To be or not to be
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To be or not to be?. So far we have learned two ways to express the concept of “to be”: ser estar In this slide show, we’ll look more closely at the differences between these two verbs. Ser.

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To be or not to be

To be or not to be?

  • So far we have learned two ways to express the concept of “to be”:

    • ser

    • estar

  • In this slide show, we’ll look more closely at the differences between these two verbs.


To be or not to be

Ser

  • Let’s start with ser, the first verb we learned. This verb is used to talk about essential things (essential ≈ es).

  • Think of the acronymT.O.P.I.C.


T ime

Time

  • The first letter of T.O.P.I.C. stands for “time.” When we talk about time in Spanish, we always use ser:

    • ¿Qué hora es?

    • Son las 3:30.

    • Hoy es lunes.


O rigin

Origin

  • The second letter of T.O.P.I.C. stands for “origin.” We use ser to talk about where people are from:

    • Soy de Chicago.

    • Marta es venezolana.


P rofessions

Professions

  • We can also use ser to talk about people’s jobs:

    • Mi hermano es ingeniero.

    • Ellas son profesoras.


I dentification

Identification

  • The fourth letter of T.O.P.I.C. refers to “identification.” This can be used to name people:

    • Ella es mi prima.

  • places:

    • Springfield es la capital de Illinois.

  • things:

    • ¿Qué tipo de animal es?

    • Es un león.

  • and events (“takes place”)

    • La fiesta es en la casa de Alicia.


I dentification1

Identification

  • You also use ser to identify possession (i.e., who owns what):

    • Es mi diccionario.

    • Esta no es mi calculadora.


C haracteristics

Characteristics

  • The fifth and final letter of T.O.P.I.C. stands for permanent “characteristics”:

    • El perro es inteligente.

    • El perro es blanco y marrón.

    • El perro es simpático.


C haracteristics1

Characteristics

  • This use also includes descriptions of people, places, and things:

    • Marcos y Flora son fuertes.

    • Chicago es una ciudad grande.

    • La clase de español es divertida.


T o p i c

T.O.P.I.C.

  • To review, the main uses of ser include:

    • Time

    • Origin

    • Professions

    • Identification

    • Characteristics

  • There are other uses, too, but this acronym covers the most important cases!


Estar

Estar

  • Now we can look at estar. This verb is used to talk about states (estar≈ state).

  • Think of the acronymP.L.A.C.E.


P osition

Position

  • The first letter of the acronym P.L.A.C.E. stands for “position.” We use estar when we talk about where something is located, whether it is there temporarily…

    • David está en el desierto.

    • Juana no está en clase hoy.

    • Mi abuelo está en casa.


L ocation

Location

  • … or permanently located there (the second letter of P.L.A.C.E.):

    • Chicago está en Illinois.

    • La iglesia está en la Avenida Foster.

    • Madrid está en España.


A ction

Action

  • The third letter of P.L.A.C.E. stands for “action.” We use estar when we are talking about actions that are occurring at the moment of speaking (sometimes referred to as the “present continuous” or “present progressive”):

    • Laura está esquiando.

    • Humbero está leyendo la Biblia.

    • Estamos mirando una película.


C ondition

Condition

  • The fourth letter of P.L.A.C.E. stands for “condition.” We use estar to talk about temporary states (for example, health):

    • Enrique está enfermo.

    • Mis padres están cansados.

    • ¿Cómo estás?


E motion

Emotion

  • The last letter of P.L.A.C.E. stands for “emotion.” We use estar to talk about feelings and emotions.

    • Alicia está enfadada.

    • Lorenzo y María están contentos.

    • Estoy nervioso porque tengo un examen de literatura.


P l a c e

P.L.A.C.E.

  • To review, the main uses of estar include:

    • Position

    • Location

    • Action

    • Condition

    • Emotion

  • There are other uses, too, but this acronym covers the most important cases!


Let s practice

Let’s practice!

  • Choose the correct form according to the context.

  • ¿Cómo es/está tu hermano?

  • Es/Está enfermo. Hoy es/está en el hospital para una prueba de sangre (blood test).


Ser o estar

¿Ser o estar?

  • ¿Cómo está tu hermano?

  • Está enfermo. Hoy está en el hospital para una prueba de sangre (blood test).

  • Why?

    • Condition/condition/location


Otro por favor

Otro, por favor…

  • ¿De quién (whose)es/está el disco compacto?

  • ¿Cuál? (which one)

  • El disco compacto que es/está en el escritorio. Es/Está negro.

  • Creo que es/está de Julio.


Muy bien

¡Muy bien!

  • ¿De quién es el disco compacto?

  • ¿Cuál?

  • El disco compacto que está en el escritorio. Es negro.

  • Creo que es de Julio.

  • Why?

    • identification/position/

      characteristic/identification


Here s another

Here’s another!

  • ¿Dónde es/está Ana?

  • Es/está en el parque. Es/Está con Nuria.

  • ¿Qué son/están haciendo allí?

  • Son/están jugando al tenis.


Last one

Last one!

  • ¿Dónde está Ana?

  • Está en el parque. Está con Nuria.

  • ¿Qué están haciendo allí?

  • Están jugando al tenis.

  • Why?

    • Location/location/location/

      action/action


Eso es todo

Eso es todo!

  • That’s enough for now about ser and estar. Be vigilant of these two verbs; try to guess which letter of the two acronyms is most applicable in every case.


Gracias

¡Gracias!

  • Thanks to Lisa Jones (FLTEACH listserve member) for the acronyms!


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