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que "tenga" un buen día

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by jaykemin, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. jaykemin Senior Member

    Si se dice (have a nice day) en español es Que tenga un buen dia!
    Porque tenga? puesto que el verbo tener es iregular.
    Yo tengo
    tu tienés
    El,Ella, Usted tiené
    Nosotros tenemos
    Vosotros teneis
    Ellos, ustedes tienen
  2. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Every verb has MANY forms (14 according to my verb dictionary). One of them is the subjective, or imperative. It is used when giving orders, or telling of wishes or commands. It is also used in situation where doubt exists. he subjunctive is formed by taking the conjugation of the first person singular, and adding on. If the verb is an -AR verb, you add an "e", if the verb is an -ER or -IR verb, you add an "a".

    "(Espero) Qué tenga un buen día" = I hope that you have a good day.

    (Did you have a good day yet? No, but my wish is that you do! Therefore, use the subjunctive.)

    Tener (in subjective)

    I hope this is clear! :p
  3. Masood

    Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    you say tenga (subjunctive mood) since it implies that you may/may not have a nice day. You might have a rotten day! Here, the subjunctive is used to convey doubt. There's no equivalent in English.
  4. lauranazario

    lauranazario Moderatrix

    Puerto Rico
    Español puertorriqueño & US English
    Hi Jaykemin,
    I changed the name on this thread because we're trying to have Foreros provide relevant and meaningful thread titles that address the core of their questions or inquiries. You'll keep that in mind for your next thread, right? :) Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

  5. cristóbal Senior Member

    Hum... I had a professor who taught that using "tener" in that expression was incorrect. (He said he'd fail us if we did it) So I've always said "Que pases un buen día" but when I arrived in Spain I realized that it seems like many people use them interchangeably.
    What I'd like to know is if "Que tenga un buen día" is really considered incorrect or if that was perhaps just an "opinion" of his...?
  6. carmen37 Member

    España/ español
    Quizá no sea incorrecto "que tenga (tengas) un buen dia" (no veo ninguna razón para no usar la expresión "tener un buen día") pero estoy de acuerdo en que lo que mas se usa y suena mas natural es "que pase (pases) un buen dia"

    Sin embargo, cunado tengo un mal día, lo tengo y no lo "paso"
  7. ITA

    ITA Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    argentina español
    Aquí en Bs As es mas frecuente usar "que tenga un buen dia" en vez de "que pase un buen día".
    ejemplo: que tenga usted un buen día!
    ojalá que él tenga un buen viaje.
  8. Maeron Senior Member

    Mexico City
    Canada, English
    "Tenga" because it's imperative, and the imperative mood is formed by using the subjunctive. Or because it's short for "Qué tengas un buen día." Either way it comes out the same.

    You wouldn't likely say, "[Ud.] tiene un buen día," but if you did, it would mean something like "You are having a nice day". In other words, in this sentence the difference between a statement ("You are having a nice day") and a command ("Have a nice day") is expressed in Spanish by using the indicative (tiene) and subjunctive (tenga), respectively.
  9. supercrom Banned

    Cercado de Lima, Lima, Perú
    Homo peruvianus, practising AE n' learning BE
    This is not imperative, it's subjunctive
    "(Ojalá / espero) que tengas un buen día")
    "Ten un buen día"

    The latter isn't wrong but it doesn't make sense: "are you commanding me?", a native Spanish speaker could think.

  10. Parreño Member

    USA, English and Spanish
    I agree with Cristóbal with regards to the "tengas" vs "pases" thing. It doesn't sound right to me to say "Que TENGAS un buen día". Well, I mean it does sound fine GRAMATICALLY. Maybe I'm just weird (a compeltely valid option, mind you), but I could've sworn I've always said (and heard said) "Que PASES un buen día". In fact, do you even need the "un"? Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that colloquially I've heard it said simply "que pases buen día", without the indefinite article.

    Your guys' thoughts?
  11. 22caps Senior Member

    Well, both sound find to me. I think this is one of those things where both are "correct"... but at the same time it demonstrates the differences between Iberian and American Spanish. It would be like saying "see ya" versus "cheerio".... err.... well... you get the idea.
  12. rob Banned

    Australia English
    me parece que "tenga un buen dia:" es mas correcto y cumon tambien...
  13. paultucker79 Senior Member

    When I was in Spain (Malaga) I literally translated and said to my Spanish mum "Que tengas un buen dia" but she corrected me and said I should use the verb "pasar". I don't know if the verb "tener" is used more in the south american countries
  14. cristóbal Senior Member

    Seems to be a personal choice because when I was in Santander I heard "que pases" and "que tengas", here in Madrid... well, no one cares about my day, so I don't hear either one ;) ... I'm not sure that it's simple enough to say that it's a continental difference.
  15. paultucker79 Senior Member

    well I was just guessing that there could be a difference, seeing if anyone could shed light on it.

