As we have seen in previous lessons, the verb to be in Spanish has two forms: SER and ESTAR. Both of them are irregular verbs. In this lesson, we will learn to conjugate SER in Spanish for all the pronouns and will see this verb in use in real sentences. This lesson includes several nice resources for you to see the verb in use and practice too.
Introductory video: The verbs SER and ESTAR in Spanish
We will begin the lesson with a short video explaining the basics about both SER and ESTAR. The video includes several examples of situations in which we might use them. This video was also part of our lesson about ESTAR, so if you have studied that lesson before, then many things will make more sense now. Pay attention to the examples in the video and the main differences between both verbs.
Grammar video quiz: The verb to be in Spanish
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- Question 1 of 3
Drag the correct conjugation of the verb SER for each subject pronoun
- Question 2 of 3
Drag the correct conjugation of the verb ESTAR for each pronoun
- Question 3 of 3
SER indicates a permanent state, whereas ESTAR indicates a transitory state. Please choose the best conjugation of both verbs to complete each sentence
- Yo (estoy) triste hoy. ( I am sad today)
- Él (es) alto. (he is tall)
- Nosotros (somos) amigos. (we are friends)
- Ella (está) aburrida. (she is bored)
- Hoy (es) lunes. (today is monday)
- El clima (está) soleado. (the weather is sunny)
- Mi mamá (es) enfermera. (my mom is a nurse)
- Ellos (están) jugando. (they are playing)
How to conjugate SER in Spanish in the present tense
As we mentioned before, SER is an irregular verb so it will change its form for most pronouns. First, it will be conjugated as SOY for the pronoun YO, so we will say “Yo soy…”. For the remaining pronouns, we will use these forms: “Tú eres…”, “Vos sos…”, “Él/Ella/Usted es…”, “Nosotros somos…”, “Vosotros sois…” and “Ustedes/Ellos son…”. The picture below shows all the conjugations of SER in the present tense.
How to use the verb SER in sentences
Using SER in Spanish to describe people and other things
SER is normally used in many topics including physical descriptions, to describe houses, to talk about clothes, to say what the weather is like and many other purposes. In general, SER will be used in its form ES to describe a single object and SON for several. The main difference between both SER and ESTAR is that SER describes things that will not change easily over time or that never change at all such as “Él es inteligente” (He is intelligent.) and “La tierra es redonda” (the earth is round.).
As you can see in the examples, SER is used with adjectives to describe something. ESTAR has the same use when talking about conditions that will change soon, for example: “El clima está frío”. This last example means that the weather is cold today but maybe it was warm in the past few days. On the other hand, “El clima es frío” means that the weather is always cold in that place. Here are some sentences using SER for descriptions in Spanish
Ella es alta y bonita. (SER for physical appearance)
She is tall and beautiful.
Su vestido es rojo. (SER for colors)
Her dress is red.
La luna es un satélite.
The moon is a satellite
El piano y la guitarra son instrumentos musicales.
The piano and guitar are musical instruments
Ellos son amigables. (SER for personality traits)
They are friendly
Using SER in Spanish to say where you are from, the time and your job
SER is also used to talk about countries and nationalities, “paises y nacionalidades”, to say your country of origin, for telling the time using “ES and SON + the hour” and also for talking about your occupation. Here are some more sentences with SER in Spanish for these purposes.
¿Cómo es la casa? – La casa es lujosa y espaciosa. Está limpia.
What does the house look like? – The house is luxurious and spacious. It’s clean.
¿De dónde eres? – Yo soy de Brasil, pero estoy trabajando en Paraguay.
Where are you from? – I’m from Brazil, but I’m working in Paraguay.
¿Qué hora es? – Es la 1 de la tarde ¿Ya estamos cerca?
What time is it? – It is the 1 pm. Are we close?
¿Qué haces? – Soy maestro. Es un trabajo interesante, pero hoy estoy cansado.
What are you doing? – I am a teacher. It is an interesting job, but I’m tired today.