I HAVE A HOUSE : TENGO UNA CASA!
Photo credit: Mickey Løgitmark ……..I HAVE A HOUSE : TENGO UNA CASA!
We’ve all got stuff. Being able to talk about our stuff, about what we’ve got and what we haven’t got, is an enormous area in language, and the best bit is that it’s so easy to do in Spanish.
Even though you may not consider yourself the biggest show-off in the world, there may come a time when you need to talk in Spanish about the stuff you have (or you haven’t got, for that matter.)
Just think about how often you use ‘I have’ , ‘I’ve got’, ‘I don’t have’ or ‘I haven’t got’ in a normal day speaking English.
Once you master this basic verb in Spanish, there will be no holding you back in your language learning!
To have (when it means possessing or owning something) = TENER e.g., To have or not to have = Tener o no tener
I have / I’ve got = TENGO (to remember this unusual word, associate it with ‘TANGO’ and you could try to imagine yourself having a TANGO lesson! That would be fun to watch!)
NOTE TO SELF: TENGO means both ‘I have’ and ‘I’ve got’! How simple is that? Easy!
Some examples you might find useful to memorise and repeat the ones that make sense in your life:
As usual we will concentrate on the FEMININE FORM nouns which we saw in a previous post: Gender issues. Go back and have a quick look to remind yourself what they looked like.
Note: UNA also means ONE, as in the number one.
Tengo una amiga I have/ I’ve got …a friend (who is a girl) / one friend
Tengo una casa I have/ I’ve got …a house / one house
Tengo una flor I have/ I’ve got… a flower / one flower
Tengo una falda I have/ I’ve got… a skirt / one skirt
Tengo una mesa I have/ I’ve got… a table / one table
Tengo una bolsa I have/ I’ve got… a bag / one bag
Tengo una nieta I have/ I’ve got…a grand-daughter / one grand-daughter
Make up at least five more of your very own sentences using TENGO which are truthful and which apply to YOU personally.
Now look how easy it is in Spanish to say that I DON’T HAVE / I HAVEN’T GOT something! Simply add a ‘NO‘ in front of the word ‘TENGO‘ = NO TENGO…
No messing about with ‘DON’T’ OR ‘DOESN’T’ or ‘HAVEN’T’. It’s simple.
So if you are feeling a bit down and sorry for yourself and you need to complain about what you HAVEN’T GOT, (just kidding) then it’s so logical:
No tengo una amiga I don’t have/ I haven’t got …a friend (who is a girl) / one friend
No tengo una casa I don’t have/ I haven’t got…a house / one house
No tengo una flor I don’t have/ I haven’t got… a flower / one flower
No tengo una falda I don’t have/ I haven’t got… a skirt / one skirt
No tengo una mesa I don’t have/ I haven’t got… a table / one table
No tengo una bolsa I don’t have/ I haven’t got… a bag / one bag
No tengo una nieta I don’t have/ I haven’t got… a grand-daughter / one grand- daughter
Make up at least five more of your very own sentences using NO TENGO which are truthful and which apply to YOU personally.
Once you have got your own personal list of sentences, using TENGO and NO TENGO, practise them by repeating them as often as possible aloud. (See previous post about the value of REPETITION)
Please let me know in comments below if this has helped, or how else I could help with your Spanish learning experience.
More next time…