / eh-yass too-vee-air-ohnˈeʎos tuˈβjeɾon | ˈeʎas tuˈβjeɾon

Examples of simple past Spanish conjugations for “to have”

He had a cat many years ago.Él tuvo un gato hace muchos años.elle too-voh oon gah-toe ah-seh moo-chos ah-nyosˈel ˈtuβo wn ˈɡato ˈaθe ˈmuʧos ˈaɲos ‖
They had problems with their car.Ellos tuvieron problemas con su too-vee-air-ohn proh-bleh-mas con soo ah-ooh-toeˈeʎos tuˈβjeɾom pɾoˈβlemas kon sw ˈawto ‖
Did you have any pets as a child?¿Tuviste mascotas de pequeño?too-vees-teh mas-coh-tass deh peh-keh-nyohtuˈβiste masˈkotaz ðe peˈkeɲo ‖

Imperfect tense (imperfecto)

El tiempo imperfecto (elle preh-teh-ree-toe eem-pehr-fec-toe) gives us a more nebulous option for talking about the past. It’s less precise than the simple past and helps describe a wider range of actions.

I amYo teníayoh teh-nee-ahˈʝo teˈnia
You areteníastoo teh-nee-ahsˈtu teˈnias
You are (formal)Usted teníaoos-tehd teh-nee-ahusˈteð teˈnia
He/she/it isÉl tenía / Ella tenía / Eso teníaelle teh-nee-ah / eh-yah teh-nee-ah / eh-so teh-nee-ahˈel teˈnia | ˈeʎa teˈnia | ˈeso teˈnia
We areNosotros teníamos / Nosotras teníamosnoh-soh-trohs teh-nee-ah-moss / noh-soh-trahs teh-nee-ah-mossnoˈsotɾos teˈniamos | noˈsotɾas teˈniamos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes teníanoos-teh-dehs teh-nee-ahnusˈteðes teˈnian
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros teníais / Vosotras teníaisvoh-soh-trohs teh-nee-ice / voh-soh-trahs teh-nee-iceboˈsotɾos teˈniajs | boˈsotɾas teˈniajs
They areEllos tenían / Ellas teníaneh-yoss teh-nee-ahn / eh-yass teh-nee-ahnˈeʎos teˈnian | ˈeʎas teˈnian

Examples of imperfect tense Spanish conjugations for “to have”

I had a little dog when I was little.Yo tenía un perrito cuando era niño.yoh teh-nee-ah oon peh-ree-toe coo-ahn-doe eh-rah nee-nyohˈʝo teˈnia wm peˈrito ˈkwando ˈeɾa ˈniɲo ‖
I think that they wanted to come.Creo que ellas no tenían ganas de venir.creh-oh keh eh-yass no teh-nee-ahn gah-nass deh veh-neerˈkɾeo ˈke ˈeʎaz ˈno teˈnian ˈɡanaz ðe βeˈniɾ ‖
We didn’t have any idea.Nosotros no teníamos no teh-nee-ah-moss e-deh-ah.noˈsotɾoz ˈno teˈniamos iˈðea ‖

Future tense (futuro simple)

El futuro simple (elle foo-too-roh seem-pleh), as you can imagine, talks about things that haven’t happened yet. Use this for things you are fairly certain you’ll have at some point in the future!

I amYo tendréyoh tehn-drehˈʝo tenˈdɾe
You aretendrástoo tehn-drahsˈtu tenˈdɾas
You are (formal)Usted tendráoos-tehd tehn-drahusˈteð tenˈdɾa
He/she/it isÉl tendrá / Ella tendrá / Eso tendráelle tehn-drah / eh-yah tehn-drah / eh-so tehn-drahˈel tenˈdɾa | ˈeʎa tenˈdɾa | ˈeso tenˈdɾa
We areNosotros tendremos / Nosotras tendremosnoh-soh-trohs tehn-dreh-moss / noh-soh-trahs tehn-dreh-mossnoˈsotɾos tenˈdɾemos | noˈsotɾas tenˈdɾemos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes tendránoos-teh-dehs tehn-drahnusˈteðes tenˈdɾan
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros tendréis / Vosotras tendréisvoh-soh-trohs tehn-drice / voh-soh-trahs tehn-driceboˈsotɾos tenˈdɾejs | boˈsotɾas tenˈdɾejs
They areEllos tendrán / Ellas tendráneh-yoss tehn-drahn / eh-yass tehn-drahnˈeʎos tenˈdɾan | ˈeʎas tenˈdɾan

Examples of future tense Spanish conjugations for “to have”

