Tengo vs soy

The prompt is to write in Spanish: I am cold. I write soy frio or yo soy frio. it tells me I am wrong and insists it is tengo frio. Very very different from I am cold, To me it says I have cold. It keeps making me wrong over and over. Google Translates, hardly the last word in translation, says, soy frio, but this is pretty simple. I am in Mexico and I have asked Mexicans here and they say it is soy no tengo.

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In Spanish, you aren’t hot, cold, thirsty, hungry. Instead, you have heat, cold, thirst, hunger.

If you say, “Yo soy frío” you are indeed saying “I am cold”, but it means that you are heartless, mean, uncaring, or don’t like sex, not that you wish you had a sweater.

“Yo soy calor” means you want sex.


But no where have I found anything any place that says tengo calor.

I have been studying Spanish for almost 2 years and that does not compute

I just asked another person here. Tengo calor is I am sweating hot. Google says, I am hot is soy caliente

So you are introducting an exception without labeling it an exception after introducting tengo as I have. This is not good teaching

This is no exception. Spanish speaking people have hunger, cold, thirst etc just like Germans and Estonians have. You can’t always translate word to word. Meaning is more important. Have you heard there’s so called false friends in different languages…?

Sorry, but Google translate is the worst to use if you are trying to learn a language

If you say ‘Soy’ that means you permanently are (with some exceptions)

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Hi, I don’t think that fundamental native language features are Memrise’s fault and I hope that this link might give a good picture of the various, mostly idiomatic concepts (hopefully, this helps :slight_smile: ):-

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Hi Merleyost, the course you’re learning is not part of our Official Course.

Here is a list of our Official courses of Spanish (Mexico) which is structured differently.

If the word you’re currently learning is troubling you, feel free to add it to part of your ignore word list.

Examples of the usage (tener + calor e.g.) can be found here

Memrise isn’t perfect. But if you’ve been studying Spanish for two years and this is the first time you have encountered this, I would say that Memrise is definitely better than whatever resource you’ve been using.

Ser vs Estar and Estar vs Tener are critical foundational understandings for learning Spanish. I strongly disagree with Joshua’s suggestion that you could ignore this word. Instead, stop and use multiple resources to build your understanding.

I suggest you do a google search “Spanish ser estar tener” and look at several sites’ explanations. Or start at this site: http://www.appstate.edu/~fountainca/1050/unidad1/sehth.html



The post you replied to contained the following totally gratuitous and offensive anti-Christian slur, which has no relationship whatsoever to questions of language learning:

I would like to know if Memrise now officially approves of such gratuitous expressions of religious bigotry on its site? If so, then you should update your terms of service to indicate that fact.

It actually did, it was a fair comparison to the teaching style.

Sorry you found it offensive, but the truth hurts.

thanks for your note. I am very aware of the ser vs estar, if the estar vs tener was covered I am blanking out on it or it went by so fast I did not get it.


I didn’t “find it offensive.”

You are a brand new user to this site, and your first thread contains a totally inappropriate comment.

Your comment about Christianity has nothing to do with languages, and was inserted for the sole purpose of disparaging that particular religion.

Such comments disparaging Christianity or any other religion, have no place on a supposed language learning site, and if @benwhately, as an officer and director of Memrise, allows it to remain here, then this site is garbage, and anyone who contributes to it or gives them any money is a fool.

As for you, I do not knowingly engage with people who express bigoted beliefs, so I will not reply to you further.

That’s what the report button is for. It’s entirely possible to miss the slur, or not fully register it.

Thanks @Arete_Hime.

That’s exactly what I find so troubling about Memrise’s behavior.

I did flag the post more than 12 hours ago, and my flag was ignored. That’s why I specifically tagged Joshua again today in the forum, when I saw him active and posting, and I pointed the slur out to him again, this time publicly. That post was also ignored.

So the message that Memrise is sending to us is that people are free to come here and gratuitously slur a religion that they have a problem with.

I wanted to make sure that if Memrise does indeed allow the slur to stand, then at least they won’t be able to hide behind the pretense that no one called it to their attention.

Here’s another resource that explains tener versus ser & estar:

Idiomatic Expressions with Tener on StudySpanish.com

In German that is true for hunger and thirst but not for being cold or warm. Those use a different construction: “Mir ist kalt/warm”.

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