SER and ESTAR – Spanish verbs “to be”

There are two verbs “to be” in Spanish language – SER and ESTAR. With the help of these verbs we can say “I am, you are, he is” and so on. The difference between SER and ESTAR is:

  • SER is used to indicate a constant state, for example: name, occupation, profession, origin, nationality, relation, time, date, identity, permanent characteristic, physical description, location of an event.
  • ESTAR is used to indicate a temporal state, for example: temporal location, status, activity, health, position, emotion, temporary condition.

These verbs are irregular, so their conjugation should just be memorized.

Conjugation of the verb SER – to be:

Yo soyI am
Tú eresYou are
Él esHe is
Ella esShe is
Usted esYou are (formal)
Nosotros(-as) somosWe are
Vosotros(-as) soisYou are(plural)
Ellos(-as) sonThey are
Ustedes sonYou are (formal, plural)

What are (-AS) endings? Spanish is a gender-based language. One says nosotros when the speakers are male or mixed-gender groups, and one says nosotras when the speakers are female. The same with vosotros and vosotras, ellos and ellas.

Usted is a formal (polite) pronoun you, and ustedes is plural formal pronoun you. In most of countries of Latin America ustedes is used as plural you instead of vosotros. Vosotros is used widely only in Spain.

Conjugation of the verb ESTAR – to be

Yo estoyI am
Tú estásYou are
Él estáHe is
Ella estáShe is
Usted estáYou are (formal)
Nosotros(-as) estamosWe are
Vosotros(-as) estáisYou are(plural)
Ellos(-as) estánThey are
Ustedes estánYou are (formal, plural)

Examples

Ser joven – To be young

Yo soy joven – I am young

Él es joven – He is young

Ellos son jóvenes – They are young

Estar sano – To be healthy

Él está sano – He is healthy

Ella está sana – She is healthy

Ser de Costa Rica – To be from Costa Rica

Ellos son de Costa Rica – They are from Costa Rica

Estar ocupado – to be busy

Nosotros estamos ocupados – We are busy
Ella está ocupada – She is busy

Usted es ocupado – You are busy

Estar enfermo – to be ill

Él está enfermo – he is ill

Ella está enferma – They are ill

Ellas están enfermas – They (females) are ill

Yo soy actor – I am an actor

Nosotros estamos ocupados – we are busy

Lucila es maestra – Lucila is a teacher

Ellos están en la lección – they are at the lesson

Ellas son lindas – they are cute (females)

El pelo es oscuro – the hair is dark

Los hamsters no son rápidos – the hamsters are not fast

El libro está en la biblioteca – the book is in the library

Vosotros estáis sanos – you are healthy

¿Estás contento? – are you glad?

Ella es pequeña – she is short

Ellos son libres – they are free

Las ciudades son grandes – the cities are big

Ella es maestra y está ocupada ahora – She is a teacher and (she) is busy now

Mi hermana está en aeropuerto – My sister is in airport

Javier es de Venezuela – Javier is from Venezuela

Fernando está listo – Fernando is ready

La música es rudiosa – The music is loud

La botella está vacía – The bottle is empty

Build sentences with these nouns and adjectives using all that you learned in this and the previous lesson:

ocupado – busy
bueno – good
lindo – cute
rápido – fast
oscuro – dark
el chico – guy
la chica – girl
corto – short
libre – free
el humano – human,
la carretera – road
la familia – family
la camisa – shirt
contento – glad
la lección – lesson
hermoso – beautiful
el hermano – brother
la hermana – sister
el diseñador – designer,
la amiga – friend (female)
el amigo – friend (male)
interesante – interesting
el maestro – teacher (male)
la maestra – teacher (female)
la biblioteca – library
grande – big

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