1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "Tengo algo que decir."

"Tengo algo que decir."

Translation:I have something to say.

January 23, 2014

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davekane

Why not 'tengo algo a dicir'? What's the rule I'm missing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johngarriss

I was thinking... "tengo algo decir". Why do we need to put "que" in there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuevesHuevos

"Tener que" + infinitive translates to "To have to do something"

Tengo que volver - I have to return

Tenemos que comer - We have to eat.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

But I have something to say doesn't have the meaning of tengo que, and tengo que wouldn't have algo splitting it because it's intransitive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mazdee

I remembered that, so I put "I have to say something" but that's wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BPS-PenuelO

If you think about it,, 'I have something to say' means you have something in mind that probably should be said. "I have to say something" means it's something that HAS to be said.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaviOnline

I think Diane knows it already. The question being asked is that if it isn't something that has to be said, what is "que" doing there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_Kierz_

So why isn't that sentence "I have to say something"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuevesHuevos

That would be "tengo que decir algo" probably


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/davekane

Thanks, that makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LandonThom

Also "tener que" can be translated as "must"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mortisimago

the "que" stands for "that" - "I have something that I want to say". In Spanish they just want to put a "that" in a lot more than in English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

Yes but if that's true then why isn't it digo instead of decir?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mortisimago

"to have" (tener) is the verb. decir is an action that is wanted and doesn't need to be conjugated (sorry, I just woke up)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

But there's no querer in the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

No worries. I still don't fully understand this. There doesn't appear to be a literal English translation that works and I haven't seen this kind of construction in French either, it must be a peculiarly Spanish thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johngarriss

33 day streak huh...? Great job!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chofini

Why not "I have something to tell"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

While it doesn't quite mean the same as "I have something to say," "to tell" is a perfectly good translation of "decir," especially without any context... You should report it, chofini.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/johnmurraybray

Why was " I must say something" not accepted ? Would that be Tengo que decir algo ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuevesHuevos

Must = Deber

Tener que + infinitive = To have to.

Slightly different meanings.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jodokus

"I have to say something" was not excepted. ??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuevesHuevos

(Accepted)

"I have to say something" would be "tengo que decir algo"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krisztian3

Not being native in neither languages I cannot see the difference between the two. Could you please explain?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuevesHuevos

It's a subtle difference.

"I have to say something" places the emphasis on the importance of saying something. Like if you see two children beating up a third child, you might say "I have to say something" meaning you have to talk to the children, or you have to report them to school authorities. "I have to say something, I can't just walk away and let this happen"

"I have something to say" actually happens in movies a lot. During a debate or an argument, a usually quiet person who hasn't said much will stand up and say "I have something to say" "I have something of value to contribute to this conversation" etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krisztian3

Thank you very much the detailed answer. Everything is clear now :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brentmcd

... mejor que quemar que desvanecerse.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndersGustafsson

Why not "I have soemthing to tell"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmaclb

This time " I've got", instead of "I have", was accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tbs_

So you can replace "decir" with any infintive verb you want, and it will be "I have something to "X"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

Well...yes and no. While some verbs will make sense here (hacer), others will not (dormir).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargoBoylan

Help me with the placement of "algo" in this sentence. Why not "tengo que algo". Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

'Tengo que...' means 'I have to...' If you place 'algo' after 'que', then it would translate as, 'I have to something to say', which makes no sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargoBoylan

Why is "que" not directly after "tengo"? The placement of "que" threw me. I hope I get a reply....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

Hi Margo. It seems that the impression one gets from this discussion is that this is a "tener que" sentence. I strongly disagree. If it were, "tener" (conjugated) would have to be immediately followed by "que." Then the sentence would be: "Tengo que decir algo" (I have to say something). This is obviously not the sentence Duo has given us. Not only is the word order different, but the meaning has also been changed. I think an English translation of "Tengo algo que decir" (I have something that (I want) to say) reveals the use of "que" in the sentence.

UPDATE: The key to understanding this sentence is realizing that "que" is acting as a relative pronoun and is probably best translated as "which," although in the English translation the "which" would most likely be left out. It is followed by "decir," an infinitive that explains what the "something" is. So the sentence actually says "I have something (which) to say." I doubt that Duo would accept the "which," though.
http://www.spanishdict.com/guide/relative-pronouns-in-spanish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PunkJesus

Why not "Tengo algo que para decir?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

You don't need both 'que' and 'para' here. The 'que' turns into 'to' in English: I have something to say.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

"To" is part of the verb "decir." "Que" is functioning as a relative pronoun. Please see my earlier comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

You're absolutely right. I obviously didn't plug my brain in yesterday. Apologies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JersonBald

What's wrong with " I have to say something"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

That would be, 'Tengo que decir algo'. Suggest you read amble2lingo's excellent explanation above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidLBump

I had the "type what you hear" version and it seemed to me the "decir" was slurred and had an "s" sound at the end, which threw me off.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeiraRegal

This sentence is weird to me to I mean why slip the que in there


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amble2lingo

This is not a "tener que" expression! "Que" is acting as a relative pronoun. Please see the explanation in my earlier comment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nobody125

can't it also be I have something to tell you


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andreaja69

If there had been 'te' on the end of 'decir' then it could have been tell you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lingots4Luck

Listen... I have something to say...

HAND ME YOUR LINGOTS, CHILD (I'll give you back some luck.)

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.
Get started