9 Essential Spanish Expressions with 'Tener'

One of the key verbs you’ll encounter on your journey to becoming fluent in Spanish is ‘tener.’ This verb, which means ‘to have,’ is versatile and used in various idiomatic expressions that add depth and flair to your conversations. In this article, we’ll explore 9- essential Spanish expressions that feature ‘tener,’ along with 3-examples for each to help you grasp their meanings more effectively.

1. Tener Hambre (To Be Hungry)

Tenemos hambre después de la larga caminata.

We are hungry after the long hike.

Feeling hungry is a universal human experience, and in Spanish, you can express this using ‘tener hambre.’ This phrase is handy when you want to share your hunger or suggest it’s time for a meal.

2. Tener Sed (To Be Thirsty)

 Después de correr, siempre tengo sed.

After running, I’m always thirsty.

When you’ve worked up a sweat or simply need a refreshing drink, ‘tener sed’ is the phrase to use. It’s a straightforward way to let someone know you’re in need of a beverage.

3. Tener Miedo (To Be Afraid)

 Los niños suelen tener miedo a la oscuridad.

Children often are afraid of the dark.

Fear is a common emotion, and ‘tener miedo’ allows you to express this feeling. It’s useful in describing personal fears or those of others.

4. Tener Calor (To Be Hot)

En verano, siempre tengo calor.

In the summer, I’m always hot.

When the temperature rises and you’re feeling the heat, ‘tener calor’ is the phrase to convey your discomfort due to high temperatures.

5. Tener Frío (To Be Cold)

Sin mi abrigo, tengo frío en invierno.

Without my coat, I’m cold in winter.

On the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, ‘tener frío’ helps you express the sensation of being cold, making it ideal for wintery conversations.

6. Tener Razón (To Be Right)

No me gustó admitirlo, pero tenías razón.

I didn’t like admitting it, but you were right.

‘¿Tienes razón?’ is a phrase you might hear during discussions and debates. It’s the Spanish equivalent of asking, “Are you right?” when acknowledging someone’s correctness.

7. Tener Ganas de (To Feel Like)

Hoy tengo ganas de comer pizza.

Today, I feel like eating pizza.

Expressing your desires or cravings is easy with ‘tener ganas de.’ It helps you convey what you’re in the mood for, whether it’s food, an activity, or something else.

8. Tener Suerte (To Be Lucky)

Siempre tengo suerte en los juegos de azar.

I’m always lucky in games of chance.

‘Tener suerte’ lets you share your good fortune and luck in various situations, from games to life in general.

9. Tener Cuidado (To Be Careful)

 Debes tener cuidado al cruzar la calle.

You should be careful when crossing the street.

Safety first! ‘Tener cuidado’ is a reminder to exercise caution and be mindful of potential risks.


Incorporating these nine essential Spanish expressions with ‘tener’ into your vocabulary will not only enhance your language skills but also add depth and nuance to your conversations. Whether you’re expressing basic needs like hunger and thirst or delving into more complex emotions like fear and luck, ‘tener’ plays a central role in the Spanish language. So, embrace these expressions, practice them, and watch as your fluency in Spanish grows. ¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


[instagram-feed num=6 cols=6 showfollow=false showheader=false showbutton=false showfollow=false]