Verb SER – ESTAR in Spanish

Ser and Estar (To be)

 

Learning the uses of Ser and Estar (to be) can seem difficult at the beginning because they are just one verb in most languages. But if you dedicate a little bit of extra time to these 2 verbs and learn the uses, conjugations, and differences between those 2, you will be fine. Plus, you will see them EVERYWHERE in Spanish, so even if you can’t nail them from the beginning, you will just get used to their uses, by seeing them all the time.

 

Conjugation verb SER

 

 

I am Yo soy
You are eres
He, she is Él, ella, usted es
We are Nosotros somos
They are Ellos, ellas, ustedes son

 

Uses of verb SER

We use SER to describe things as they are. We use it when we talk about what defines a person. Things that can’t be easily changed. Things that belong to the nature and personality of the person. In one word, things that are permanent.

Examples verb SER:

 

Talking about others’ identity

Physical description, personality, character, nationality, race, gender, profession, origin etc. All these things are part of our nature, are permanent conditions that can’t be changed.

Things like: I am tall, she is Colombian, they are smart, we are students, he is fun etc…

  • Yo soy mujer (I am a woman)
  • Tú eres colombiano (You are Colombian)
  • Él es estudiante (He is a student)
  • Ella es ingeniera (She is an Engineer)
  • Usted es honesto (You are honest)
  • Nosotros somos Americanos (We are American)
  • Ustedes son inteligentes (You guys are smart)
  • Ellas son altas (They are tall)
  • Ellos son delgados (They are skinny)

What things are made of

Because that is also the nature of the thing, it can’t be changed.

The ring is made of silver, the chair is made of plastic, etc…

  • El anillo es de plata (The ring is made of silver)
  • La mesa es de madera (The table is made of wood)
  • El vaso es de vidrio (The glass is made of glass)
  • La hoja es de papel (The sheet is made of paper)
  • La silla es de plastico (The chair is made of plastic)

Events or moments in time:

Dates, days, seasons, time, events, concerts, parties

The concert is on Sunday, the party is tomorrow, my birthday is in Spring etc…

  • El concierto es mañana (The concert is tomorrow)
  • La cita es el domingo (The appointment is on Sunday)
  • La reunión es el 14 de enero (The meeting is on January 14th)
  • Mi cumpleaños es en la primavera (My birthday is in Spring)

Relationships

He is my cousin, we are brothers, she is my mom, they are my friends, etc…

  • Ella es mi hermana (She is my sister)
  • Él es mi primo (he is my cousin)
  • Nosotros somos amigos (We are friends)
  • Ellas son mis vecinas (They are my neighbors)
  • Ellos son mis padres (They are my parents)

Uses of verb Estar

We use Estar for things that are NOT permanent, that means, for things that are temporary and can be easily changed. Something that is being at the moment. We also use it to talk about the current location of something or someone.

Examples verb ESTAR

Our mood, our emotional or physical state, our feelings at the moment:

Feelings/moods/emotions, physical conditions or appearances.

I’m tired, she is sick, we are sad, they are upset etc.

  • Yo estoy enfermo
  • Tu estas feliz
  • Usted está triste
  • Ella está preocupada
  • Él esta enojado
  • Nosotros estamos cansados
  • Ustedes están equivocados
  • Ellas están aburridas
  • Ellos están sorprendidos

civil state

I’m married, she is single, we are divorced, he is dead

  • Yo estoy soltera
  • Tu estás divorciado
  • Nosotros estamos casados
  • Ellos están muertos

Location of people or things

The say where someone or something is at the moment, (not events) but NOT to say where they are from.

My mon is in Peru, we are in Mexico, the kids are at school

  • El libro esta en la mesa (The book is on the table)
  • Marta esta en Perú (Marta is in Peru)
  • Yo estoy en Argentina (I am in Argentina)
  • Nosotros estamos en México (We are in Mexico)
  • El perro está en la sala (the dog is in the living room)
  • La llave está en mi bolso (The key is in my purse)

SUMARY

SER: We use it for permanent things

ESTAR: We use it for temporary things (and locations)

 

PRACTICE

 

Ellos —–en la cocina preparando el almuerzo

Ustedes ——muy amables conmigo

Ellas —–bajitas y bonitas

Él —–en una reunión de trabajo

Nosotros —– amigos desde pequeños

Tú —– en mi casa de visita

Ella —–en el cine con Maria

Ellas —–en la tienda de ropa

Tú —– en el parque con los niños

El —– muy fuerte

Tú —– en el campo

El —–en clase de matemáticas

Ustedes ——bajo la lluvia

Ellos —– parientes de mi novia

Ustedes ——en la sala de mi casa

 

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