Are you familiar with the expression tener que + infinitive? It means “to have to do something”. You simply use a part of the verb tener, follow it with the word que and then add in a verb in its infinitive form.
- tengo que practicar mi español
- tengo que comprar la comida
- tuve que comer rápido para poder llegar a tiempo
- tendría que hacer mis deberes antes de ir a jugar
Tener que expresses the idea of having to do something, so the first of our sample sentences means “I have to practise my Spanish”. Do you know what the others mean? Have a go at identifying the tenses we’ve used in the example sentences and then try to come up with your own sentence using this structure. If you’ve just started learning Spanish, don’t worry – simply post one of the sentences above in the comments. However, don’t copy and paste – the act of typing out the sentence yourself will help you learn this particular phrase! If you’re more advanced, try using tener que + infinitive in a different tense.
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