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Primero mi pregunta en español:

¿Es la frase "tiene programada" gramaticalmente correcta en español? y, si es así, ¿por qué no uno escribe "tiene programado?"

Details in English:

I recently came across the following:

El hombre tiene programada una reunión.
The man has scheduled a meeting.

Up to this point in my Spanish language education, I had not learned of constructs combining "tener" with "past participles" (which is what I thought this was initially). Later, when I looked at it more closely, I wondered why "tiene programado" had not been written instead of "tiene programada." I am assuming this is not a mistake, but intentional. I also assume that the reason it is "programada" and not "programado" is because it is corresponding with "reunión," a feminine noun. Can anybody reading this explain the grammar and logic that underlies this construction?

As always, thanks in advance.

Detalles en español:

Recientemente encontré la siguiente:

El hombre tiene programada una reunión.
The man has scheduled a meeting.

Hasta ahora en mi educación del idioma español, no había aprendido de constructos combinando "tener" con "participios pasados" (que es lo que pensé esta frase era inicialmente). Después, cuando la examiné más atentamente, me pregunté por qué "tiene programado" no se había escrito en lugar de "tiene programada." Asumo que esta frase no es un error, pero intencional. Asumo también que la razón "programada" se había escrito y no "programado" es porque se corresonde con "reunión," un sustantivo feminino. ¿Puede alguien leyendo esto explicar la gramática y lógico que subyace a este construcción?

Como siempre, gracias de antemano.

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  • I think it will be more intuitively clear to you if you look at this intermediate step: "El hombre tiene una reunión programada para las 2 de la tarde." Then, other related sentences that will help you are: "La reunión está programada para las 2," "La reunión que está programada para las 2 va a tener mucha gente." You've got a noun and an adjective which are nicely gender-coordinated, but as things move around to different places in the sentence, that gender coordination bond never breaks. – aparente001 May 2 '17 at 4:03
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The Spanish participle has two forms or main uses. One is used in the construction of compound tenses, with the auxiliary haber; this one is invariable (it doesn't take number or gender but always ends in -o). The other works like an adjective and therefore takes number and gender as appropriate.

In your example, just as you deduced, the reason why it's programada (feminine singular) is because the participle is agreeing with reunión. It could also be plural:

El hombre tiene programadas varias reuniones (hoy).
"The man has several meetings scheduled (for today)."

The verb haber comes from Latin habere that meant "to have" (note: the similarity with the English verb is coincidental). In time, Latin came to use this verb as an auxiliary to form certain compound tenses. This must have come from the semantic relationship between "having something done" and "having done something".

From that we got two usages: the one that you found, with tener, and the one that is grammaticalized as a compound tense (haber + invariable participle). In some cases these are more-or-less interchangeable:

Ya he hecho mi tarea. = "I have already done my homework."
Ya tengo hecha mi tarea. = "I have my homework done already."

This is not so in the example you mentioned.

El hombre tiene programada una reunión. = "The man has a meeting scheduled."
El hombre ha programado una reunión. = "The man has scheduled a meeting."

In the first case the man has a meeting (probably set by someone else) in his schedule; in the second, he himself has scheduled the meeting (for himself and others).

The other main use for the finite participle (i. e. the one that takes number and gender) is the passive voice:

Varias reuniones fueron programadas para hoy.
"Several meetings were scheduled for today."

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  • I know I'm not supposed to do this, but all I can say is: Muy bien hecho, Pablo. That answered my question and then some. Thank you for taking the time to do so and do it so quickly, too. Mil gracias, mi amigo. – Lisa Beck May 1 '17 at 16:03
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Estás en lo cierto: programada se concuerda con reunión en femenino.

El adjetivo debe concordar con el sustantivo en género, número y caso, al igual que el artículo y el participio, por ser considerados como adjetivos.

A mi entender, esta frase es un caso de:

Sujeto      verbo   objeto-directo
El hombre   tiene   la reunión programada

El objecto directo esta compuesto por:

Artículo-determinado   sustantivo   adjetivo/participio
la                     reunión      programada

Es por lo tanto de esperar, que programada se concuerda con reunión, y no con El hombre.

Otros ejemplos similares:

La mujer tiene un paquete entregado

El perro come la carne roja.

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"Tiene programado" is also grammatically correct. It depends on what it is referring to:

The following sentences are correct:

Él tiene programada una reunión

Él tiene programado un encuentro

On the other hand, the following ones are incorrect:

Él tiene programada un encuentro (gender disagreement between "programada" and "encuentro")

Él tiene programado una reunión (gender disagreement between "programado" and "reunión")

Remember: "programada" refers to "reunión" (therefore, there has to be gender/number agreement between them), not to the subject of the sentence.

A tip: you can switch positions like this:

Él tiene programada una reunión ... Él tiene una reunión programada

Él tiene programado un encuentro ... Él tiene un encuentro programado

Here you have other examples using the "tener+participle+noun" construction:

Ella tiene sucia su casa

Ella tiene encendido su teléfono

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