Thursday, 15 May 2014

What Are You Afraid Of?


This post showcases/ highlights a typical use of the verb tener*.

See other practical examples of the use of tener


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a work colleague about fears and phobias.

At some point, the other person says: "what are you afraid of?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
¿A qué tienes miedo?

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be more formal and say:
¿A qué tiene usted miedo?


Answering this question should be straightforward. Listing things which cause you to feel fear may be sufficient. However, you may use the expression tener miedo to make your answer more informative.

Here are some examples of how you could use that expression:
  • Tengo miedo a muchas cosas (I am afraid of lots of things);
  • Tengo miedo a la oscuridad (I am afraid of the dark);
  • Tengo miedo a las arañas (I am afraid of spiders);
  • Tengo miedo a las serpientes (I am afraid of snakes);
  • No tengo miedo a los murciélagos (I am not afraid of bats);

Now you should practise answering the question:
¿A qué tienes miedo?

*See uses of verb tener below

*Verb tener - Typical Uses/ Expressions

Tener calor
To feel hot
Tener celos
To feel jealousy/ to be jealous
Tener cuidado
To be careful
Tener dolor
To feel pain/ to have an ache
Tener envidia
To feel envy/ to be envious
Tener fiebre
To be feverish
Tener frío
To feel cold
Tener ganas de algo
To look forward to something
Tener hambre
To feel hungry
Tener la culpa
To be at fault
Tener miedo
To feel afraid
Tener pensado
To have in mind
Tener prisa
To be in hurry
Tener sed
To feel thirsty
Tener sueño
To feel sleepy
Tener suerte
To be lucky
Tener tos
To have a cough
Tener xx* años/ meses/ etc.
To be xx years/ months/ etc. old
Tenerle rabia a alguien
To have it in for someone

*NB Express ages by conjugating tener and replacing xx with a number. For example, I am 18 years old = tengo 18 años.

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