How Do You Say “They Have” In Spanish?

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 500 million speakers. Whether you’re learning Spanish for travel, work, or personal enrichment, it’s always a good idea to expand your vocabulary. In this article, we’ll explore one common phrase that you’ll encounter in Spanish: “they have.”

The Spanish translation of “they have” is “ellos tienen.” This phrase can be used to describe possession or ownership, as well as to indicate the presence of a certain quality or characteristic. For example, you might say “ellos tienen una casa bonita” to describe someone’s beautiful house, or “ellos tienen mucho talento” to compliment someone’s talent.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “They Have”?

Learning to properly pronounce Spanish words can be challenging, but it is an essential skill for anyone seeking to communicate effectively in the language. In this section, we will focus on how to pronounce the Spanish word for “they have,” which is “tienen.”

Phonetic breakdown: tee-EHN-ehn

To break it down further, the “t” is pronounced with a sharp “t” sound, the “ie” is pronounced as a single syllable with a long “e” sound, the “n” is pronounced with a soft “n” sound, and the final syllable “en” is pronounced as a single syllable with a short “e” sound and a soft “n” sound at the end.

When it comes to pronunciation, there are a few tips that can help you master the word “tienen.” Pay attention to the stress on the second syllable, which is where the emphasis should be placed. Secondly, practice pronouncing the word slowly and clearly, focusing on each syllable. Finally, listen to native Spanish speakers and try to mimic their pronunciation.

Summary

To properly pronounce the Spanish word for “they have,” remember to emphasize the second syllable, break the word down into its individual syllables, and practice speaking it slowly and clearly. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this essential Spanish word.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “They Have”

Proper grammar is essential when using the Spanish word for “they have.” Incorrect usage can lead to misunderstandings and confusion. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the proper placement, verb conjugations or tenses, agreement with gender and number, and any common exceptions when using the word.

Placement Of They Have In Sentences

The Spanish word for “they have” is “tienen.” In a sentence, “tienen” typically comes after the subject and before the object. For example:

  • Ellos tienen un perro. (They have a dog.)
  • Ella y él tienen una casa. (They have a house.)

However, in some cases, the object may come before the verb. For example:

  • Un perro lo tienen ellos. (They have a dog.)
  • Una casa la tienen ella y él. (They have a house.)

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

The verb “tener” (to have) is an irregular verb in Spanish. Therefore, the conjugation of “tienen” for “they have” is unique. The present tense conjugation for “tienen” is:

Subject Conjugation
Ellos/Ellas Tienen

It is essential to note that the tense of the sentence may change the conjugation of “tener.” For example:

  • Ellos habían tenido un perro. (They had had a dog.)
  • Ella tendrá una casa. (She will have a house.)

Agreement With Gender And Number

The Spanish language places a significant emphasis on gender and number agreement. Therefore, the word “tienen” must agree with the gender and number of the subject. For example:

  • Ellos tienen un perro. (They have a male dog.)
  • Ellas tienen una casa. (They have a female house.)
  • Los niños tienen juguetes. (The boys have toys.)
  • Las niñas tienen libros. (The girls have books.)

Common Exceptions

Like any language, Spanish has common exceptions to its grammar rules. One of the most common exceptions when using “tienen” is with body parts. In Spanish, possessive pronouns are used instead of “tener” to indicate ownership of body parts. For example:

  • Él tiene un brazo. (He has an arm.)
  • Él se lava las manos. (He washes his hands.)

It is crucial to understand these exceptions to avoid common mistakes when using the word “tienen” in Spanish.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “They Have”

When learning a new language, it’s essential to understand common phrases and how to use them in context. In Spanish, the word for “they have” is “ellos tienen.” Let’s explore some examples of phrases that incorporate this important phrase.

Examples And Usage

  • Ellos tienen hambre. – This phrase translates to “They are hungry.” It’s a common expression used to indicate that a group of people needs food.
  • Ellos tienen miedo. – This phrase means “They are scared.” It’s used to describe a group of people who are afraid of something.
  • Ellos tienen frío. – “They are cold” is the English translation of this phrase. It’s a common expression used to indicate that a group of people is feeling chilly.
  • Ellos tienen suerte. – This phrase means “They are lucky.” It’s used to describe a group of people who have good fortune or positive outcomes.
  • Ellos tienen prisa. – “They are in a hurry” is the English translation of this phrase. It’s used to describe a group of people who need to move quickly.

As you can see, there are many different ways to incorporate “ellos tienen” into your Spanish vocabulary. These phrases are commonly used in everyday conversations, so it’s essential to understand their meanings to communicate effectively with Spanish speakers.

