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Haber vs Tener in Spanish

How to use Haber Vs Tener in Spanish?

How and when to use haber vs tener in Spanish?. The main difference between the verb to have “haber” and the verb to have ” tener” is that haber is an auxiliary verb and tener is a main verb. This said, haber and tener are closely related, because in the Middle Ages they were basically synonymous, and haber was normally used where today would be used tener. 

The current difference is established in the Golden Age. Tener originally meant to hold, a meaning that it still maintains, but it did not have the meaning of possession, which was exclusive of haber, but already from the first centuries of the literary language tener begins to invade the land. semantic of haber, and little by little haber is becoming an auxiliary verb. 

The verbs haber and tener are used to express obligation or need. Take a look at these examples:

When to use haber and tener in Spanish?

Hay que estudiar mucho para aprender el Inglés. – You have to study a lot to learn English.

Tienes que estudiar mucho para aprender el Inglés. – You have to study hard to learn English.

 

Hay que cambiar la puerta. – You have to change the door.

Tenemos que cambiar la puerta. – We have to change the door.

 

No hay que decir todo lo que uno crea. – You don’t have to say everything you believe.

No tengo que decir todo lo que uno crea. – I don’t have to say everything I believe.

 

Hay que girar el timón hacia la derecha. – You have to turn the rudder to the right.

Tienes que girar el timón  hacia la derecha. – You have to turn the rudder to the right.

haber vs tener in Spanish

 

“Hay que” is used to express a need, and can be replaced by “it is necessary”. “Tener que” is used to express obligation and can be replaced by “deber”. Furthermore, “hay” is always used in its impersonal form, therefore, it is not conjugated.

What is the difference between haber and tener?

 

The verbs “haber” and “tener” can also be used to form compound tenses, but the nuances are different. In the phrases with “tener” more emphasis is placed on the results. Look at the examples:

 

He escrito el libro. – I have written the book. [action performed in a past tense]

Tengo escrito el libro. [El libro ya está listo.] – I have written the book. [The book is now ready.]

He escrito las notas. – I have written the notes. [action performed in a past tense]

Tengo escritas las notas. [Las notas ya están escritas.] – I have written the notes. [The notes are already written.]

 

Hemos preparado el desayuno. – We have prepared the breakfast. [action performed in a past tense]

Tenemos preparado el desayuno. [El desayuno está preparado.] – We have the breakfast ready. [The breakfast is prepared.]

Hemos preparado la langosta. – We have prepared the lobster. [action performed in a past tense]

Tenemos preparado la langosta [La langosta está preparada.] – We have the lobster ready. [The lobster is ready.]

 

Han arreglado la casa. – They have fixed the house. [action performed in a past tense]

Tienen arreglado la casa. [La casa está lista para ser usado.] – They have the house fixed. [The house is ready to be used.]

 

Han arreglado la oficina.- The office have been fixed. [action performed in a past tense]

Tienen arreglada la oficina. [La oficina ya no está más desarreglada.] – They got the office fixed. [The office is no longer unkempt.]

Read more:

Tener conjugation in Spanish

Haber conjugation in Spanish

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