Conjugating and Using ESTAR in Sentences

SER and ESTAR are the two forms of the verb to be in Spanish. ESTAR is an irregular verb that you must know as it is really common in the language. In this lesson, we will learn to conjugate ESTAR in Spanish and see this verb in use through sentences. Plus, you can test yourself at the end of the lesson with an interactive quiz. Let’s begin…

Introductory video: Using SER and ESTAR in Spanish

We will begin the lesson with a short video explaining the basics about the verbs SER and ESTAR in Spanish. The video includes several example of situations where we might use them. Pay attention to the examples using ESTAR in the video and the main differences with SER. Make sure to stick until the end of the video as it will help you understand the rest of the lesson more easily.

Grammar video quiz: The verb to be in Spanish

This simple quiz will test if you understood the major points explained in the video about the verbs SER and ESTAR. You can play the video again to find the answers in case you have doubts.

How to conjugate ESTAR in Spanish in the present tense

Since ESTAR is an irregular verb, “un verbo irregular”, it will change depending on the subject of the sentence. That being said, ESTAR will change to ESTOY for the pronoun YO as in “Yo estoy enojado”, for TÚ we will use ESTÁS as in “Tú estás hambriento”, and for ÉL, USTED and ELLA we will use ESTÁ as in “Él está enfermo”. Remember you can omit the pronoun but keep the correct conjugation of the verb.

For the pronoun NOSOTROS, ESTAR will be conjugated as  ESTAMOS like in “Nosotros estamos felices”and for VOSOTROS we will use ESTÁIS as in “Vosotros estáis felices”. Finally, for the pronouns USTEDES and ELLOS, we will use ESTÁN. Please remember to put a tilde over the right vowel when needed. Here is a picture showing how to conjugate ESTAR in Spanish for all the pronouns.

The verb ESTAR in Spanish (to be)
El verbo ESTAR en español

Ways to use the verb ESTAR in Spanish

Talking about states in Spanish with ESTAR

One of the most popular uses of ESTAR is for talking about about emotional, health or any other temporary states in Spanish. These states are often represented by words like enfermo(sick), enojado (angry) or hambiento (hungry) that tend to change over time. For instance, today someone might be “enfermo” and tomorrow “saludable”.

Yo estoy feliz (with feelings and emotions)
I am happy
Estoy enfermo (with health state and omitting the pronoun YO)
I am sick
estás emocionado (with feelings – sentimientos)
You are excited
¿Cómo estás (tú)? (asking for states)
How are you?
Él está de acuerdo (for opinions – not a literal translation)
He agrees
La comida está helada (to describe the state of something)
The food is cold

Using ESTAR plus prepositions in Spanish to indicate location

Another very common use of ESTAR is indicate the location of things or people. We use ESTAR plus prepositions in Spansh to say where objects are placed. Prepositions of place, “las preposiciones de lugar”, and ESTAR are very useful when giving directions too. The sentences below show some sentences using ESTAR with prepositions to talk about location, focusing on the conjugations for NOSOTROS and VOSOTROS.

Nosotros ya estamos aquí (notice the word for already is placed after the pronoun)
We are here already
Estamos en Estados Unidos
We are in the US
¿En qué piso estáis vosotros? (using the preposition of place EN)
You are excited
¿Vosotros estáis frente a la casa o detrás de la casa?
Are you in front of the house or behind it?

Using ESTAR for the present progressive

The verb ESTAR plays the role of an auxiliary verb for the present progressive in Spanish, that is actions in progress for sentences like “Yo estoy estudiando” (I am studying). ESTAR will be conjugated normally for all the pronouns as it was done previously, but the main verb will be used with an “-ando” or “-iendo” ending. Moreover, ESTAR will be used when talking about the weather in a specific day, the seasons, days and months. Here are several examples of sententes using ESTAR in Spanish for feelings and other states. Here is the last group of sentences using ESTAR for the present progressive in Spanish and the weather.

Sentences using the irregular verb ESTAR(to be)
Estamos en enero (with months of the year)
We are in January
Ellos están en primavera (right now they are in this season)
They are in spring
Ella está trabajando (action in progress)
She is working

Lesson quiz: Using ESTAR in Spanish

This short quiz has some exercises about the verb ESTAR in Spanish, its conjugations and the situations in which you might need it. It is very simple and will highlight the most important things in the lesson.