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Ser vs. Estar Instrucciones
Spanish - Spanish Instructions

When do you use Ser or Estar - To Be

In Spanish there are two verbs for the verb "to be".
"Ser" and "Estar"

Directions: Look at the different conjugations between "ser" and "estar".

Verb forms of "ser" Verb forms of "estar "
ser estar
yo soy - I am              yo estoy - I am
eres - you are         tú estás - you are
él es - he is                  él está - he is
ella es - she is              ella está - she is
usted es - you are (s) (familiar)            usted está - you are (s) (familiar)
nosotros somos - we are          nosotros estamos - we are
ellos son - they are (m)        ellos están - they are (m)
ellas (f) son - they are           ellas están - they are (f)
ustedes son - you (all) are (pl) (formal)       ustedes están - you (all) are (pl) (formal)
A judgement call is needed when you use the verb "ser" or "estar".
The judgement call that you need to make is whether or not something is going to change,
If it changes, use the verb form "estar."
If it doesn't change use the verb form "ser".


El brazo está quebrado. - The arm is broken.

The arm will change by healing. Use the verb form "está" because it changes.
"Está verb form comes from the verb "Estar".
El coche es viejo. - The car is old.
The car will never change back to being new. Use "es" because it won't change.
"Es" verb form comes from the verb "Ser".

Here are some more rules for Ser and Estar:

Use "estar" with a condition that can change. A condition
is being sick, feeling tired, being bored, being busy etc.
All of these conditions change so you use the verb forms of "esta".
masculine feminine
Estoy aburrido.            Estoy aburrida - I am bored.
Estoy cansado.            Estoy cansada.       - I am tired.
Estoy ocupado.            Estoy ocupada.     - I am busy.
Estoy contento.            Estoy contenta.     - I am happy.
¿Estás aburrido?          ¿Estás aburrida?     - Are you bored?
Él está cansado.           Élla está cansada.     - He/She is tired.
Nosotros estamos contentos. - We are happy (men)(both men and women)
Nosotros estamos contentas. - We are happy.(women)
Ellos están ocupados. - They are busy.(men)(men and women)
Ellas están ocupadas. - They are busy.(women)

Note: The adjectives are pluralized because they need to correlate with the
pronouns. So since Ellos and Nosotros are both plural the
adjectives need to be plural too.
NOTICE that "estoy", "está", "estás", "estamos","están" are the verb forms from the verb "estar".
Use "estar" to find out someone's location or to tell someone your location.
Examples of "estar".
¿Dónde estás? - Where are you?(familiar) or
¿Dónde está? - Where are you?(formal)
(¿Dónde está? translates to, "Where is you?)
Estoy en el supermercado. - I am at the supermarket.
Él está en el río. - He is in the river.
Ella está en la cocina. - She is in the kitchen.
Ellos están en el parque. - They are at the park.

Ser - To Be

Ser is used to speak about characteristics that usually do not change.

Use "ser" to find out who a person is or what a person is like.
What something is or what something is like.
Where a person or thing is from.
Definition of Characteristic
"Characteristic" - a distinguishing trait, quality, or property
"Characteristics" indicate a special quality or identity.
"Characterisitc" applies to something that distinguishes or
identifies a person or thing or class

NOTICE that "soy", "eres", "es", "somos","son" are the verb forms from the verb "ser".

Examples of "ser".

Yo soy de Venezuela. - I am from Venezuela.

¿Eres tú de Colombia? - Are you from Cuba?
Tú eres de Colombia. - You are from Cuba.
Él es doctor. - He is a doctor.
¿Es él doctor? - Is he a doctor.?
Ella es abogada. - She is a lawyer.
¿Es ella abogada? - Is she a lawyer.?
¿Es usted de Cuba? - Are you from Cuba?
Usted es de Cuba. - You are from Cuba?
Nosotros somos de España. - We are from Spain.
Ellos son maestros. - They are teachers. (m)
¿Son ellos maestros? - Are they teachers? (m)
Ellas son maestras. - They are teachers. (f)
¿Son ellas maestras? - Are they teachers? (f)
¿Son ustedes instructores? - Are you instructors?
Ustedes son instructores. - You (all) are instructors.
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