He will have to explain to us what happened.Él tendrá que explicarnos qué pasó.Elle ten-drah keh ex-plee-car-noss keh pah-sohˈel tenˈdɾa ˈke ekspliˈkaɾnos ˈke paˈso ‖
We will have to come pick you up.Nosotros tendremos que pasar por ti.Noh-soh-tross ten-dreh-moss keh pah-sar pore tee.noˈsotɾos tenˈdɾemos ˈke paˈsaɾ poɾ ˈti ‖
They will have their diplomas by next year.Ellos tendrán su diploma el próximo añ ten-drahn soo dee-plo-mah elle prox-e-mo ah-nyohˈeʎos tenˈdɾan su ðiˈploma el ˈpɾoksimo ˈaɲo ‖

Future perfect tense (futuro compuesto)

El futuro compuesto (elle foo-too-roh com-poo-ehs-toe) talks about things that will happen by a specific point in the future, so use this to plan your goals and objectives!

I amYo habré tenidoyoh ah-breh teh-nee-dohˈʝo aˈβɾe teˈniðo
You arehabrás tenidotoo ah-brahs teh-nee-dohˈtu aˈβɾas teˈniðo
You are (formal)Usted habrá tenidooos-tehd ah-brah teh-nee-dohusˈteð aˈβɾa teˈniðo
He/she/it isÉl habrá tenido / Ella habrá tenido / Eso habrá tenidoelle ah-brah teh-nee-doe / eh-yah ah-brah teh-nee-doe / eh-so ah-brah see-doeˈel aˈβɾa teˈniðo | ˈeʎa aˈβɾa teˈniðo | ˈeso aˈβɾa teˈniðo
We areNosotros habremos tenido / Nosotras habremos tenidonoh-soh-trohs ah-breh-moss teh-nee-doe / noh-soh-trahs ah-breh-moss teh-nee-doenoˈsotɾos aˈβɾemos teˈniðo | noˈsotɾas aˈβɾemos teˈniðo
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes habrán tenidooos-teh-dehs ah-brahn teh-nee-doeusˈteðes aˈβɾan teˈniðo
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habréis tenido / Vosotras habréis tenidovoh-soh-trohs ah-breh-ees teh-nee-doe / voh-soh-trahs ah-breh-ees teh-nee-doeboˈsotɾos aˈβɾejs teˈniðo | boˈsotɾas aˈβɾejs teˈniðo
They areEllos habrán tenido / Ellas habrán tenidoeh-yoss ah-brahn teh-nee-doe / eh-yass ah-brahn tehn-ee-doeˈeʎos aˈβɾan teˈniðo | ˈeʎas aˈβɾan teˈniðo

Examples of future perfect tense Spanish conjugations for “to have”

By then, you will have had more kids.Para entonces, ya habrás tenido más hijos.pah-rah ehn-ton-sehs, ya ah-brass teh-nee-doh mahs eh-hohsˈpaɾa enˈtonθes | ʝa aˈβɾas teˈniðo ˈmas ˈixos ‖
Don’t worry, by next month, we will have already had more opportunities.No te preocupes, para el próximo mes ya habremos tenido más teh preh-oh-coo-pess, pah-rah elle prox-e-moh mes ya ah-breh-moss teh-nee-doe mas oh-pore-too-nee-da-dessˈno te pɾeoˈkupes | ˈpaɾa el ˈpɾoksimo ˈmez ʝa aˈβɾemos teˈniðo ˈmas opoɾtuniˈðaðes ‖
Do you think they will have already had their party?¿Crees que ellos ya habrán tenido su fiesta?krehs keh eh-yoss yah ah-brahn teh-nee-doe soo fee-ehs-tahˈkɾees ˈke ˈeʎoz ʝa aˈβɾan teˈniðo su ˈfjesta ‖

Conditional tense (condicional simple)

El condicional simple (elle con-dee-see-oh-nall seem-pleh) allows us to talk about something that would or could happen if something else happened first.

