Tag Archives: Spanish GCSE in Harpenden


This is the second in a series of blogposts on how to write an A or A* Spanish controlled GCSE written assessment.

If you missed the first one, then click here.

In this blog post I will talk about using a key Spanish verb TENER (to have) idiomatically. Idiomatically is defined in the Collins English dictionary as “linguistic usage that is grammatical and natural to the native speakers of a language.” This is why idioms and idiomatic usage are marked highly by GCSE Spanish examiners.

Accordingly, it makes sense to have a good variety of TENER phrases in your written piece. But how can you do this? One of my maxims is to keep things simple, and with this in mind, I suggest that you introduce two or three TENER phrases into your work.

Here are some examples:-

Tengo … años (I am … years old). Notice in Spanish you are actually saying “I have..years”

Even better though, with additional complexity, try:-

Cuando tenga ….. años – this means “when I am …years old”. For the sharp eyed, you will see that “tengo” has changed to “tenga”. For the grammatically minded, “tenga” is a subjunctive. This grammatical feature is highly prized by the GCSE examiners. Use it! It is easy to get into a flowing and well crafted piece.

Tener has lots of idiomatic usages.

Why not work these into your assessment?

tengo hambre – I am hungry

tengo sed – I am thirsty.

tengo razón – I am right

tengo suerte – I am lucky

A real favourite of examiners is a phrase like “si yo tuviera suerte…” meaning “if I was lucky”. Use it in your assessment. See the glint in the examiners’ eyes!

So – use the verb TENER idiomatically in your Spanish controlled written assessments – it’s one of the keys in getting an A or A*.

Steven French Languages is based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire and specialises in GCSE and A level tuition in both French and Spanish.



Why use Steven French Languages?

1. Language tuition for GCSE, and A level students – results driven. GCSE French, Spanish, Italian. A level French and Spanish

2. Bespoke adult language tuition – for work, for exams, for pleasure. French, Spanish, Italian.

3. Face to face or online.

4. Professional and friendly.

What is Steven French Languages?

Steven French Languages has been set up with one purpose – to help people from all areas of life to learn French, Spanish and Italian at a level and pace appropriate to their requirements.

The company is based in Harpenden in Hertfordshire and provides French, Spanish and Italian language tuition services to the north Hertfordshire and south Bedfordshire areas.

In addition to face to face tuition in French, Spanish and Italian in Harpenden, Steven French Languages offers an online bespoke language service. Online French teaching, online Spanish teaching and online Italian is provided from a Hertfordshire UK base.

Steven French Languages also specialises in online English teaching. Again, at a pace and level appropriate to clients’ needs and wishes.

GCSE French, GCSE Spanish, “A” level French, “A” Spanish in Harpenden

Steven French has taught French and Spanish over the last two decades – in three state schools in the UK. In my last teaching, post Steven French was Head of Spanish at Roundwood Park School in Harpenden.

GCSE French, GCSE Spanish, “A” level French, “A” level Spanish are the specialist areas for school students. On this site, you will find materials to help you with your studies. Click on some of the links – have fun!

If you are studying French or Spanish in one of the Harpenden schools or St Albans schools and feel you need a boost – get in contact.

Italian is also offered up to GCSE.

Business French / Business Spanish

Steven French worked in a large international bank for 12 years (with experience of the French and Spanish markets and large infrastructure projects) and Steven French Languages is happy in tailoring a business French language course or a business Spanish language course to the needs of clients.

French for pleasure / Spanish for pleasure

Tailored French and Spanish sessions for pleasure, leisure and travel are offered.  Face to face French or Spanish tuition in Harpenden with Steven French Languages is fun, intellectually stimulating and invigorating!

Perhaps you own a property in Spain or France , or fancy travelling to Latin America or French speaking Africa. Why not brush up your French or Spanish?

We also offer a bespoke  Italian service tailored to clients’ needs and requirements.

Spanish tuition / French tuition – online / face to face

Face to face tuition service is available in the AL5 postcode in Hertfordshire.

French,  Spanish is offered online – in any of the areas above – GCSE French, GCSE Spanish, “A” level French, “A” level Spanish, Business French, Business Spanish, French for pleasure and Spanish for pleasure.

Steven French Languages also offers GCSE Italian, business Italian and Italian for pleasure.

English as a foreign language

Steven French Languages also offers online English as a foreign language as an option. English language tuition for business or for pleasure or for exam purposes. For more information, please click here.

Get in contact for a flexible, friendly, and bespoke language service based in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.

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