Using tener + participio to express the completion of an action (perífrasis verbal)

In Spanish we can use the verb tener followed by a past participle to express the completion of an action. The effect of using this verbal structure is similar to using haber + participle, however using tener gives a nuance of a result obtained after accumulation or repetition of actions.

Let's see some examples:

Tengo escritas veinte páginas de mi futura novela.I have twenty pages of my future novel written.

Tienes pintadas dos habitaciones. Falta una más para terminar.You have two rooms painted. There is one more left to finish.

Notice how the past participle must agree in gender and number with the noun acting as a direct object. (escritas/páginas; pintadas/habitaciones: feminine plural noun)

Here are some more examples:

Marta y yo tenemos planeado un viaje a Egipto.Marta and I have a trip to Egypt planned.

¿Tienes ya pensada la estrategia para convencer a Inés?Do you have a plan to persuade Inés figured out yet?

Yo tenía organizados todos los documentos en orden alfabético.I had all the documents organised in alphabetical order.

In all of the above sentences there is a nuance of an accumulation or repetition of actions to get to a result.

For example:

Tengo pintadas dos habitaciones.

implies that there is a repetition of an action, in this case, painting rooms, one after another, with a result expressed with "tengo pintadas dos habitaciones".

¿Tienes ya pensada la estrategia?

implies that there has been an accumulation of "thinking" with a result expressed with "tienes pensada".

If we simply used the perfect tense with haber, this nuance wouldn't exist. It would just express a completed action.

He pintado dos habitaciones.

He pensado en la estrategia.

Sometimes this verbal structure implies an indication of keeping someone in a certain state (sometimes as a result following an accumulation/repetition of events). For example:

Este libro me tiene intrigada.This book has me hooked/intrigued.

La noticia de Amanda nos tiene sorprendidas.Amanda's news has got us surprised.

Ese chico la tiene tan enamorada...She has really fallen for that guy.

Notice how in all the examples there is a direct object pronoun (me, nos, la) because it is always about the effect on "someone".

 

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Examples and resources

Marta y yo tenemos planeado un viaje a Egipto.Marta and I have a trip to Egypt planned.
La noticia de Amanda nos tiene sorprendidas.Amanda's news has got us surprised.
Tengo escritas veinte páginas de mi futura novela.I have twenty pages of my future novel written.
Ese chico la tiene tan enamorada...She has really fallen for that guy.
Tienes pintadas dos habitaciones. Falta una más para terminar.You have two rooms painted. There is one more left to finish.
Este libro me tiene intrigada.This book has me hooked/intrigued.
¿Tienes ya pensada la estrategia para convencer a Inés?Do you have a plan to persuade Inés figured out yet?
Yo tenía organizados todos los documentos en orden alfabético.I had all the documents organised in alphabetical order.
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