I amYo tendríayoh tehn-dree-ahˈʝo tenˈdɾia
You aretendríastoo tehn-dree-ahsˈtu tenˈdɾias
You are (formal)Usted tendríaoos-tehd tehn-dree-ahusˈteð tenˈdɾia
He/she/it isÉl tendría / Ella tendría / Eso tendríaelle tehn-dree-ah / eh-yah tehn-dree-ah / eh-so tehn-dree-ahˈel tenˈdɾia | ˈeʎa tenˈdɾia | ˈeso tenˈdɾia
We areNosotros tendríamos / Nosotras tendríamosnoh-soh-trohs tehn-dree-ah-moss / noh-soh-trahs tehn-dree-ah-mossnoˈsotɾos tenˈdɾiamos | noˈsotɾas tenˈdɾiamos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes tendríanoos-teh-dehs tehn-dree-ahnusˈteðes tenˈdɾian
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros tendríais / Vosotras tendríaisvoh-soh-trohs tehn-dree-ice / voh-soh-trahs tehn-dree-iceboˈsotɾos tenˈdɾiajs | boˈsotɾas tenˈdɾiajs
They areEllos tendrían / Ellas tendríaneh-yoss tehn-dree-ahn / eh-yass tehn-dree-ahnˈeʎos tenˈdɾian | ˈeʎas tenˈdɾian

Examples of conditional tense Spanish conjugations for “to have”

If we had won the lottery, we would have a lot of money,Si hubiéramos ganado la lotería, tendríamos muchísimo dinero.see ooh-bee-eh-rah-moss ga-nah-doe la loh-teh-ree-ah, ten-dree-ah-moss moo-chee-see-mo dee-neh-rohsj uˈβjeɾamoz ɣaˈnaðo la loteˈɾia | tenˈdɾiamoz muˈʧisimo ðiˈneɾo ‖
If they had eaten breakfast, they would have much more energy.Si hubieran desayunado, ellos tendrían más energía.see ooh-bee-eh-rahn dess-ah-yoo-nah-doe, eh-yoss ten-dree-ahn mas eh-ner-he-ahsj uˈβjeɾan desaʝuˈnaðo | ˈeʎos tenˈdɾiam ˈmas eneɾˈxia ‖
If you hadn’t quit, for how many years would you have been working there for by now?Si no hubieras renunciado, ¿cuántos años tendrías trabajando ahí?see no ooh-be-air-ass reh-noon-see-ah-doe, coo-ahn-toss ah-nyoss ten-dree-ahs trah-bah-hahn-doe ah-e?si ˈno wˈβjeɾaz renunˈθjaðo | ˈkwantos ˈaɲos tenˈdɾias tɾaβaˈxando aˈi ‖

Conditional perfect tense (condicional perfecto)

El condicional perfecto (con-dee-see-oh-nall pehr-fec-toe) indicates an action that could’ve happened in the past. As such, it implies that the situation is no longer feasible, possible or viable.

I amYo habría tenidoyoh ah-breeh-ah teh-nee-doeˈʝo aˈβɾia teˈniðo
You arehabrías tenidotoo ah-bree-ahs teh-nee-doeˈtu aˈβɾias teˈniðo
You are (formal)Usted habría tenidooos-tehd ah-bree-ah teh-nee-doeusˈteð aˈβɾia teˈniðo
He/she/it isÉl habría tenido / Ella habría tenido / Eso habría tenidoelle ah-bree-ah teh-nee-doe / eh-yah ah-bree-ah teh-nee-doe / eh-so ah-bree-ah teh-nee-doeˈel aˈβɾia teˈniðo | ˈeʎa aˈβɾia teˈniðo | ˈeso aˈβɾia teˈniðo
We areNosotros habríamos tenido / Nosotras habríamos tenidonoh-soh-trohs ah-bree-ah-moss teh-nee-doe / noh-soh-trahs ah-bree-ah-moss teh-nee-doenoˈsotɾos aˈβɾiamos teˈniðo | noˈsotɾas aˈβɾiamos teˈniðo
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes habrían tenidooos-teh-dehs ah-bree-ahn teh-nee-doeusˈteðes aˈβɾian teˈniðo
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habríais tenido / Vosotras habríais tenidovoh-soh-trohs ah-bree-ice teh-nee-doe / voh-soh-trahs ah-bree-ice teh-nee-doeboˈsotɾos aˈβɾiajs teˈniðo | boˈsotɾas aˈβɾiajs teˈniðo
They areEllos habrían tenido / Ellas habrían tenidoeh-yoss ah-bree-ahn teh-nee-doe / eh-yass ah-bree-ahn teh-nee-doeˈeʎos aˈβɾian teˈniðo | ˈeʎas aˈβɾian teˈniðo

Examples of conditional perfect tense Spanish conjugations for “to have”

