The French verb "tenir" can indeed mean several different things. In the sense of "keep", here are some examples:
- tenir sa chambre propre = to keep one's room tidy
- tenir les aliments au frais = to keep food in a cool place
- tenir la porte fermée = to keep the door closed
- tenir sa droite/sa gauche = to keep to the right/to the left
Context has a significant influence in which verb you use. You would use "garder" in the sense of "to look after" (a person, a child, an animal). Examining "tenir" in context does not show it being used in the sense of "keeping" an animal. The Oxford French Dictionary actually suggests "avoir" in that sense. When "keep" is used, it is generally in the sense of "keep in check", "hold onto" (Il tient son chien en laisse = He keeps his dog on a leash), or sometimes "maintain" (Son appartement est très bien tenu = His flat is very well maintained) -WordReference. So look to context to help you decide whether you are "in charge of" the cat, or you are "holding" the cat.
"Garder" is used when you want to say "to look after" (someone or something). http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/garder/36086
I don't know if your comment is related to mine, but it's a good information anyway.
Likewise, I say that "Ella tiene un gato" is accepted in the French course in Spanish, though many disagree...
Tenir => Sostener, mantener( agarrado/asido), sujetar, agarrar, tener(?) => To hold, keep, maintain, sustain, grip/grasp, have(?).
By the way, wordreference↑ didn't include "to have" as a translation (neither main nor additional).
But according to wordnet, e.g., to hold
6. Have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense.
She holds/has a Master's degree. She has/holds $1000 in the bank
... who knows... She has a cat (?)
Apparently you didn't try "has" again because you would find that it is now accepted.
In Spanish "tener" means "to have". In many southern Italians dialects too "tenere" means "to have", but in standard Italian it means "to hold". In French "tenir" means only "to hold".
Because "tenir" generally is "to hold" and "porter" is "to carry", or in the context of clothing, "porter" means "to wear".
The final "T" is clearly pronounced on the feminine "chatte" but is silent on "chat".
Please help. In English, "She keeps a cat." usually means she owns a cat, (usually expressed "She has a cat.") But "She holds a cat." is totally different. It means she has a cat in her hands -- any old cat. I'm not clear which of those two meanings "Elle tient un chat" expresses in French.
Basically, it means she is holding the cat. The French "tenir" has a wide range of applications and can include "avoir". The sense of "keep" for "tenir" is varied: tenir quelqu'un occupé = to keep somebody busy, tenir sa chambre propre = to keep one's room tidy, tenir les aliments au frais = to keep food in a cool place, tenir un accord secret = to keep an agreement secret, tenir la porte fermée = to keep the door closed, tenir une note = to hold a note (music), tenir une promesse = to keep a promise. Source: Oxford French Dictionary.
Please read the other comments on this page as there is a lot of information there.
That is not natural English...unless she is robbing the cat! "Les pattes en l'aire !" ;-)
It is to me, and I'm a native speaker (usage: she picks up a cat from the floor and holds it up).
Sorry my attempt at humor fell flat. "Hold up" is not one of the uses of "tenir" unless you're talking about holding up your hands, your pants, your socks, or in a phrasal sense (to be plausible), e.g., cette explication ne tient pas = that explanation doesn't hold up. http://www.wordreference.com/fren/tenir
Two translations were given: She has a cat. She is holding a cat. Does that mean tenir can also mean avoir and at other times hold?
I have seen "avoir" used in the sense of having a cat (for a pet) and "tenir" might be loosely used that way. But the most direct sense of "tenir" is "to hold".
Il/elle/on tient comes from "tenir" which is an irregular verb from the group of -IR verbs.
"Porter" = to carry (an object, a child, a pet). With clothes, "porter" means "to wear". "Tenir" means primarily "to hold". Check a good dictionary for other uses.
The difference (to me) is that "tenir" means she is holding it and "saisir" means she is grabbing it.
Saisir = to grab. Tenir is more in the sense of "to take hold of" or "to hold". There are many nuances to tenir so check a good dictionary for a complete explanation.
It is an incorrect algorithm that has been injected into the entire set of English courses. The one who did it will suffer in the next life.
Hold on! You don't get to make an assertion like that and just walk away. State your case and provide your reasoning and resources. The FR "tenir" may be used in a variety of ways, including "to hold", "to keep" (an animal), and many, many other uses. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais-anglais/tenir/76386
I know the answer is "She is holding/holds a cat". But why does the suggestion box say "in charge of"? I put She is in charge of a cat. Was I suppose to say "she is charge of one cat?
A "kitty" (as in cat) is "un minet" or informally "un minou". So there is a different word in French, just like there is in English.
you offer some coffee
she is holding a ❤❤❤❤❤ also fails here contrary to all reason. I am an English speaker i should know. I should not be expected to know the 'un minet' i French as i am a beginner, but as it is my tongue, why should there be any objections.
Who's objecting? You are not asked to know "un minet" or "un minou" for "kitty". Nor that "un chaton" is a kitten. We are not free-associating when it comes to "chat". If there is anything unfamiliar about "Elle tient un chat", you can always mouse-over the word and take a look at the top-most hint. For beginners, we don't need to know five different words for "cat", don't you agree?
No, not for tenir, but for tiens. This is a French expression. If you are surprised by something ("Oh!") you say "Tiens!"