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If you saw this week’s Tip of the Week, you know that we’ll be looking at the different ways we can translate the verb ‘tener’ in English.
Most people understand that the translation of the Spanish word ‘tener’ in English is the verb ‘to have.’ This is absolutely true. In this case, we formulate sentences only by using this word (as the main verb). For example:
-I have seven brothers and two sisters.
-He has no idea that we’re planning a surprise party for him.
-We had to tell her not to bring her cat to work. (past tense)
Notice that all of the above examples feature positive sentences. When making questions and negative sentences with the verb ‘have,’ we need to use the auxiliary verb ‘do.’ This is the same for other verbs that aren’t auxiliaries. For example:
-Do you have a computer?
-I don’t have a dog.
-They didn’t have their books with them last lesson. (past tense)
However, it’s also possible to use the verb ‘have’ with the word ‘got.’ Although it’s true that ‘got’ is the past of the verb ‘get,’ we must keep in mind that this has nothing to do with our use of ‘got’ together with ‘have;’ it remains unchanged if we’re talking about the present or the past. Let’s take a look at some examples:
-I’ve got a good idea!
-Have you got a pen I could borrow?
-We haven’t got the time to explain it to him.
-Had John got the same car last year?
Generally speaking, it’s more common to just use the verb ‘have’ when using the past tense; in the present, both are equally common. So choose whichever one you prefer, and put it to use! If you’d like to test what you’ve learned, feel free to take a crack at the practice exercises.
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