LanguageMate | tenere | Italian - English (British) - Dictionary
Home/Dictionaries/Italian - English (British)/tenere

Italian - English (British) translations for "tenere"

"tenere" Italian translation




The Italian verb tenere means to hold or to keep.

Part of speech



This is is an experimental feature. Please report any issues.

Meaning: to hold

Tengo il libro in mano.

I am holding the book in my hand.

Meaning: to keep

Tieni la porta chiusa.

Keep the door closed.

Meaning: to have

Teniamo una festa stasera.

We are having a party tonight.

Meaning: to maintain

Tiene sempre pulita la sua casa.

She always keeps her house clean.

Meaning: to support

Ti tengo le spalle.

I've got your back.



  • io tengo
  • tu tieni
  • lui/lei tiene
  • noi teniamo
  • voi tenete
  • loro tengono


  • io tenevo
  • tu tenevi
  • lui/lei teneva
  • noi tenevamo
  • voi tenevate
  • loro tenevano


  • io terrò
  • tu terrai
  • lui/lei terrà
  • noi terremo
  • voi terrete
  • loro terranno


  • io avevo tenuto
  • tu avevi tenuto
  • lui/lei aveva tenuto
  • noi avevamo tenuto
  • voi avevate tenuto
  • loro avevano tenuto

Simple Past

  • io tenni
  • tu tenesti
  • lui/lei tenne
  • noi tenemmo
  • voi teneste
  • loro tenerono


This is is an experimental feature. Please report any issues.

A1: Io tengo la penna in mano.

I am holding the pen in my hand.

A2: Tieni la porta aperta, per favore.

Keep the door open, please.

A2: Non tengo molto denaro con me.

I don't have much money with me.

B1: Ho tenuto il segreto per mesi prima di parlarne.

I kept the secret for months before talking about it.

B2: Ti tenevo d'occhio mentre parlavi con lui.

I was keeping an eye on you while you were talking to him.

B2: Se non ti tiene sveglio, prova a bere un caffè forte.

If it doesn't keep you awake, try drinking a strong coffee.

C1: Avevo tenuto il biglietto del concerto come ricordo.

I had kept the concert ticket as a souvenir.

C2: Se avessi tenuto le promesse fatte, ora non saresti in questa situazione.

If you had kept the promises made, you wouldn't be in this situation now.

C2: Tenendo conto delle circostanze, credo che sia meglio rimandare la decisione.

Taking into account the circumstances, I think it's better to postpone the decision.

Advanced Description

This is is an experimental feature. Please report any issues.

Tenere is a versatile verb in Italian that can be used in many different contexts. One of its most common uses is to indicate physical holding or keeping of an object. For example, 'tenere la penna' means 'to hold the pen', while 'tenere la porta chiusa' means 'to keep the door closed'.

However, tenere can also be used in more abstract senses. For instance, it can indicate emotional holding or keeping, as in 'tenere molto alla famiglia' (to care a lot about one's family). It can also be used to express concepts like control or restraint, as in 'tenere sotto controllo' (to keep under control) or 'tenere a freno' (to hold back).

In addition to its various meanings, tenere is a highly irregular verb that requires careful study and memorization. Its conjugation changes significantly depending on the tense and subject pronoun, so it is important for Italian learners to practice using it in context.

View all Italian wordsView other Italian Verbs