The first time my Argentine friend asked me ¿me tenés? I was a little confused. By that time, I was at least used to the vos form conjugation of “tener,” but the direct translation “You have me?” left me drawing a blank.
Luckily, I was able to figure this out through context because she was shoving her bag in my face and holding a jacket she wanted to put on in her other hand. I connected the dots and figured out that in this context, ¿me tenés? Meant “Will you hold this for me?
This also works in the vos command form: “Tenémelo” which translates to “hold this for me”
Hopefully reading this will help you avoid any confusion with this phrase. Just imagine if someone you have the hots for said “me tenés” and you assumed it meant they were yours. Sounds like an embarrassing situation waiting to happen.
To learn more about the characteristics of the Argentine Spanish, check out the book Speaking Argento: A Guide to Spanish from Argentina.
Check out these other Argentina Spanish Slang Expressions articles.
Featured photo credit: Holding up the world by Britanglishman via flickr