Spanish Grammar: Express Obligation (A1)


1. Tener que + infinitive is one way to express obligation or necessity. This expression is similar to the English “to have to…”. Tener is conjugated according to the subject of the sentence.

Tengo que ir al médico (I have to go to the doctor).

Carlota tiene que escribir un informe (Carlota has to write a report).

Marisa y Ramón tienen que comprar una lavadora (Marisa and Ramón have to buy a washing machine).

2. Hay que + infinitive is used to express the idea of “something has to be done” or, “it is necessary to do something.” It is a more general expression and since there is no subject, the verb form “hay” is always used.

Hay que tener pasaporte para viajar a EEUU (It is necessary to have a passport  to travel to USA).

Hay que estudiar mucho para aprender un idioma (One must study a lot to learn a foreign language).

Now you can practice with a quiz. Click on the link if you want to learn more about verb TENER  and HAY (from haber). Remember you can get in touch with your tutor with any question you haveDon’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?


Quiz 1: Write the correct verb “hay” or a form of “tener”.

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