If he had been born in 2000, he would have already be an adult a few years ago.Si hubiera nacido en el 2000, ya habría tendio la mayoría de edad hace unos cuantos años.see ooh-bee-air-ah nah-see-doe ehn elle dos meel, ya ah-bree-ah teh-nee-doe la mah-yo-ree-ah deh eh-dad ah-seh oo-noss ah-nyossj uˈβjeɾa naˈθiðo en el 2000, ʝa aˈβia ˈtendjo la maʝoˈɾia ðe eˈðað ˈaθe ˈunos ˈkwantos ˈaɲos ‖
I think she had already been asleep, by then she would’ve already been sleepy.Yo creo que ya estaba dormida, para ese entonces ya habría tenido sueño.yo kreh-oh keh ya ess-tah-bah dore-me-da, pah-rah eh-seh ehn-ton-ses ya ah-bree-ah teh-nee-doe soo-eh-nyohˈʝo ˈkɾeo ˈke ʝa esˈtaβa ðoɾˈmiða | ˈpaɾa ˈese enˈtonθez ʝa aˈβɾia teˈniðo ˈsweɲo ‖
They probably stopped to eat, surely after walking for so long they would’ve been hungry.Probablemente pararon a comer, segúramente después de tanto caminar habrían tenido pah-ra-rohn ah co-mehr, seh-goo-rah-mehn-teh des-poo-ess deh tan-toe ca-me-nar ah-bree-ahn teh-nee-doe am-brehpɾoβaβleˈmente paˈɾaɾon a koˈmeɾ | seˈɣuɾamente ðesˈpwez ðe ˈtanto kamiˈnaɾ aˈβɾian teˈniðo ˈambɾe ‖

Present perfect (pretérito perfecto)

The pretérito perfecto is used to describe a whole host of situations. Generally, these actions happened in the distant past past and aren’t continuing into the present.

I amYo he tenidoyoh eh teh-nee-doeˈʝo ˈe teˈniðo
You arehas tenidotoo ahs teh-nee-doeˈtu ˈas teˈniðo
You are (formal)Usted ha tenidooos-tehd ah teh-nee-doeusˈteð ˈa teˈniðo
He/she/it isÉl ha tenido / Ella ha tenido / Eso ha tenidoelle ah teh-nee-doe / eh-yah ah teh-nee-doe / eh-so ah teh-nee-doeˈel ˈa teˈniðo | ˈeʎa ˈa teˈniðo | ˈeso ˈa teˈniðo
We areNosotros hemos tenido / Nosotras hemos tenidonoh-soh-trohs eh-moss teh-nee-doe / noh-soh-trahs eh-moss teh-nee-doenoˈsotɾos ˈemos teˈniðo | noˈsotɾas ˈemos teˈniðo
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes han tenidooos-teh-dehs ahn teh-nee-doeusˈteðes ˈan teˈniðo
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habéis tenido / Vosotras habéis tenidovoh-soh-trohs ah-base teh-nee-doe / voh-soh-trahs ah-base teh-nee-doeboˈsotɾos aˈβejs teˈniðo | boˈsotɾas aˈβejs teˈniðo
They areEllos han tenido / Ellas han tenidoeh-yoss ahn teh-nee-doe / eh-yass ahn teh-nee-doeˈeʎos ˈan teˈniðo | ˈeʎas ˈan teˈniðo

Examples of present perfect Spanish conjugations for “to have”

I’ve never had a fish as a pet.Nunca he tenido un pez de mascota.noon-cah eh-teh-nee-doe oon pes deh mas-co-tahˈnunka ˈe teˈniðo wm ˈpeð ðe masˈkota ‖
Have you ever had children?¿Ustedes han tenido hijos?oos-teh-dess ahn teh-nee-doe e-hossusˈteðes ˈan teˈniðo ˈixos ‖
We’ve had several pets.Nosotros hemos tenido varias eh-moss teh-nee-doh vah-re-ahs mas-coh-tassnoˈsotɾos ˈemos teˈniðo ˈβaɾjaz masˈkotas ‖

Pluperfect (pluscuamperfecto)

The pluscuamperfecto (ploos-cooh-ahn-pehr-fec-toe) describes events that happened before another event in the past. It’s almost like the past of the past!

