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Bill_N

May 17, 2003, 2:05 PM

Post #1 of 12 (3387 views)

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Tener vs. Estar

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Mis colegas estimados, Su ayuda por favor. I am trying to understand when it is appropriate to use Tener vs. Estar to express "states" or "feelings". For example, La niña tiene mucho miedo. The young girl is very scared. La niña está mucho miedo. The young girl is very scared. (at the moment). or El hombre tiene mucho enojado. The man is very annoyed. El hombre está mucho enojado. The man is very annoyed. (at the moment) Are there only certain "states" or "feelings" that use "tener" or only in certain circumstances? Are they interchangeable? (probably not). This is puzzling to me. Maybe this would be instructive for others who are learning Spanish. Muchas gracias, Guillermo

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Georgia


May 17, 2003, 2:38 PM

Post #2 of 12 (3364 views)

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Re: [Bill_N] Tener vs. Estar

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Ah, Bill, this is where the rubber meets the road! I'll try to help. If it's any consolation to you, the expressions with tener are pretty much the same in French as well, so don't take this personally or as being idiosyncratic.

You use tener + a noun to say:

tener hambre to be hungry

tener miedo to be afraid

tener sueño to be sleepy

tener sed to be thirsty

tener ganas de + to want to do something (Tengo ganas de comprender esto.)

tener frio (calor) to be cold (warm)

tener celos de to be jealous of + someone

Now, since these expressions (and there are more, but these are the most common) use a verb + a noun, obviously you can't try to use these expressions with estar ...... because that would have to followed by an adjective. So, now you understand, I hope, the difference between :

Tengo frio. I feel cold. Soy fria. I am frigid. (or, at best, a very aloof person) Estoy fria .... same as before, only temporary. This could create some unfortunate misunderstandings.

The best way to master this, is just to take a list of the most common expressions and use it in your head constantly while you're going about your life. Then when you go to speak, the right expression will pop out.

Remember: tener + noun, estar + adjective, or ser +adjective:

Tiene miedo. She's afraid. (Right now.) Es miedosa. She's a scaredy-cat. (always, in general)

Hope this helps.

Georgia

P.S. This is why I'm glad Sister Mary Whoosit taught us grammar in sixth grade.


Bill_N

May 17, 2003, 3:32 PM

Post #3 of 12 (3363 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Tener vs. Estar

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Georgia,


Su ayuda mucho se aprecia. Your explanation, Está claro!

I gather that there are just so many of these "tener expressions" which as you say are memorized. You explain that "tener is used with "nouns". In other words, "I have hunger". Hunger is a noun in English and apparently "hambre" is a noun in Spanish not an adjective. But it is translated to English as a predicate adjective "hungry"... I don't yet recognize automatically the part of speech of words that I see in Spanish.

So in my example with enojado... This is apparently is an "adjective" which would take the estar verb (temporary condition).

Thanks for the explanation. Yo comprendo! It doesn't mean I will use them correctly. But I understand, I think. Ha ha ha...

¡Ay, Dios mio, qué complicado es el español!

:-)

Memo

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Georgia


May 17, 2003, 6:07 PM

Post #4 of 12 (3356 views)

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Re: [Bill_N] Tener vs. Estar

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De nada, Bill. Tus estudios van muy bien. No te desanimes.

Now as to complicated: consider how we ask a negative question in English:

Mary eats cereal for breakfast.

Negatives: (watch what happens to the verb): Mary doesn't eat cereal for breakfast.

Affirmative Question: (watch that verb again)

Does Mary eat cereal for breakfast?

And, now the negative:

Doesn't Mary eat cereal for breakfast?

Spanish:

Maria come cereal para el desayuno.

Maria no come cereal para el desayuno.

¿Come Maria cereal para el desayuno?

¿No come Maria cereal para el desayuno?

So much easier in Spanish.

And then, think about: threw, through, though, thought, thou, thousand. Wow, what's up with that?

