Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

Quick Spanish No.1: "¡Que tengas ...!"

Cute DogIn English, when you say to someone: "Have a good day!" you're not ordering them to have a good day, you are expressing a wish: "I hope you have ...." or "May you have ..."

When you wish someone a good day, etc. in Spanish, you are saying something similar:

"¡Que tengas un buen día!" (familiar) and "¡Que tenga un buen día!" (formal) both mean "[May you] have a good day!"

 I hope that...

The verb form that is used in such wishes is the subjunctive mood. Look at the difference:

 

Tienes un buen día. - You are having a good day.

¡Que tengas un buen día! - Have a good day!

The combination "que+subjunctive" implies "may ..." or "I hope that ..."

Following are a few other common wishes in Spanish:

¡Que tengas una buena estancia! - Have a good stay!

¡Que tengas suerte! - Good luck! (May you have luck!)

¡Que tengas buen viaje! - Have a good trip!

¡Que te mejores! - Get well soon! (May you get better!)

¡Que (te) vaya bien! - Good luck (to you)! / I hope it goes well (for you)!

¡Que aproveche! - Enjoy your meal! (Spain)

Getting the feel for the context in which the subjunctive is used (rather than learning a bunch of rules) is a good way to start learning this verb form. ¡Que te vaya bien!