Please explain the grammar in "Que tenga un feliz tarde." | SpanishDict Answers
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4 Vote

I was just chatting online with someone in Colombia (in a business context), and at the end they said goodbye by saying "Que tenga un feliz tarde." Of course, I started to analyze that one small group of words. wink

I'm thinking "tenga" is subjunctive because they are wishing me a happy afternoon...is that right?

What I am more uncertain about is "un feliz tarde"...was that just a typo on their part (i.e. should have been "una") since "tarde" is a feminine noun?

and just sharing...

It was interesting to note that in this context the adjective is coming before the noun it's modifying.

Whereas in English (or at least in the US) we would use basically the imperative, like a command, "Have a good afternoon." in Spanish (or at least in Colombia) the custom is to express it as an aspiration.. "That (or better "May") you have a happy afternoon."

Maybe she could have also said "buena" (like "good" in the English expression), but I rather like "feliz"...not just a "good" afternoon, but one that makes you smile. grin

  • Posted Nov 23, 2009
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  • una is correct - 0068e2f4 Nov 23, 2009 flag
  • Que tengas muy buenas tardes --- Have a happy afternoon. - 0068e2f4 Nov 23, 2009 flag

8 Answers

3 Vote

Arnold3, you're right on all accounts. The reason we use "tenga" is because we are wishing and not demanding. If we demand something, we use the imperative form, in this case "ten." Obviously, it would be ridiculous to demand in this case.

The noun/adjective sequence works both ways, depending on the words involved. Lucky you! This is memory stuff.

3 Vote

Que tenga muy buenas tardes = Good afternoon

Que tanga muy buenas noches = Have a good night

Good night = Hasta mañana

Buenas noches (Good evening) Señor Arnold, ¿cómo está usted? --- Good evening Mr Arnold , how are you?

When you say bye bye is Hasta mañana. When you greet someone in the evening then that is Buenas noches.

You can say Buenas noches to greet someone or to say bye bye, but the context will define that.

3 Vote

An another thought on this...I think the "Espero..." is implied. "Espero que tenga una feliz tarde".

¿"UnA tarde"? ¿Feminino, no?

  • una is correct - 0068e2f4 Nov 23, 2009 flag
  • FemininA - Eddy Nov 23, 2009 flag
  • I was thinking that "feminino" was always in the masculine - realize that's only when used as a noun. Thanks. - DR1960 Nov 23, 2009 flag
2 Vote

Que tenga una feliz tarde!...... Have a good evening!


Que tenga un buen día!...... Have a good day!!

Your analisis is right!!!

  • tarde is afternoon not evening - 0068e2f4 Nov 23, 2009 flag
  • There is no word for "evening" right? - ian-hill Nov 23, 2009 flag
1 Vote

your question about "un" and "una". Tarde is a feminine noun, and normally you would say "la tarde", but in spanish you can drop the a in "una" when it doesn't flow right with the words in the sentence. This is what my spanish tutor told me. Sometimes the word "un" is used simply because it flows better and sounds better, or is less clumsy than sayig "una". Try saying it this way, "Que tenga una feliz tarde". While it is appropriate from a grammar standpoint, it probably sounds better to say "que tenga un feliz tarde" and it rolls off our tongue easier, si?

0 Vote

its saying to have a happy evening. que tenga=like you have but the you is silent un feliz=a happy tarde=evening cheese

  • Thanks. I do know translation, :-) I was interested in discussing the grammar. - arnold3 Nov 23, 2009 flag
0 Vote

You use 'buenas noche' from 8:00 pm and on. Until 8:00, it is tarde, this is the word for afternoon and early evening.

0 Vote

In Bolivia "tarde" is until the sun goes down - about 6 to 7pm - after that it is "noche".

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