I need to know

I was watching a native Spanish speaker on YouTube teaching the use of the verb ‘Tener’. This person explained that one would use ‘Tener’ in describing a state of being (estados de ánimo ). Examples given:

Tengo frío/ calor; tengo hambre, etc. The tutor went on to explain that one would use ‘tener’ for sickness; por ejemplo,
Tengo dolor de cabeza, estómago, espalda, and so on…

I now have a problem in understanding this phrase used on LingQ: ‘estoy bastante resfriada,’ on this site the translation given is, “I have a cold.” A cold is a sickness. Why can’t you say, Tengo dolor de cabeza (I have a headache) and not ‘estoy calor de cabeza?’

It’s a funny thing to say, ‘I am a headache’, but it is as equally odd to say, ‘I am a cold,’ (estoy bastante resfriada).

Estoy muy confundido :-/

If you look at “resfriado/resfriada” it can be translated as “cold-ed” “I am cold-ded” which sounds odd to an English speaker but makes perfect sense to Spaniards and Germans (and no doubt lots of other nations).

I have learnt that it doesn’t pay to argue with a language - these things are sent to try us and to be accepted.

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Like Moses McCormick said," Don’t question it too much and just absorb it like a sponge."


I’m fine as far as ‘absorbing’ idiomatic phrases ‘like a sponge;’ however, I have raised a valid question: ¿Is it Tengo or Estoy when referring to estados de ánimo? She is a certified maestra de español; también, español es su primera idioma y madre lengua, and she seemed emphatic about how Tener is used in regards to the examples I provided…

By the way, I like studying grammar :slight_smile: But I’m sure I will have an aha moment about my questions at some point, when I least expect it :slight_smile:

Hi ! =)))

He may say whatever he wants to! =))) Apparently, being omnivorous is not the best solution, as far as any language acquisition! :wink:


I don’t speak Spanish, but like in other languages and in Portuguese, my native language, there are several ways of expressing the same thing. In your examples, the most important is to understand that in Spanish you say “tengo hambre”, (in Portuguese “tenho fome”), though in English you say “I’m hungry”. “I have a headache” can be expressed in different ways: “Tengo dolor de cabeza.”, "Me duele la cabeza.“Estoy con dolor de cabeza.”. “I have a cold” can be expressed as “Estoy resfriado.” or “Tengo un resfriado.”, and “resfriado” is an adjective in the first expression, but a noun in the second.
estoy+adjective/expression with a preposition, tengo+noun

When you are learning a language, you must understand that other languages may follow different patterns for expressing the same ideas.
Just trying to help, I hope some Spanish native speakers can add something.

There is nothing more true than that, always at the beginning of the language it doesn’t make sense according to our own.