Example Spanish Dialogue

Spanish English Translation
María: ¿Por qué están corriendo? Maria: Why are they running?
Juan: Ellos tienen prisa para llegar al trabajo. Juan: They are in a hurry to get to work.
María: ¿Y por qué están temblando? Maria: And why are they shaking?
Juan: Ellos tienen frío porque hace mucho viento. Juan: They are cold because it’s very windy.

In this dialogue, we can see how “ellos tienen” is used in context. Juan explains that the group of people is running because they are in a hurry to get to work. He also mentions that they are shaking because it’s cold outside. Understanding these phrases is essential for effective communication in Spanish.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “They Have”

When it comes to the Spanish language, it’s essential to understand that words often have multiple meanings and uses. The same goes for the phrase “they have” in Spanish, which can vary depending on the context in which it is used. Below, we’ll explore some of the different ways in which this phrase can be used in Spanish.

Formal Usage Of “They Have”

In formal settings, such as academic or professional environments, it’s important to use proper grammar and language. When using “they have” in this context, the correct Spanish phrase to use is “ellos tienen.” This phrase is a straightforward translation of “they have” and can be used in a variety of contexts. For example:

  • Ellos tienen una reunión a las tres de la tarde. (They have a meeting at 3 pm.)
  • Ellos tienen experiencia en el campo de la medicina. (They have experience in the field of medicine.)

Informal Usage Of “They Have”

In more casual or informal settings, such as conversations with friends or family, the Spanish phrase for “they have” can vary. One common informal phrase is “ellos tienen” shortened to just “tienen.” This shortened version is often used in everyday conversations and can be used in a variety of contexts, such as:

  • ¿Tienen planes para el fin de semana? (Do they have plans for the weekend?)
  • Ellos tienen un perro muy lindo. (They have a very cute dog.)

Other Contexts

Aside from formal and informal contexts, the phrase “they have” in Spanish can be used in other ways, such as slang, idiomatic expressions, or cultural/historical uses. For example:

  • Tener ganas de (to feel like): This is an idiomatic expression that uses the verb “tener” to express a desire or feeling. For example, “Tienen ganas de ir al cine” (They feel like going to the movies.)
  • Tener suerte (to be lucky): This is another idiomatic expression that uses the verb “tener” to express luck. For example, “Ellos tienen suerte de tener una casa tan bonita” (They are lucky to have such a beautiful house.)
  • Tener que (to have to): This is a common phrase that uses the verb “tener” to express obligation or necessity. For example, “Ellos tienen que estudiar para el examen” (They have to study for the exam.)

Popular Cultural Usage

Finally, it’s worth noting that the phrase “they have” in Spanish can also be used in popular cultural contexts. For example, the phrase “Ellos tienen miedo” (They are afraid) is a line from the popular song “La Llorona” and has become a cultural reference point in many Spanish-speaking countries. In this way, language can be used to connect people to shared cultural experiences and references.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “They Have”

Spanish is spoken in many different countries, and as a result, there are regional variations in the language. One area in which these variations are particularly noticeable is in the use of the word for “they have.” While the basic meaning of the word is the same across all Spanish-speaking countries, there are differences in how it is used and pronounced.

Usage Of “They Have” In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In some Spanish-speaking countries, the word for “they have” is simply “tienen.” This is the case in Spain, for example, where the word is pronounced with a soft “t” sound. In other countries, however, different words are used. In Mexico, for instance, the word “tienen” is still used, but it is also common to hear the word “tienen” used in some regions. In some parts of Central America, the word “tienen” is replaced with “tienen” or “tienen.”

In South America, the word for “they have” can vary depending on the country. In Argentina, for example, the word is “tienen” with a soft “t” sound, while in Chile it is “tienen” with a harder “t” sound. In Colombia, the word is “tienen” with a soft “t” sound, but in Venezuela it is “tienen” with a hard “t” sound. These regional variations can be confusing for Spanish learners, but they are an important part of the language.

Regional Pronunciations Of “They Have”

In addition to the different words used for “they have,” there are also regional variations in how the word is pronounced. In some countries, such as Spain, the “t” in “tienen” is pronounced with a soft sound, similar to the English “th” sound. In other countries, such as Mexico, the “t” is pronounced with a harder sound, like the English “t” sound. In some regions of Central and South America, the “t” is pronounced like the English “ch” sound.

These regional differences in pronunciation can make it difficult for Spanish learners to understand native speakers from different countries. However, it is important to remember that these variations are natural and normal in any language, and they are one of the things that make Spanish such a diverse and interesting language to learn.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “They Have” In Speaking & Writing

While “they have” is a common phrase in English, the Spanish equivalent “ellos tienen” can have multiple meanings depending on the context in which it is used. It is important to understand these different uses in order to use the phrase correctly in both speaking and writing.

