An often confused topic in Spanish is the distinction between SER and ESTAR, especially for students who have English as their mother tongue. This happens because in English these verbs are translated into TO BE, only one verb and in Spanish we have two verbs (Ser and Estar).

Since both verbs are frequently used in Spanish, students have to learn and study the different contexts where they appear.

Let’s have a look at the chart and study the different uses of SER and ESTAR in Spanish.

free online spanish

General uses of SER:

SER is used to classify and identify permanent or lasting characteristics.

Uses:

  • Date:  eg. Hoy es 22 de febrero.
  • Occupation: eg. Ella es profesora de español.
  • Characteristics: it refers to personality descriptions of a person or permanent attributions of people or things.  e.g. Ana es inteligente. eg. La casa es grande.
  • Time: Son las 4 de la tarde.
  • Origin:  eg. Markus es de Suiza.   eg. Markus es suizo.
  • Relation: eg. Linda es mi madre.
  • Also, since religion is considered a relationship with a higher power, religions are described using SER. eg. Ella es católica.

 

General uses of ESTAR:

ESTAR is used to indicate temporary states and locations.

  • Position: it refers to the physical position of people or things.eg. Mi abuela esta sentada.
  • Location: eg. El gato está en la terraza.
  • Action: estar + verb – gerund to indicate an ongoing action.eg. Ella está estudiando el vocabulario.
  •  Condition: it refers to physical and mental conditions.eg. Los niños están enfermos.
  • Emotion: eg. Estoy triste.

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Now, to test what you have learnt ….

Completa los diálogos con la forma apropiada de ser o estar (presente).

Complete the following sentences using the correct form of Ser or Estar.

1.  ¿De dónde ______________________ tú?

     _________________ de Buenos Aires.

2.  ¿De quién ________________ estas monedas?

    Creo que _________________ de Ana.

3.  ¿A qué hora _______________ la reunión? A las ocho.

4.  Pablo, ya _________________ la una y media.

5.  El padre de Carlos ________________ mecánico ¿no?

    No, no. Su padre  _________________ psicólogo.

6.  ¿Quién _________________________ la novia de Carlos?

     La novia de Carlos ________________ Ingrid.

Completa con ser o estar. (presente)

Complete the following using the correct form of Ser or Estar.

  1. Aquellos chicos _______________ jugando baloncesto.
  2. ¡Qué cansados ________________ los chicos después de jugar!
  3. Ellos  _______________________ hermanos.
  4. Manolito _____________________ llorando por su rana.
  5. La silla ______________________ de color negro.
  6. La profesora __________________ escribiendo en la pizarra.
  7. Pablo y Emilia ________________ hijos de Cecilia.
  8. La familia Sánchez _____________ en la playa.
  9. Vosotros   ____________________ buenos amigos.
  10. ¡Mamá! ¡Aquí  ________________ mi corazón!
  11. Mis amigos ___________________ colombianos.
  12. No es tan tarde, ________________ las diez y media.
  13. Los abuelos ___________________ durmiendo la siesta en la sala.

For details of online courses, contact CVG Speaking Spanish here:

Email Clara if you want to check your answers too 😉

Spain: (+34) 956 856 493
Email: info@intensivespanishonline.com
Skype: speakupspanish1

Website: www.intensivespanishonline.com

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Lisa Sadleir

Founder at Family in Spain SL
We love Family Life In Spain. Join us as we share experiences and essential updates, advice & assistance related to living in and moving to Spain. ¡ Olé !

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