Monday, 16 March 2015

Who Is Eighteen?

Introduction

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

SCENARIO



Imagine you are talking to a couple of relatives, friends or work colleagues about the ages of some of the people you all know.

At some point, someone says: "who is eighteen?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to say:
¿Quién tiene dieciocho años?


OUR TIP

Answering this question should be straightforward. Naming the person who would like to go to the cinema may be sufficient. However, you may use the verb tener to make your answer more informative.


Here are some examples of how you could use that expression:
  • Yo tengo dieciocho años (I am 18 years old);
  • tienes dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are 18 years old, aren't you -familiar);
  • Tú no tienes dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are not 18 years old, are you -familiar);
  • Usted tiene dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are 18 years old, aren't you -formal);
  • Usted no tiene dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are not 18 years old, are you -formal);
  • Pedro tiene dieciocho años (Pedro is 18 years old);
  • María tiene dieciocho años (Maria is 18 years old);
  • Creo1 que todos tenemos dieciocho años (I think that we are all 18 years old);
  • Vosotros tenéis dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are 18 years old, aren't you -people/ plural familiar);
  • Vosotros no tenéis dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are not 18 years old, are you -people/ plural familiar);
  • Ustedes tienen dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are 18 years old, aren't you -people/ plural formal);
  • Ustedes no tienen dieciocho años, ¿verdad? (you are not 18 years old, are you -people/ plural formal);
  • Pedro y María tienen dieciocho años (Pedro and Maria are 18 years old);


Notes

Please note that subjunctive mood should be used with the negative “no creo”, as in:
  • No creo que todos tengamos dieciocho años (I don't believe we are all 18 years old)


Now you should practise answering the question:
¿Quién tiene dieciocho años?

*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 feel like doing something/ 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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