Distinguishing Between Different Uses Of “Ellos Tienen”

Here are some of the different ways in which “ellos tienen” can be used:

1. Possession

One of the most common uses of “ellos tienen” is to indicate possession. For example:

  • Ellos tienen un perro. (They have a dog.)
  • ¿Tienes un lápiz? No, ellos tienen uno. (Do you have a pencil? No, they have one.)

When used in this way, “ellos tienen” is equivalent to the English phrase “they have”.

2. Physical Sensations

“Ellos tienen” can also be used to describe physical sensations that someone is experiencing. For example:

  • Ellos tienen hambre. (They are hungry.)
  • ¿Tienes frío? No, ellos tienen calor. (Are you cold? No, they are hot.)

In this context, “ellos tienen” is often translated as “they feel” in English.

3. Obligations or Responsibilities

Another use of “ellos tienen” is to indicate obligations or responsibilities that someone has. For example:

  • Ellos tienen que estudiar para el examen. (They have to study for the exam.)
  • ¿Tienes que trabajar hoy? No, ellos tienen que trabajar. (Do you have to work today? No, they have to work.)

In this context, “ellos tienen” is often translated as “they have to” or “they must” in English.

4. Other Meanings

There are other less common uses of “ellos tienen” as well, such as in idiomatic expressions or in specific regional dialects. It is important to consider the context in which the phrase is being used in order to determine its meaning.

By understanding the different ways in which “ellos tienen” can be used, you can use the phrase correctly in both speaking and writing. Remember to consider the context in which the phrase is being used in order to determine its meaning.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “They Have”

When it comes to expressing possession in Spanish, “they have” is just one of many ways to do so. Here are some common words and phrases that can be used similarly:

1. Tener

Tener is the most common way to express possession in Spanish and is often used interchangeably with “they have.” It is a verb that means “to have” or “to possess” and is conjugated based on the subject.

Example: Ellos tienen un perro. (They have a dog.)

2. Poseer

Poseer is another verb that means “to possess” or “to have.” It is a more formal and less common way to express possession compared to tener.

Example: La familia posee una casa en la playa. (The family has a house on the beach.)

3. Contar Con

Contar con is a phrase that means “to count on” or “to have at one’s disposal.” It is often used in a more figurative sense to express possession of resources or abilities.

Example: La empresa cuenta con un equipo de expertos. (The company has a team of experts.)

4. Haber

Haber is a verb that means “to have” in the sense of existence or availability. It is often used in combination with a past participle to form compound tenses.

Example: Hay muchos libros en la biblioteca. (There are many books in the library.)

Antonyms

Antonyms are words that have opposite meanings. Here are some antonyms of the words and phrases mentioned above:

  • No tener (to not have)
  • No poseer (to not possess)
  • No contar con (to not have at one’s disposal)
  • No haber (to not have in the sense of existence or availability)

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “They Have”

When learning a new language, it is common to make mistakes. Spanish learners often struggle with the correct usage of the word “they have.” In this section, we will introduce some common errors made by non-native speakers and provide tips to avoid them.

Common Errors

Here are some common errors made by non-native speakers when using the Spanish word for “they have:”

  • Using the wrong verb form: Many learners use the verb “tener” for “they have” in all situations. However, this is not always correct. For example, when talking about physical attributes, we use the verb “ser” instead of “tener.” So, instead of saying “ellos tienen ojos azules” (they have blue eyes), we should say “ellos son de ojos azules” (they have blue eyes).
  • Incorrect use of articles: In Spanish, articles are used differently than in English. For example, when talking about possession, we use the definite article “el” instead of the possessive pronoun “su.” So, instead of saying “ellos tienen su coche” (they have their car), we should say “ellos tienen el coche” (they have the car).
  • Using the wrong preposition: When talking about possession, we use the preposition “de” instead of “con.” So, instead of saying “ellos tienen el coche con ellos” (they have the car with them), we should say “ellos tienen el coche de ellos” (they have their car).

Tips To Avoid Mistakes

To avoid making these mistakes, here are some tips:

  1. Learn the correct verb form for different situations. Practice using “ser” for physical attributes and “tener” for possession.
  2. Understand the correct use of articles. Remember to use “el” instead of possessive pronouns when talking about possession.
  3. Practice using the correct preposition. Remember to use “de” instead of “con” when talking about possession.

There is no conclusion for this section.

Conclusion

Throughout this blog post, we have explored the different ways to express “they have” in Spanish. From the basic “tener” to the more advanced “poseer” and “contar con,” we have covered a range of options to help you communicate effectively in your Spanish conversations.

It is important to note that context is key when choosing the appropriate way to say “they have” in Spanish. Consider the situation and the level of formality before selecting a specific verb.

As with any language, the best way to improve your Spanish skills is to practice. We encourage you to use these phrases in real-life conversations and to continue expanding your vocabulary. The more you practice, the more confident you will become in your ability to communicate effectively in Spanish.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and Transl8it.com. He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.