I amYo había tenidoyoh ah-bee-ah teh-nee-doeˈʝo aˈβia teˈniðo
You arehabías tenidotoo ah-bee-ahs teh-nee-doeˈtu aˈβias teˈniðo
You are (formal)Usted había tenidooos-tehd ah-bee-ah teh-nee-doeusˈteð aˈβia teˈniðo
He/she/it isÉl había tenido / Ella había tenido / Eso había tenidoelle ah-bee-ah teh-nee-doe / eh-yah ah-bee-ah teh-nee-doe / eh-so ah-bee-ah teh-nee-doeˈel aˈβia teˈniðo | ˈeʎa aˈβia teˈniðo | ˈeso aˈβia teˈniðo
We areNosotros habíamos tenido / Nosotras habíamos tenidonoh-soh-trohs ah-bee-ah-moss teh-nee-doe / noh-soh-trahs ah-bee-ah-moss teh-nee-doenoˈsotɾos aˈβiamos teˈniðo | noˈsotɾas aˈβiamos teˈniðo
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes habían tenidooos-teh-dehs ah-bee-ahn teh-nee-doeusˈteðes aˈβian teˈniðo
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habíais tenido / Vosotras habíais tenidovoh-soh-trohs ah-bee-ice teh-nee-doe / voh-soh-trahs ah-bee-ice teh-nee-doeboˈsotɾos aˈβiajs teˈniðo | boˈsotɾas aˈβiajs teˈniðo
They areEllos habían tenido / Ellas habían tenidoeh-yoss ah-bee-ahn teh-nee-doe / eh-yass ah-bee-ahn teh-nee-doeˈeʎos aˈβian teˈniðo | ˈeʎas aˈβian teˈniðo

Examples of pluperfect Spanish conjugations for “to have”

When I got to the hospital, Maria had already had her kid.Cuando llegué al hospital, María ya había tenido a su hijo.coo-ahn-doe yeh-geh all oss-pee-tall, mah-ree-ah ya ah-bee-ah teh-nee-doe ah soo eh-hoˈkwando ʎeˈɣe al ospiˈtal | maˈɾia ʝa aˈβia teˈniðo a sw ˈixo ‖
You had already had this problem before, it’s nothing new.Este problema ya lo habías tenido antes, no es nada nuevo.ess-teh proh-bleh-mah ya lo ah-bee-ahs teh-nee-doe ahn-tess, no ess nah-dah noo-eh-voˈeste pɾoˈβlema ʝa lo aˈβias teˈniðo ˈantes | ˈno ˈez ˈnaða ˈnweβo ‖
I had never had a purse as expensive as this one.Nunca había tenido una bolsa tan cara como esta.noon-cah ah-bee-ah teh-nee-doe oo-nah boll-sah tahn cah-rah coh-mo ess-tahˈnunka aˈβia teˈniðo ˈuna ˈβolsa ˈtan ˈkaɾa ˈkomo ˈesta ‖

Present subjunctive (subjuntivo)

The subjunctive tense, or subjuntivo (elle soob-whoon-tee-vo) in Spanish, describes things that could happen or you wish would happen. Use this when you want to express your wishes and desires!

I amYo tengayoh ten-gahˈʝo ˈtenɡa
You aretengastoo ten-gahsˈtu ˈtenɡas
You are (formal)Usted tengaoos-ted tehn-gahusˈteð ˈtenɡa
He/she/it isÉl tenga / Ella tenga / Eso tengaelle ten-gah / eh-yah ten-gah / eh-so ten-gahˈel ˈtenɡa | ˈeʎa ˈtenɡa | ˈeso ˈtenɡa
We areNosotros tengamos / Nosotras tengamosnoh-soh-trohs ten-gah-moss / noh-soh-trahs ten-gah-mossnoˈsotɾos tenˈɡamos | noˈsotɾas tenˈɡamos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes tenganoos-teh-dehs ten-gahnusˈteðes ˈtenɡan
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros tengáis / Vosotras tengáisvoh-soh-trohs ten-gice / voh-soh-trahs ten-giceboˈsotɾos tenˈɡajs | boˈsotɾas tenˈɡajs
They areEllos tengan / Ellas tenganeh-yoss ten-gahn / eh-yass ten-gahnˈeʎos ˈtenɡan | ˈeʎas ˈtenɡan

Examples of present subjunctive Spanish conjugations for “to have”

We can go swimming when you have some free time.Podemos ir a nadar cuando tengamos tiempo libre.poh-deh-moss eer ah nah-dar coo-ahn-doe ten-gah-moss tee-ehm-poh lee-brehpoˈðemos ˈiɾ a naˈðaɾ ˈkwando tenˈɡamos ˈtjempo ˈliβɾe ‖
What are you going to do when you’re 70 years old?¿Qué vas a hacer cuando tengas 70 años?keh vass ah ah-sehr coo-ahn-doe tehn-gass seh-tehn-tah ah-nyoss?ˈke ˈβas a aˈθeɾ ˈkwando ˈtenɡas 70 ˈaɲos ‖
I hope they have the tacos I like.¡Espero que tengan los tacos que me gustan!ess-peh-roh keh tehn-gahn los tah-cos keh meh goose-tahnesˈpeɾo ˈke ˈtenɡan los ˈtakos ˈke me ˈɣustan ‖

Imperfect subjunctive (imperfecto del subjuntivo)

The imperfect subjunctive, or el imperfecto del subjuntivo (elle eem-pehr-fec-toe dell soob-whoon-tee-voe) deals with hypotheticals. Use this when putting yourself in someone else’s shoes or when giving advice.

