The Uses of Ser and Estar
Ser and Estar are two completely different verbs that both mean "to be." I know, it's strange, Estar means to be in a terporary sense and ser means to be in a more permanent sense. This is not always the case. It is just an easier way for you to remember it. To begin our learning, we have a chart explaining the present tense conjugation of ser and estar.
The verb ser is used in the following ways:
- To describe an object
Ella es una profesora. She is a teacher.
- To indicate ownership, origen, or the material of which somthing is made
Esa lapiz es mío. Es de México y es de madera. That pencil is mine. It is from Mexico and is made of wood.
- To describe qualities and characteristics
Sancho es alto. Él es pobre. Sancho is tall. He is poor.
- With the Past Participle to create the passive voice
- To indicate time, dates, and seasons.
Hoy es domingo. Mañana es el día primero del otoño. Son las once en la noche. Today is Sunday. Tomorrow is the first day of autumn. It is eleven o'clock at night.
- To indicate time or location of an event.
La próxima reunión es el martes. Es en el escuela. The next meeting is Tuesday. It is in the school.
- To for certain expressions
Es imporante asistir sus clases. Es fácil aprender español. It is important to attend your classes. It is easy to learn Spanish.
The verb estar is used in the following ways (El verbo estar está usado en estas maneras):
- To indicate location
Mi lapiz está en mi cuarto. México, D.F. está en México. My pencil is in my room. Mexico City is en Mexico.
- With the Present Participle.
- With an adjective to desrcibe states and conditions
¡Este café está frío! Mi amiga está triste. This coffee is cold! Mi friend is
- With the Past Participle.
If you have have any questions or problems with the uses of ser and estar or would like to tell me something about this page. Please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use the subject "Ser v. Estar" in your letter.
© 1997 by Joseph Holder