Conjugate tener in El Pretérito Indefinido (simple past)

The verb tener (to have) is irregular in El Pretérito Indefinido:

yo

tuve

tuviste

él/ella/Ud.

tuvo

nosotros / nosotras 

tuvimos

vosotros / vosotras 

tuvisteis

ellos/ellas/Uds.

tuvieron

Here are some examples to look at and listen to:

Yo tuve un sueño muy bonito anoche.
I had a very beautiful dream last night.

tuviste mucha suerte con tu marido.
You were very lucky with your husband.

Usted tuvo más de un millón de dólares.
You had more than a million dollars.

Nosotros tuvimos un Ferrari antiguamente.
We had a Ferrari in the past.

Vosotros tuvisteis una moto.
You had a motorbike.

Ellas tuvieron mucho dinero.
They had a lot of money.

Here is a list with more verbs that follow the same pattern like tener in El Pretérito Indefinido: List of Tener and its derivatives .

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nosotros tuvimos un Ferrari antiguamente.
We had a Ferrari in the past.


tuviste mucha suerte con tu marido.
You were very lucky with your husband.


Usted tuvo más de un millón de dólares.
You had more than a million dollars.


Yo tuve un sueño muy bonito anoche.
I had a very beautiful dream last night.


Vosotros tuvisteis una moto.
You had a motorbike.


Ellas tuvieron mucho dinero.
They had a lot of money.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 7 answers

NelsonC1Kwiziq community member

Growing up, I heard and have used Yo tenia for I had? I assume that is incorrect?

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Nelson,

As Andy was saying, yes it depends. Both are correct in their own context, so generally speaking the Preterite will be used for completed actions in the past and/or a specific time in the past while the Imperfect is generally used for continuous actions, or habits in the past. The lesson you were seeing is one for just the conjugation so we didn't put any enphasis on time phrases or usage. There are more specific lessons of usage (for both tenses) coming up soon. 

Saludos

Inma

AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Not under all circumstances. You're talking about the difference between the El Pretérito Imperfecto (yo tenía) and the El Pretérito Indefinido (yo tuve). The former is used to denote things that were happening in the past or used to happen; the latter things that are completed. 

A couple of links (one here, one elsewhere):

https://progress.lawlessspanish.com/revision/grammar/using-el-preterito-imperfecto-to-express-habits-or-repeated-actions-in-the-past-imperfect-tense 

https://www.spanishdict.com/guide/preterite-vs-imperfect-in-spanish 

 

AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
There's also a lesson on comparing the Preterite and the Perfect but there doesn't seem to be a link on the Library page.
InmaKwiziq team member

Andy, I think you were referring to this specific lesson about Pretérito Perfecto vs Pretérito Indefinido.

Here is the link:

https://progress.lawlessspanish.com/revision/grammar/when-to-use-el-preterito-perfecto-or-el-preterito-indefinido

 

 

AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
That's the one
GruffKwiziq team member

FYI, you can find related lessons via the tags at the top of the lesson and any links within the lesson text. These take you to pages that list all of the lessons, so for example you could navigate either via tense name, then scroll down the list, you'll find all related lessons including all the usage lessons.

E.g:

navigation-tags

NelsonC1Kwiziq community member
Thank you everyone! I did reach the related lessons on each and now know the difference and contexts of when to use the two. I appreciate all the responses. Many thanks again!

Growing up, I heard and have used Yo tenia for I had? I assume that is incorrect?

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