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¿Ser o Estar?. aka To Be? or To Be?. A Basic Guide for using the verbs that express to be in Spanish. Expressing “to be” in Spanish.

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Ser o estar
¿Ser o Estar?

aka To Be? or To Be?

A Basic Guide for using the verbs that express to be in Spanish.

Steven Johnson, American Language Academy, A.C. September 19,2005

Expressing to be in spanish
Expressing “to be” in Spanish

Spanish has two verbs that mean the same in English as the English verb to be: ser and estar. They are used in different instances. The pages that follow illustrate the conjugation of each verb as well as the most common uses of both verbs.

Ser o estar

(yo) soy (nosotros) (as) somos

(tú) eres

él ellos

ella es ellas son

usted ustedes

(yo) estoy (nosotros) (as) estamos

(tú) estás

él ellos

ella está ellas están

usted ustedes


Ser o estar

La casa de Carla es de madera. (material composition)

Carla es de México. (origen)

Es el libro de Carla. (possession)


Soy maestro.


Mi hermano es gracioso.

Adjectives (NOT result of change)

Es católica.

Son las 2:30.

Es el 23 de mayo.

Tu coche es verde.


many expressions…


Paris está en Francia.

Estoy de vacaciones!

El perro está al lado del gato.

Está conforme. Está inconforme.

Adjectives (result of change)

La ventana está cerrada.

Marc está aburrido.

Miguel está enfermo.

Ser or estar
Ser or Estar…

That is the question!