In English, I may ask, "do you have tea?" to a waiter or waitress. This "you" may be plural since asking, "do you all (y'all) have tea?" makes sense, but I guess it could also be singular (more along the lines of asking if the waiter has the ability to bring tea).

In Spanish, I can think of a few options, but don't know what's best:

  • ¿Tienes té?
  • ¿Tiene (usted) té?
  • ¿Tiene (el restaurante) té?
  • ¿Tienen té?
  • The following constructs are also usual in some parts of the Spanish world: "Hay té?", "Puedo pedir un té?" Nov 24, 2013 at 5:33

2 Answers 2


The normal one is the last alternative. The implicit person is the second, plural : the people who own/work at the restaurant.

¿Tienen (ustedes) té?   

In Spain, you could also use vosotros ("¿Tenéis té?") but that would be imply some informality-familiarity (analogous to "tuteo" in the second singular person), so you'd probably better stick with the "ustedes" form.

  • 5
    Please note that the difference between second person 'ustedes' and second person 'vosotros' is not only per zones, it is also about formality. "Tienen (ustedes) té" is always preferable if you do not know the people working there, since "Tenéis (vosotros) té" implies some degree of familiarity even in Spain.
    – Envite
    Nov 23, 2013 at 19:46

In some Latin American countries you could even use "¿hay té?" which is more personal but accepted.

  • This can be used in Spain as well, but as said, it has some degree of familiarity. It is more used at stores than at restaurants. 'Tienen'/'Tenéis' is generally preferred.
    – Envite
    Nov 27, 2013 at 9:43
  • In Spain the pluscuamperfecto is strong, in other countries, but maybe Argeentina, those forms of the verbs, like in Italian, have been lost. They are too complicated for most people since they require good studies of their own language. Yes, Teneis is totally formal, however, iff you are in a cafe in countries other than Argentina or Spain, the use of those complicated verbs can make you look like a rich person or a wannabe. It may be a little stressfull for some people. But the proper spanissh is supposed to use Teneis. Dec 5, 2013 at 0:55
  • 'Tenéis' is not "pluscuamperfecto", it is Simple Present.
    – Envite
    Dec 5, 2013 at 6:31

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