I amYo tuviera / Yo tuvieseyoh too-vee-air-ah / to too-vee-eh-sehˈʝo tuˈβjeɾa | ˈʝo tuˈβjese
You aretuvieras / Tú tuviesestoo too-vee-air-ahs / too too-vee-eh-sehsˈtu tuˈβjeɾas | ˈtu tuˈβjeses
You are (formal)Usted tuviera / Usted tuvieseoos-tehd too-vee-air-ah / oos-tehd too-vee-air-ahusˈteð tuˈβjeɾa | usˈteð tuˈβjese
He/she/it isÉl tuviera / Él tuviese/ Ella tuviera / Él tuviese / Eso tuviera / Esto tuvieseelle too-vee-air-ah / elle too-vee-eh-seh / eh-yah too-vee-air-ah / eh-yah too-vee-eh-seh / eh-so too-vee-eh-sehˈel tuˈβjeɾa | ˈel tuˈβjese ˈeʎa tuˈβjeɾa | ˈel tuˈβjese | ˈeso tuˈβjeɾa | ˈesto tuˈβjese
We areNosotros tuviéramos / Nosotros tuviésemos / Nosotras tuviéramos / Nosotras tuviésemosnoh-soh-trohs too-vee-air-ah-moss / noh-soh-trohs too-vee-eh-seh-moss / noh-soh-trahs too-vee-air-ah-moss / noh-soh-trahs too-vee-eh-seh-mossnoˈsotɾos tuˈβjeɾamos | noˈsotɾos tuˈβjesemos | noˈsotɾas tuˈβjeɾamos | noˈsotɾas tuˈβjesemos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes tuvieran / Ustedes tuviesenoos-teh-dehs too-vee-eh-rahn / oos-teh-dehs too-vee-eh-sehnusˈteðes tuˈβjeɾan | usˈteðes tuˈβjesen
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros tuvierais / Vosotros tuvieseis / Vosotras tuvierais / Vosotras tuvieseisvoh-soh-trohs too-vee-air-ice / voh-soh-trohs too-vee-eh-seh-is / voh-soh-trahs too-vee-air-ice / voh-soh-trahs too-vee-eh-seh-isboˈsotɾos tuˈβjeɾajs | boˈsotɾos tuˈβjesejs | boˈsotɾas tuˈβjeɾajs | boˈsotɾas tuˈβjesejs
They areEllos tuvieran / Ellos tuviesen / Ellas tuvieran / Ellas tuvieraneh-yoss too-vee-air-ahn / eh-yoss too-vee-eh-sehn / eh-yass too-vee-air-ahn / eh-yass too-vee-eh-sehnˈeʎos tuˈβjeɾan | ˈeʎos tuˈβjesen | ˈeʎas tuˈβjeɾan | ˈeʎas tuˈβjeɾan

Examples of imperfect subjunctive Spanish conjugations for “to have”

If I had your age, I would take advantage of it to learn more languages.Si yo tuviera tu edad, aprovecharía para aprender más idiomas.see yoh too-vee-air-ah too eh-dahd ah-proh-veh-cha-ree-ah pah-rah ah-prehn-dehr mas e-dee-oh-massi ˈʝo tuˈβjeɾa tw eˈðað | apɾoβeʧaˈɾia ˈpaɾa apɾenˈdeɾ ˈmas iˈðjomas ‖
What would you all do if you had a million dollars?¿Qué harían si tuvieran un millón de dólares?keh ah-ree-ahn see too-vee-air-ahn oon mee-yohn deh doh-lah-ress?ˈke aˈɾian si tuˈβjeɾan um miˈʎon de ˈðolaɾes ‖
If we had a million dollars, we would travel all around the world.Si tuviéramos un millón de dólares, nos iríamos de viaje por todo el mundo.see too-vee-air-ah-moss oon mee-yohn deh doh-lah-ress, noss e-re-ah-moss deh vee-ah-heh pore toh-doe elle moon-doesi tuˈβjeɾamos um miˈʎon de ˈðolaɾes | nos iˈɾiamoz ðe ˈβjaxe poɾ ˈtoðo el ˈmundo ‖

Future subjunctive (futuro imperfecto del subjuntivo)

El futuro imperfecto del subjuntivo (foo-too-roh eem-pehr-fec-toe dell soob-whon-tee-vo), though quite the mouthful, is a very nifty tense. It helps us talk about things that are unlikely to happen in the future, but are still worth considering. Use this to talk about things that would be difficult — though not impossible — for you to obtain.

