www.whyville.net Jan 18, 2009 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Spanish for the Clueless

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"Me despierto en la manana para verte pasar
Y tenerte en mente por el resto de dia
Que vida, la mia . . ."
- "Que Vida La Mia" by Reik

"Tener" (teh-nehr) means "to have." It's an ER verb, so we conjugate it according to the person performing the action. Tener is an irregular verb, though, meaning it's a bit odd. It's irregular because it only follows some of the rules of conjugation. Take a look:

Yo tengo
Tu (accent over u) tienes
El (accent over e)/Ella/Usted tiene
Nosotros tenemos
Vosotros teneis (accent over e)
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes tienen

To say "she has a letter" we use "tiene" and get "ella tiene una carta."
To say "we have the chair" we use "tenemos" and get "nosotros tenemos la silla."
To say "you (informal) have a book" we use "tienes" and get "Tu (accent over u) tienes un libro"

You get the idea . . . now, tener can also be used in expressions. To express "I am hungry" we say "Yo tengo hambre (ahm-bray)," meaning "I have hunger."

If "sed (Sehd)" is thirst, how do we say "I am thirsty"?

Yo tengo sed.

Knowing that, what does "Vosotros teneis (accent over e) sed" mean? Figure it out!

Here are some other tener expressions:

tener frio (accent over i) = to be cold
tener calor = to be hot
tener prisa = to be in a hurry
tener miedo de = to be scared of
tener celos = to be jealous
tener cuidado = to be careful
tener suerte = to be lucky

Let's put them into action!

Ustedes tienen celos de Juan. = You (plural) are jealous of Juan.
Juan y yo tenemos suerte. = Juan and I are lucky.
Tu (accent over u) tienes prisa. = You are in a hurry.

Now, who can connect the Spanish expression to the correct English translation?

(A) El (accent over e) tiene sed.
(B) Nosotros tenemos frio (accent over i)
(C) Yo tengo miedo de libros.

(1) He is thirsty.
(2) I am afraid of books.
(3) We are cold.

If we know that "tenerte" means "to have you" and "mente" means "mind," what does this line from the song "Que Vida La Mia" mean?

"Y tenerte en mente por el resto de dia"

Buena suerte!



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