You speak English. Spanish should be a cinch!


pathall

May 17, 2003, 7:20 PM

Post #5 of 12 (3352 views)

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Re: [Bill_N] Tener vs. Estar

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Remember that you also use "tener" with age: Tengo veinte años. (I wish!)
Pat


duffer

May 17, 2003, 8:53 PM

Post #6 of 12 (3343 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Tener vs. Estar

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Quote

Spanish:

Maria come cereal para el desayuno.

Maria no come cereal para el desayuno.

¿Come Maria cereal para el desayuno?

¿No come Maria cereal para el desayuno?

So much easier in Spanish.


And simpler yet would be:

María desayuna chilaquiles.

María no desayuna chilaquiles.


And then to show how wonderful Spanish is:

¿María desayuna chilaquiles?

¿Desayuna María chilaquiles?

¿Desayuna chilaquiles María?


Crazy


Bill_N

May 18, 2003, 1:49 AM

Post #7 of 12 (3342 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Tener vs. Estar

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Georgia et al.

Yes, I agree. It was my impression that Spanish was fairly consistent in its rules of grammar. Much more consistent than English. I was kidding (sort of) about "complicado". Any language will seem "complicado" at first. I've only had 4 Spanish classes (2 hours each). Hardly enough to really make a dent yet. With regard to your examples about the negative. I learned in my class that the answer to this question:

¿Come Maria cereal para el desayuno?

Would be:

No, Maria no come cereal para el desayuno.

Is that correct?

Thanks again. My question about "Tener" and "Estar" wasn't that dumb afterall! At least it generated quite a bit of discussion.

Muchas gracias,

Guillermo

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Georgia


May 18, 2003, 5:02 AM

Post #8 of 12 (3339 views)

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Re: [Bill_N] Only four lessons!

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Wow! You will master Spanish in no time. I'm impressed! Go, Bill!


jturpen

May 18, 2003, 8:56 AM

Post #9 of 12 (3330 views)

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Re: [Bill_N] Tener vs. Estar

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For those who do not see the pattern ... I would offer that this post and the subsequent additions are a very good example of a "Learning Spanish" forum. I do not know who the respondents are but I do note the absences of the usual "clique" of those who look down their collective noses are those of us who ask questions. Georgia, your help is very thoughtful and kind.

Good job Bill !! Your strength is inspiring and to those who answered with significant contributions, I can only say, "Thank you each and everyone".

Joe


jturpen

May 18, 2003, 9:01 AM

Post #10 of 12 (3326 views)

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Re: [jturpen] Tener vs. Estar

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A mistype on " their collective noses are those of us who ask questions "

should be " their collective noses at those of us who ask questions "

Joe

If i would have tried this in Spanish I would have been "ripped" for my stupidity.


Bill_N

May 18, 2003, 9:04 AM

Post #11 of 12 (3324 views)

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Re: [jturpen] Tener vs. Estar

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A nice place to practice some of the basic grammar in Spanish online is located at: http://www.studyspanish.com/ The specific practice for tener in all its uses is located at: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/tenexp.htm

Nice resource. Anyone who is still learning and needs this sort of practice should check it out!

Bill

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Georgia


May 20, 2003, 2:44 PM

Post #12 of 12 (3323 views)

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Re: [jturpen] Tener vs. Estar

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Thank you .... but I must say I do find some of the other diversions from the original questions interesting. People all practice here at different levels.

That having been said, I have spoken Spanish since I was four or so, lived in Spain, and taught Spanish in the US for twenty years .... sometimes I can't help myself, and have to butt in. I don't always have time to check in on this forum. Thank goodness, I think some of my explanations would bore even the most enthusiastic learner.

I do have to say that I think it's an all-around great forum. When people begin to master the language they like to strut their stuff. Perfectly normal, not mean.

This forum can be used by folks at many levels. In spite of my many (won't tell you quite how many!) years of being a Spanish speaker, the Mexican variety has its own flavor and I constantly find myself learning new things!
 
 
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