I amYo tuviereyoh too-vee-air-ehˈʝo tuˈβjeɾe
You aretuvierestoo too-vee-eh-rehsˈtu tuˈβjeɾes
You are (formal)Usted tuviereoos-tehd too-vee-air-ehusˈteð tuˈβjeɾe
He/she/it isÉl tuviere / Ella tuviere / Eso tuviereelle too-vee-air-eh / eh-yah too-vee-air-eh / eh-so too-vee-air-ehˈel tuˈβjeɾe | ˈeʎa tuˈβjeɾe | ˈeso tuˈβjeɾe
We areNosotros tuviéremos / Nosotras tuviéremosnoh-soh-trohs too-vee-air-eh-moss / noh-soh-trahs too-vee-air-eh-mossnoˈsotɾos tuˈβjeɾemos | noˈsotɾas tuˈβjeɾemos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes tuvierenoos-teh-dehs too-vee-air-ehnusˈteðes tuˈβjeɾen
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros tuviereis / Vosotras tuviereisvoh-soh-trohs too-vee-air-ace / voh-soh-trahs too-vee-air-aceboˈsotɾos tuˈβjeɾejs | boˈsotɾas tuˈβjeɾejs
They areEllos tuvieren / Ellas tuviereneh-yoss too-vee-air-en / eh-yass too-vee-air-ehnˈeʎos tuˈβjeɾen | ˈeʎas tuˈβjeɾen

Examples of future subjunctive Spanish conjugations for “to have”

Whomever were to have an objection, speak now or forever hold his peace.El que tuviere una objeción, que hable ahora o calle para siempre.elle keh too-vee-air-eh oo-nah ob-heh-see-ohn, keh ah-bleh pah-rah see-ehm-preh oh cah-yeh pah-rah see-ehm-prehel ˈke tuˈβjeɾe ˈuna oβxeˈθjon | ˈke ˈaβle aˈoɾa o ˈkaʎe ˈpaɾa ˈsjempɾe ‖
If I were to have more money, I would give it all to you.Si tuviere más dinero te lo daría.see too-vee-air-eh mahs dee-neh-roe teh loh dah-ree-ahsi tuˈβjeɾe ˈmaz ðiˈneɾo te lo ðaˈɾia ‖
What would you do if you were to have superpowers?¿Qué harían si tuvieren superpoderes?keh ah-ree-ahn see too-vee-air-ahn soo-pear-poh-deh-ressˈke aˈɾian si tuˈβjeɾen supeɾpoˈðeɾes ‖

Affirmative imperative (imperativo afirmativo)

El imperativo afirmativo (elle eem-peh-rah-tee-vo ah-feer-ma-tee-vo) is the mood that helps us give commands in Spanish. This is particularly helpful if you have children or small pets in the house!

You are¡ten!tenˈten ‖
You are (formal)¡tenga!ten-gahˈtenɡa ‖
He/she¡tenga!ten-gahˈtenɡa ‖
We are¡tengamos!ten-gah-mosstenˈɡamos ‖
You all are
(Latin American)
¡tengan!ten-gahnˈtenɡan ‖
You all are
(European Spanish)
¡tened!ten-edteˈneð ‖
They are¡tengan!en-ganˈtenɡan ‖

Examples of affirmative imperative Spanish conjugations for “to have”

Be more careful!¡Ten más cuidado!tehn mas coo-e-dah-doeˈtem ˈmas kwiˈðaðo ‖
Be more compassionate!¡Tengan más compasión!ten-gahn mahs coo-e-dah-doeˈtenɡam ˈmas kompaˈsjon ‖
Here, have an umbrella!¡Tenga un paraguas!ten-gah oon pah-rah-goo-assˈtenɡa wm paˈɾaɣwas ‖

Negative imperative (imperativo negativo)

The opposite of the affirmative imperative, el imperativo negativo (elle eem-peh-rah-tee-vo neh-ga-tee-voh) allows us to tell people not to do certain things. Also helpful for those with children and pets!

