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que tiene que te vea desnuda, soy tu madre.

This is a caption of a TikTok video that popped up on my feed complaining about the fact that some parents ask their children to be naked in front of them, even if it makes them uncomfortable. Graphic, I know, but that aside, what does que tiene mean here?

At first I thought that tiene que goes together to mean "it has to". This is soon ruled out when I saw the verb ver (to see) in the first person singular present subjunctive form (vea).

As such, I can make out

que te vea desnuda, soy tu madre.

to be something along the lines of "Let me see you naked, I am your mother." (que is used here as a command). But then, what does que tiene mean? This is a full sentence, it seems, since it is inside quotation marks, and there is literally no more on-screen text except for this.

Can someone please help me clear this up in English? Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

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3 Answers 3

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In:

  • Qué tiene que te vea desnuda.

the first "qué" is a pronoun ("what" in English) and takes a stress, while the second "que" is a conjunction ("that" in English) and takes no stress.

The sentence can be understood to be short for:

  • Qué tiene de malo que te vea desnuda. (What's wrong with seeing you naked.)

The sentence is a rhetorical question that can be interpreted as related to this assertion:

  • Que te vea desnuda no tiene nada de malo. (That I see you naked has nothing wrong about it.) "Que te vea desnuda" is the subject and "nada de malo" is the object.

In the rhetorical question, "nada de malo" ("nothing wrong about it") is replaced with the pronoun "qué" ("what").

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  • Thank you so much for restoring the full sentence, this cleared up a lot! Using "to have" with an adjective initially confused me very much when I said it out loud in English, but then I remembered that my native language (Vietnamese) also has the same construction ("chẳng có gì xấu"). Mar 13, 2022 at 14:13
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The literal translation is:

  • What's the matter if I see you naked, I'm your mother

A phrase that can be replaced by this other with the same meaning:

  • Qué importa que te vea desnuda, soy tu madre

Maybe it's an abbreviation for:

  • Qué tiene de raro que te vea desnuda, soy tu madre

(What's so wired about seeing you naked, I'm your mother)

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  • So, "que tiene" means "What's the matter"? May I ask how is it translated as such when "que tiene" literally translates to: "that [?] he/she/it has"? Mar 11, 2022 at 13:12
  • @lil'barbussy It’s an idiomatic expression eg see the discussion here forum.wordreference.com/threads/qu%C3%A9-tienes.95642
    – Traveller
    Mar 11, 2022 at 21:49
  • What's wrong with is better.
    – Lambie
    Mar 12, 2022 at 18:22
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Qué tiene que te vea desnuda, soy tu madre.

means:

So what if I see you naked, I'm your mother.

[this is not really what's wrong with.]

It's colloquial in Spanish.

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