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 The Spanish Verb "Tener" and "Ir"

To have and go; This lesson covers the Spanish verb "tener" and the verb "ir" - two important verbs you'll want to know well. They are both irregular verbs, so study well...

Tener = to have

Tener means to have:

Yo tengo un carro (I have a car)
Tú tienes dos perros (You have two dogs)
Él tiene una casa (He has a house)
Nosotros tenemos muchos libros (We have several books)
Ellos tienen las llaves (They have the keys)

Tener que = to have to

Tener que means to have to (obligation):

Yo tengo que lavar el carro (I have to wash the car)
tienes que alimentar a los perros (You have to feed the dogs)
Él tiene que limpiar la casa (He has to clean the house)
Nosotros tenemos que comprar los libros (We have to buy the books)
Ellos tienen que encontrar las llaves (They have to find the keys)

Note 1: Notice that tener que is follow by an infinitive verb.

Note 2: The combination of tener + que forms the equivalent of the English to have to. However, in other contexts que (with an accent) is used as what: ¿Qué día es hoy? (What day is today?)








Ir a = to go to

Ir a is to go to do something as a permanent activity, as a scheduled activity, or an activity that we do regularly:

Yo voy a la oficina todos los dias (I go to the office every day)
vas a la escuela todas las tardes (You go to the school every afternoon)
Ella va a la iglesia todos los domingos (She goes to the church every Sunday)
Nosotros vamos al cine todos los martes (We go to the movies every Tuesday)

Note : In Spanish you will find some contractions involving prepositions and articles:

a + el = al
Example: Nosotros vamos a el cine = Nosotros vamos al cine (We go to the movies)

Ir a = to be going to

Ir a is to be going to do something (in the future):

Yo voy a viajar mañana (I am going to travel tomorrow)
Tú vas a estudiar español (You are going to study Spanish)
Él va a buscar un hotel (He is going to look for a hotel)
Nosotros vamos a comprar los boletos (We are going to buy the tickets)
Ellos van a enseñar en Sudamerica (They are going to teach in South America)

Note: Pay attention to this structure: ir + a + infinitive. So, to express in Spanish something that you are going to do in the future you conjugate the verb ir, add the preposition a and then add an infinitive verb.

The Spanish verb "tener" and the verb "ir" are a couple of the most common verbs, and there will be more about them in other lessons (all of which are listed on the home page).

Return to The Spanish Lesson Homepage - Spanish Verb Tener (and Ir)