1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. "¿Tienes hijos?"

"¿Tienes hijos?"

Translation:Do you have children?

June 14, 2018



How do you distinguish between sons and children? Do you have children "Tienes hijos?" Do you have sons " Tienes hijos?" If you interpret the question as sons, you could say no, but actually have 2 daughters.


Normally context will clarify textual ambiguity, but as your example question suggests it is possible context may not help in this case. My thought would be that unless otherwise apparent "¿Tienes hijos?" would be interpreted as meaning "Do you have children?"

If you wanted to ask "Do you have sons?" hopefully context established that intended meaning, but if not, perhaps "¿Tienes hijos varones?" would be used in order to make it clear. I'm not sure though.

It would be good to hear from a native speaker on the matter as there does seem to be a significant potential for "hijos" to be ambiguous.


Hijo = Son.

Hija = Daughter.

Hijas = More than 1 daughter.

Hijos = More than 1 first order descendant, with at least 1 son.

While there is no common phrase that means "Do you have children?", the phrase ”¿Tienes hijos?" fulfills the same purpose.

For example:

"¿Tienes hijos?"

"No, solo tengo 5 hijas" (No, I only have 5 daughters)


The absolute correct answer for this question is "do you have children?" In real life it would be weird to ask someone if they only have sons, so if you do have children, and someone asks you this question, you would respond with "yes, I have number of girls daughters, and number of boys sons.


Except DL isn't real life, and weird sentences aren't that uncommon here. Besides which, "Do you have sons?" is contextually plausible, and a valid translation. It can't be dismissed solely because it is less likely than "Do you have children?"


Since there is no context, it's appropriate to use the most common interpretation.


Of course it is, but it's incorrect to state that the most common interpretation is the absolute correct answer. All valid translations that are contextually plausible should be accepted.


I didn't say that.


I didn't say you did, but that was the original comment that my first response was based upon.


How would you say in Spanish "Do you have any children?"


The ANY is an ENGLISH thing. No need to translate it to Spanish.

"Do you have children?"


"Do you have any children?"

translates to Spanish as:

"¿Tienes hijos?"

Both English sentences do.


"Do you have any children?" could also be translated more literally to "¿Tienes algún hijo?", though the connotation is a tad different (it shows the speaker doesn't expect the person being asked to have more than 1).


Yes. That's actually more like do you have some child. I'd almost expect something like that to be used to include birth children, foster children or adopted children. Algún tends to have that "some type of" feeling.


Why not 'have you any children?'


That would be the British English way of asking. Duo should accept it.


I'm reading all comments, if you ask someone, if they have ANY children, a Spanish speaker could understand: "¿Tienes ALGÚN hijo? that's why DL is taking it wrong. It's like, if you were using "A/AN" children. July-31-2018.


If you are saying that Duolingo should have included the words algun hijo, then you're not addressing the exercise as shown at the top of this page. The exercise is to translate from Spanish into English, not the reverse.


Didnt the words for son and daughter start with an "m" earlier? Mija and mijo?


No, mija and mijo are contractions of mi hija and mi hijo. They are used in some regions to denote affection, sometimes even to strangers, as long as they are younger than you. I think it's mostly an American thing, so any American speaker out there who wishes to correct me, feel free to do so...


I'm pretty sure "mija" and "mijo" are used in Spain too, but I've never seen them used on DL, and as slang I doubt they would be.

SharonWoos, maybe you heard "mija/o" because with "mi hija/o" the silent "h" allows the two "i" sounds to blend, like "miija/o".


Thanks to you both, Jellonz and FerEtayoRguez, for the info. I did not realize mija and mijo were contractions. That makes sense. But, I also did not realize that DuoLingo only teaches "formal" words and conversations. Good to know.


No worries Sharon. When I think about it I'm pretty sure I've seen DL use -ita/o words that are common colloquial diminutives, so perhaps it would be wrong to assume they only teach formal words.


Can anyone explain the difference between between tiene and and tiene usted ?


'Tiene' can mean 'he/she/it has', or 'you have' using the formal word for 'you', which is 'usted'. In order to avoid confusion, 'usted' is often added to the verb, whereas mostly subject pronouns are omitted. So '¿Tiene usted...? means 'Have you....?'


Do you have any children?. It is grammatically correct to add 'any'. Why don't you accept it?


Because it's not in the sentence. Grammatically correct or not, that's not what's being asked of the translation.


