What does “Tener ganas” mean? tener ganas

Every time I mention this two words to my students “tener ganas” I get the same answer, even if they are in quite a high level..they look at me with an odd face and ask…what does “tener ganas”mean, so I though it could be a good post.



Tell me you havent asked yourself how could you say I am looking forward to in Spanihs!!You will have your answer.

I have chosen  this sentences as it is common in the Spanish language, but funny enough it does not have a proper translation in English, I would say tener ganas is the pretty much  “to be looking forward”, but let’s have a proper look.

How to use tener ganas

Tener ganas is the infinitive, and as you can see it has the verb tener, so we need to change it depending on the subject so we are talking about ourselves will be tengo ganas de, if we are talking about yourself will ask tienes ganas de, and after de always infinitive.

Tener ganas in context

As everything in this life, tener ganas is not diferent,its meaning depends on the context we use it.

As if we are talking about a feeling, something you want to do its translation in English will be I feel like…ok let’s think about yourself…you have not been out for a while and you just met a friend you say to him/her, if you casually ask what are you doing tonight?Tengo ganas de salir, in English you will say I am feeling as going out…there is any plan yet you just saying how you feel…you could go out…then imagine your friend agrees and you come back home and speaking with you sister you tell her you are going out, in Spanish you still would say Tengo ganas de salir esta noche, but in English you will say I am so looking forward to going out tonight…when you meet your friend at night and you are trying to decide where to go you come up with the idea of that new restaurant because you really want to try its food…again in Spanish we would use I want to go to that new restaurant, porque tengo muchas ganas de probar la comida..

Of course if you were not feeling as anything special or you were not looking forward to something …you can always change your mind and put the famous “no” before…like no tengo ganas de salir…

So as you can see it is difficult to give an accurate meaning to these so typical Spanish words, but that is good because it means you can use them quite often…so go out there and practice your Spanish, I bet you tienes ganas de hablar espanol 🙂

Hope this as put some light in the way of your Spanish learning, now you just tell me…..De que tienes ganas?=What are you looking forward to?


Yo y mis amigos ….



3 Responses to “What does “Tener ganas” mean?”

  1. Erick

    Excelente post

  2. sara

    Love this brand! I have found out that there is also a book called” Tengo ganas de tí” 🙂


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