    I was in Santander last weekend! There were 40 of us there for a friends birthday and we had a great time. The people were great and I had a fantastic time speaking to the taxi drivers, people in the bars, and just anyone would speak to me!!
  16. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    I have been thinking about it and for me, both "que tengas" and "que pases" are used indistintively.

    I have made a small survey at work and my colleagues feel the same way.

  17. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    I don't find any fault about saying "que tenga un buen día". "tenga" coud be considered both subjunctive or imperative, I think the distinction in cases like this is blurred, after all, grammar comes after speech and not the other way around. Anyway, I'd like to point that this expresion is not very common, and probably I've heard it most of the times on television, when they make a literal translation of some english-speaking movie or series. It sounds more natural to me to say, when you part with someone :

    que te vaya bien
    que lo pases bien
    buena suerte
    etc., etc.
  18. cmartins New Member

    Mexico - Spanish, English & French
    En Mexico el "vosotros" no existe.. es "ustedes"
    El "vos" es usted.. un tu pero mas formal pera personas mayores o que no conoces. En realidad que "pases" o que "tengas" un buen dia significa lo mismo.

    Por lo tanto se refiere a Que tenga (usted) un buen dia
  19. jaykemin Senior Member

    Ya veo, Spanish really varies...Thanks for the input guys.
    He usando dos saludos "Que tenga un buen dia y Que pase un buen dia"

    By the way lauranazario I'll keep that in mind, thank you for reminding me..

  20. supercrom Banned

    Cercado de Lima, Lima, Perú
    Homo peruvianus, practising AE n' learning BE
    I agree in part with you, Parreño. Actually, you've got two possibilities: "Que tengas un buen día", "Que pases un buen día". We can say, for instance: "Iré de viaje a paseo a Cajatambo por una semana", and someone can reply "Que la pases bien", And then, when the first speaker comes back, the second one can reply "¿Cómo la pasate?" never "¿Cómo la tuviste?" (spend time).
    But both, pasar and tener are the same in these contexts; nevertheless, "pasar" has more contexts to be used in.

  21. ClaytonB543 New Member

    Ok, I'm a Spanish major at my school. Anyway, I was in German class (they make you take another language, I know, crazy) this morning and my teacher, who speaks a bit of Spanish, asked me how to say "have a nice day" in Spanish. I told her, "Tenga un buen día." There is a girl in my class who thinks that her Spanish is flawless, and it probably is haha, but she politely corrected me by saying, "QUE tenga un buen día."

    Anywho, I was just wondering, why is QUE needed? Is it needed? Or was she just trying to correct me...So is "Tenga un buen día" is perfectly acceptable?

  22. horusankh

    horusankh Senior Member

    México, Español

    The girl is right, the que implies you are saying: (le deseo) que tenga un buen día, that is, (I wish you) have a nice day, because if you just say it in the imperative it sounds a little bit too rude for you to be sincere in your "wishes" :).

  23. ClaytonB543 New Member

    oh! well thanks a bunch!
  24. horusankh

    horusankh Senior Member

    México, Español

    Let me explain a little further, grammatically it is absolutely perfect to say "tenga un buen día", but it's sort as if you say in English: "I command you to have a nice day".

  25. deLtanea New Member


    I think that is due to a philosopical position. We really can't "have" days, because we don't own them. In that case, I agree with your professor! I'm from Argentina and both ways are equally used. I hope that it would be helpful for you!
  26. Mr.Dent

    Mr.Dent Senior Member

    English American
    deLtanea, you might be right, but in general I tend to think that it stems more from a lack of knowledge on a teacher's part. Some US Spanish teachers unfortunately have limited knowledge. The same is true of course for English teachers in Spanish speaking countries.
  27. Elixabete Senior Member

    Both are used interchangeably and both are natural ways to wish someone a good day . And we do " have days", think of sentences like " ayer tuve un día malísimo" .
    I don't think it's a question of lack of knowledge, I think it's got more to do with the idea ( common among us teachers) that the more different the Spanish expression is from its English counterpart ( and the other way round) the more genuine it is . In that sense, "que tengas un buen día" resembles " have a nice day" too much for some teachers' liking and they prefer to teach "que pases un buen día".
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  28. MiguelitOOO

    MiguelitOOO Senior Member

    Español - México
    Pues mi día comenzó muy bien. ¡Claro que tenemos días!
    Seguramente se trata de una confusión con el "hoy", que ese no nos pertenece, es compartido entre todos.
    Solo tengo hoy para estudiar (no hay pertenencia aunque digamos "tengo").
    Mi día de hoy :tick:
    Mi hoy :cross:
    Mi presente :tick: ("mi hoy")

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