You are¡no tengas!no tenˈno ˈtenɡas ‖
You are (formal)¡no tenga!no ten-gahˈno ˈtenɡa ‖
He/she¡no tenga!no ten-gahˈno ˈtenɡa ‖
We are¡no tengamos!no ten-gah-mossˈno tenˈɡamos ‖
You all are
(Latin American)
¡no tengáis!no ten-gahnˈno tenˈɡajs ‖
You all are
(European Spanish)
¡no tengáis!no ten-edˈno tenˈɡajs ‖
They are¡no tengan!no en-ganˈno ˈtenɡan ‖

Examples of negative imperative Spanish conjugations for “to have”

Don’t be afraid!¡No tengas miedo!noh tehn-gass mee-eh-dohˈno ˈtenɡaz ˈmjeðo ‖
Don’t panic!¡No tengan pánico!noh tehn-gahn pah-nee-cohˈno ˈtenɡam ˈpaniko ‖
Let’s not be ashamed!¡No tengamos vergüenza!noh tehn-gah-moss ver-goo-ehn-sahˈno tenˈɡamoz βeɾˈɣwenθa ‖

Tener conjugation chart cheat sheets

Here are a few handy tener conjugation chart cheat sheets for those of you who are already familiar with the verb tenses and just need to double-check that you got your conjugation right. If you want in on a little secret, native speakers also need some help double-checking their conjugations every now and then!

Here are a few handy tener conjugation chart cheat sheets.


Él / ella / ustedtieneteníatuvotendrátendría
Nosotros / nosotrastenemosteníamostuvimostendremostendríamos
Vosotros / vosotrastenéisteníaistuvisteistendréistendríais
Ellos / ellas / ustedestienenteníantuvierontendrántendrían

Complex tenses

PerfectoPluscuamperfectoFuturo perfectoCondicional perfecto
Yohe tenidohabía tenidohabré tenidohabría tenido
has tenidohabías tenidohabrás tenidohabrías tenido
Él / ella / ustedha tenidohabía tenidohabrá tenidohabría tenido
Nosotros / nosotrashemos tenidohabíamos tenidohabremos tenidohabríamos tenido
Vosotros / vosotrashabéis tenidohabíais tenidohabréis tenidohabríais tenido
Ellos / ellas / ustedeshan tenidohabían tenidohabrán tenidohabrían tenido


Yotengatuviera o tuviesetuviere
tengastuvieras o tuviesestuvieres
Él / ella / ustedtengatuviera o tuviesetuviere
Nosotros / nosotrastengamostuviéramos o tuviésemostuviéremos
Vosotros / vosotrastengáistuvierais o tuvieseistuviereis
Ellos / ellas / ustedestengantuvieran o tuviesentuvieren

Complex subjunctive

Pretérito perfectoPluscuamperfecto
Yohaya tenidohubiera / hubiese tenido
hayas tenidohubieras / hubieses tenido
Él / ella / ustedhaya tenidohubiera / hubiese tenido
Nosotros / nosotrashayamos tenidohubiéramos / hubiésemos tenido
Vosotros / vosotrashayáis tenidohubierais / hubieseis tenido
Ellos / ellas / ustedeshayan tenidohubieran / hubiesen tenido


¡ten!¡no tengas!
Él / ella / usted¡tenga!¡no tenga!
Nosotros / nosotras¡tengamos!¡no tengamos!
Vosotros / vosotras¡tened!¡no tengáis!
Ellos / ellas / ustedes¡tengan!¡no tengan!

FAQs about the verb to have in Spanish

Is tener an irregular verb in Spanish?

Yes! Tener is an irregular verb in Spanish, as it does not follow the general conjugation patterns. In other words, you can’t just use its stem and follow regular conjugation rules to use this verb in different tenses — you’ll have to memorize each conjugation from scratch.

What is tener que in Spanish?

The form “tener que” followed by an infinitive verb indicates duty or responsibility. The verb tener is conjugated in the present tense and the second verb — what you have to do — isn’t conjugated. For example, if you have to do your homework, you’d say “tengo que hacer la tarea” (I have to do my homework).

There you have it! The most complete guide to conjugating tener

We told you this was going to be a comprehensive guide, and hopefully we delivered! You now know how to conjugate the verb tener in 16 different tenses and moods, so you can now talk about everything you’ve had, have, will have, could have, would have, would’ve had, wish you had, and so much more. All you have to do now is get some practice in so you can learn all the different conjugations!

Make sure to check out our Spanish blog for more helpful guides to all kinds of verbs, pronouns, adjectives, tough words, numbers, vowels, tongue twisters, abbreviations, and so, so, so much more! Oh, and by the way, they’re all 100% free!

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