That's not a sufficient answer. We've already learned a number of Spanish expressions that translate to English with words that are not literally in the Spanish. As others have indicated previously, Duolingo sometimes accepts common alternatives, sometimes not.


Thanks. I know that. So why does DL report 'any' as being a mistake?


I kind of agree with you -in the UK we always say "do you have any children?" (not to mention the more commonly spoken "have you got any kids"?) but I suppose the literal translation here is "do you have children" they just want to understand that we are translating the correct words from what is written in the question for a language learning perspective, I think we could all debate how we say the actual thing in real life, but the 'actual' word translation is "Do you have children?" (p.s I got it wrong to by putting 'any' in my answer! :-))


Mixed gender groups - two or more masculine and feminine nouns occurring in a mixed group always adopt the masculine plural form: Los padres The parents los niños The children (boys and girls) BBC Spanish Grammar page 21 All so Mis niños My children cómo están los niños, How are the children


If anyone wants a more comprehensible and legible version, here you go:

In Spanish, a group of mixed genders will always use the masculine form. If you have a group of 5 boys and 5 girls, you would use the masculine plural form. If you have a group of 19 boys and 1 girl, you would use the masculine plural form. Even if you had a group of 999 girls and 1 boy, you would use the masculine plural form.

In this case, "hijos" means "children." It could mean "sons," but if you're asking "hey, do you have kids?" it would most likely just mean "children."


In English it is perfectly ok to say “Do you have any....?” Or “Have you any....?”

Please get this changed


To request changes, you need to post using the flag button.


Saying 'hijas' is like assuming the person has daughters. When asking if someone has children, the person asking usually doesn't know if the other person has any daughters or sons. So saying 'hijos' to be safe is recommended.


Why is "Do you have offspring?" not accepted?


It's not a very common word, so I doubt it's been programmed into the database.


Tienes hijos implies that you are talking with a friend. Tiene usted hijos is informal and is a polite way of addressing a "stranger"


'Tiene usted hijos' is formal.


TIENES HIJOS ( DO YUO HAVE CHILDREN ) my respuesta fue correcta y me la tacharon mal quiero una respuesta por favor iI want an Answer please


You're writing to other students here, not Duolingo, and they will give you an answer if they can, or if they want to. If you had to write in English, your error is in 'yuo', which should be 'you'.


have you any children, is the same as, do you have children


Please report alternative translations to Duolingo by using the Report button, so that they can be added to the database.


Hijos can be either Boys or Children


I think you mean sons instead of boys. Hijos can be either sons or children; niños can be either boys or children.


In google translate, it says "Have children?" now it's Do you have children?


In Spanish we can leave out the subject , because "per se" the verb can say if you are talking as "yo", yo tengo, tu tienes, el tiene, etc... In English, the verb by itself can't. You always need the subject.


Google Translate is crowd-sourced. It's an excellent service, but it is not authoritative.


Estelle0 When you listen to the Spanish question that is following the smaller letter, etc., one hears "tiene". One only hears the"s" clearly on the end of the word is if you happen to listen to the sentence after the larger and faster figure. I have found this in several words--in fact in several sentences for example "una" meaning one in the slower speaker's words (male speaker) it sounds like "ena". The only way I found this for sure is when hearing a sentence that had to be translated into English and not recognizing "ena" as a word, I listened to the faster sentence (Larger sign) it was very clearly "una". Duo lingo should have someone check this out. and credit should be given in these cases.


couldn't it also be 'sons' instead of 'children'????


It could be, hijos can mean sons or children.


Is it ever confusing in Spanish when you use hijos to distiguish between sons or children?


If you want to how many sons and daughters someone has, you could ask, ¿Tienes hijos e hijas? They will probably be proud to give a list of their names and ages.

However, ¿Tienes hijos? will likely achieve the same result. :)


Or do you have sons, or have you any sons.....


No separate word for children, one has to say sons. Spanish society prolly stems from a patriarchal system.


Did you mean 'probably stems...'?


Have you got children was not accepted


Why not "Tienes ninos?"


So in Spanish there is not difference between how to spell and say children and sons? How does one know if someone is speaking writing about their sons or their children?


Why would the familiar you be used if you didn't know if they had children?


Why cant i translate "have you children"


It's a structure that's become archaic in English. DL probably discourages it for this reason. "Have you got children?" should be accepted.


Hijos c'est fils...son


'Hijos' = sons/children

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