• Alejandra Dubeibe

¿Ser o Estar?

Updated: Oct 15, 2020


¡Hola! Yo soy Alejandra y estoy bien. These innocent little sentences contain the two verbs which are essential to start speaking the language. Can you guess which ones are those verbs? There is a clue in the title of the article! Yes, two of the most challenging verbs to learn in Spanish are ser y estar. Not only due to the fact they are completely irregular but also because unlike other languages, Spanish has two verbs to express different uses of the English verb to be. When do you have to use them? What are the differences between the two of them? How can I use them in a sentence? Do not panic! This article will give you some tips and will help you to understand the basic uses of these two verbs and create awesome senteces!


The first thing you need to know!


The conjugation. In Spanish it's always necessary to conjugate the verb according to the person. Therefore, let us introduce you the people in Spanish with their equivalents in English! Note that usted is the formal version of and ustedes the formal version of vosotros in Spain (you will find more information about this topic in our other article). However, ustedes is also used in Latin America to talk about you (plural). In other words, Latin America does not use vosotros. Without any further ado, may I introduce you the people in Spanish:

But where is the conjugation? Do not worry, we will also introduce you the conjugation.

The second thing you need to know.

When to use them. We, as Spanish teachers, always recommend learning two simple words. These words will avoid any confusion when creating sentences in Spanish. The words are doctor and place.

As simple as that. You can ser a doctor and you can estar in a place. We will give you a couple of examples of each one of the letters mentioned in the acronym.


SER

DATE: Hoy es 2 de febrero [Today is February 2nd].

OCCUPATION: Yo soy profesora [I am a teacher].

CHARACTERISTICS: Yo soy rubia [I am blond].

TIME: Son las 5 de la tarde [It's 5 in the aftenoon].

ORIGIN: Ella es española [She is Spanish].

RELATION: Tú eres mi hermana [You are my sister]


ESTAR

POSITION: Yo estoy de pie [I am standing].

LOCATION: La lámpara está encima de la mesa [The lamp is on the table].

ACTION: Vosotros estáis de viaje [You guys are traveling].

CONDITION: Él esta bien [He is fine].

EMOTION: Nosotros estamos felices [We are happy].


Ok. Now that you now the basics of ser and estar. It's time to practice!


ACTIVITY

1.- Read the following text and underline the verbs.

2.- Divide which sentences are using ser and which sentences are using estar.

2.- Try to tell why are those sentences using ser/estar according to the acronyms D.O.C.T.O.R and P.L.A.C.E.

Text

Would you like to receive some feedback on your answers? Do you know someone else struggling with ser/estar? Would you like to receive more examples of ser and estar and become a total expert? Do you have any questions?Just contact us! We are here to help.

We hope you have enjoyed this article, any kind of feedback would be appreaciated. Estamos felices de compartir este artículo y esperamos que estén bien [We are happy to share this article and we hope you are well].

¡Hasta el próximo artículo!

¡Nos vemos pronto!


Ser or Estar - Spanish lesson:

Watch this video if you would like to learn more about Ser and Estar.


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