You have to believe!

January 9, 2024

¡Tienes que creer!

For the New Year, many people are thinking ahead, committing to resolutions, setting goals, and making plans. ¡Fantástico!

Best of all, you’re learning Spanish at Boulder Spanish! That’s exciting! ¡Eso es emocionante!

And it’s also a challenge (un desafío) You’re figuring out how to put together your thoughts and ideas with the words and grammar you’re learning. It’s a lot to take on! 

To help you, we will share on the Boulder Spanish blog some useful and frequently used phrases in Spanish that can make it easier for you to jump in and start communicating. 

It’s handy to have a few go-to phrases that can help you express yourself, especially as you’re building vocabulary, conjugating verbs on the fly, and learning all those verb tenses. Believe me, I know that preterite, imperfect, and subjunctive tenses take time and lots of practice! Tengo que practicar mucho! 

So, while you’re learning all this and more at Boulder Spanish, a few useful phrases that we’ll share from time to time will help carry you through as you gain more fluency and more confidence. 

Presenting – Tener que

You’ve probably already learned the verb tener – “to have.” And the useful little word que – which means “that.” Put them together and they mean “have to.” Next, add a verb in the infinitive form after tener que. Now you’re talking. Por ejemplo: Tengo que practicar mucho! For example: I have to practice a lot!

As usual, conjugate tener for the subject (yo, tu, ella/él/usted, nosotros, vosotros, y ellas/ellos/ustedes) and for tense (present, past, future, etc.)  

Algunos ejemplos

Tengo que hacer mucho ejercicio.                               I have to exercise a lot. 

Tienes que comer tus vegetales.                                  You have to eat your vegetables. 

Él tiene que trabajar a las ocho de la mañana.         He has to work at eight in the morning.

Tenemos que hablar más a menudo.                          We have to talk more often. 

Tenéis que cuidar de vuestras mascotas.                  You all have to take care for your pets. 

Ellas tienen que conducir por las montañas.             They have to drive through the mountains.

Ella tuvo que mudarse a otra ciudad.                          She had to move to another city. 

Tuvimos que llegar muy temprano.                             We had to arrive very early. 

Ellos tuvieron que pagar mucho dinero.                     They had to pay a lot of money. 

Tendré que devolver todos los libros.                          I will have to return all the books.

Usted tendrá que decir la verdad.                               You will have to tell the truth. 

Tendremos que tomar un vuelo diferente.                 We will have to take a different flight.

In Spanish, you can simply ask a question using tener que with your tone of voice, or in writing, just add a question mark at the beginning and at the end of the sentence.

¿Tienes que irte hoy?                                                  Do you have to leave today?

¿Tienen que correr en la calle?                                 Do they have to run in the street?

You have to try it. Tienes que intentarlo. 
You have to think. Tienes que pensar
You have to practice Spanish a little bit every day. Tienes que practicar español un poco cada día. 
You have to smile when you make mistakes. Tienes que sonreír cuando cometes errores. 
And you have to believe. Y tienes que creer. Bit by bit, day by day. Poco a poco, día a día.

Hasta la próxima vez,