Verb To Be in Spanish (Ser VS Estar)

What are the verbs to be in Spanish?

ser vs estar, verb to be in Spanish

It’s time to study the verb to be in Spanish. Let’s find out the difference between ser vs estar in Spanish. 

How to translate the verb to be in Spanish?

Los Pronombres Personales 

(Subject Pronouns)


Yo ………… I

Tú ………….You (informal)

Usted ……..You (formal)

Él ……………He

Ella …………She



Tú (you, informal) is used with friends and family.

Usted (you, formal) shows respect, used with people you are not familiar with.




Nosotras….We (feminine only)

Ustedes…..You (plural)

Ellos………. They

Ellas ……… They (feminine only)



Nosotros is the masculine form of “we,” used for a group of males, or a mixed-gender group.

Nosotras is the feminine form, and refers only to groups that are all female.

Ellos is the masculine form of “they,” used for a group of males or a group made up of both sexes.

Ellas is the feminine form, used only for groups of females.



Verb to be in Spanish: “SER” and “ESTAR”

Both mean “to be” or “to exist”, but there are distinct rules for using one or the other.

SER is used to indicate identity:

Yo soy Ana (I am Ana)

Tú eres Steve (You are Steve)

Usted es Juana Lopez (You are Juana Lopez)


SER is used to indicate profession:

Él es un profesor (He is a Teacher)

Ella es una enfermera (She is a nurse)


SER is used to indicate nationality:

Nosotros somos Norteamericanos (We are north americans)

Nosotras somos Cubanas (We are Cubans)


SER is used to describe people and to point out their essential qualities:

Ellos son altos (They are tall)

Ellas son muy bonitas (They are very pretty)

Ustedes son generosos (You are generous)


SER is used to describe physical aspects or characteristics of things or animals:

La mesa es grande (The table is big)

La comida es buena (The food is good)

El carro es rojo (The car is red)

El gato es gris (The cat is gray)


SER is used for time:

Son las 10 en punto (It’s 10 0’clock exactly – notice also that the plural is used, except in the case of one o’clock: “Es la una.”)


“SER” is generally used when expressing more permanent aspects of people or things.

 More examples with the verb to be in Spanish: ser

Entre ser o no ser, yo soy.Between being or not being, I am.
Te amo desde lo más profundo de mi ser.I love you from the depths of my being.
No me sirvió ser quien más te amó.It didn’t help me to be the one who loved you the most.
No ser como tú es mi consuelo.Not being like you is my consolation.
Acepto quién me tocó ser.I accept who I had to be.
Quisiera ser lo que un día fui.I would like to be what I once was.
Es duro ser quien tomó la decisión de irse.It’s hard being the one who made the decision to leave.
Hola, voy a ser la nueva profesora.Hi, I’m going to be the new teacher.
Es difícil ser la nueva en la escuela.It’s hard being the new one at school.
¿Llegaré a ser el amor de tu vida?Will I become the love of your life?
¿Sabes que puedo ser tu hermana?Do you know that I can be your sister?
Ser madre no siempre es sencillo.Being a mother is not always easy.
Quiero ser licenciada.I want to be licensed.
No parece ser muy alta.She doesn’t seem to be very tall.
Me tocó ser madre soltera.I got to be a single mother.
La mamá de Jacob es un ser obstinado.Jacob’s mom is a stubborn being.
Hace tiempo que dejé de ser una niña.I stopped being a girl a long time ago.
Sabes que tienes que ser mayor de edad.You know you have to be of legal age.
Disfruto ser una excelente profesional.I enjoy being an excellent professional.
Si no soy tu prioridad no quiero ser nada.If I’m not your priority I don’t want to be anything.
¡Quiero ser feliz!I want to be happy!
No ser una persona paciente a veces da problemas.Not being a patient person sometimes gives problems.
¿Sabes que puedo ser tu hija?Do you know that I can be your daughter?
Yeni, ser adulta a veces no es fácil.Yeni, being an adult is sometimes not easy.
Ser niño otra vez es mi sueño.Being a child again is my dream.
Ser muy responsable es importante para obtener el empleo.Being very responsible is important to get the job.
A mis 14 años me tocó ser el sostén de la casa.At the age of 14 I had to be the breadwinner of the house.
Ser parecida a mi madre es mi orgullo.Being similar to my mother is my pride.
Me encanta ser portador de excelentes noticias.I love being the bearer of great news.
Ser muy curiosa no significa que te guste el chisme.Being very curious does not mean that you like gossip.


ESTAR is used to indicate the location of people:

Yo estoy en la oficina (I am in the office)

Tú estás en la casa (You are in the house)

Usted está en el parque (You are in the park)


ESTAR is used to express conditions or emotion subject to change:

Él está feliz (He is happy)

Ella está triste (She is sad)

Usted está enfermo (You are sick)


ESTAR describes the temporary physical state of things:

La mesa está sucia (The table is dirty – a condition subject to change, versus “La mesa es grande,” which means “The table is big,” a more permanent aspect.)


ESTAR is used with the progressive forms:

Nosotros estamos comprando (We are buying)

Nosotras estamos comiendo (We are eating)

“ESTAR” is used to when expressing more temporary aspects of people or things.

Ser : verb to be in Spanish

Yo soy……….I am

Tú eres……….You are (informal)

Usted es……..You are (formal)

Él es…………. He is

Ella es……….. She is

Nosotros somos….We are (masculine)

Nosotras somos…. We are (feminine)

Ustedes son….You are (plural)

Ellos son……..They are (masculine)

Ellas son……..They are (feminine)


Estar : verb to be in Spanish

Yo estoy……….I am

Tú estás………..You are

Usted está …… You are

Él está…………..He is

Ella está…………She is

Nosotros estamos………We are

Nosotras estamos……… We are

Ustedes están……You are (plural)

Ellos están……….They are

Ellas están………. They are


  • Adjectives:

She is tall – Ella es alta.

He is intelligent – Él es inteligente

  • Occupations:

My mother is engineer – Mi mamá es ingeniera.

We are students – Nosotros somos estudiantes

You are a teacher- Tú  eres una maestra

  • Emotions/Feelings:

Paula is very happy – Paula está muy felíz

My grandmother is sick – Mi abuela está enferma

  • Places:

They are far – Ellos están lejos

We are in the beach – Nosotros estamos en la playa

Read and practice the forms: Ser and Estar in Spanish.

More examples with the verb to be in Spanish: estar

No puedo estar contigo.I can not be with you.
No puedo estar más de acuerdo.I could not agree more.
Recuérdame estar atenta.Remind me to be vigilant.
Pienso estar allá en breve.I plan to be there soon.
No quiero estar presente.I don’t want to be present.
Me gustaría estar a tu lado.I would like to be by your side.
Estar de pie me hace sentir mal.Standing makes me feel bad.
Me gusta estar acostada.I like to lie down.
Voy a estar en el patio.I will be in the yard.
Estar aquí me ayudó a pensar las cosas.Being here helped me think things through.
Al estar sola me aburro.Being alone makes me bored.
¿Prefiere estar sentado mientras espera?Do you prefer to be seated while you wait?
Debe estar de reposo 1 mes.Must be off for 1 month.
Es normal estar triste en estos casos.It is normal to be sad in these cases.
Me robaron por estar en la calle de noche.I was robbed for being on the street at night.
Por estar hablando no entendí la clase.Because I was talking, I didn’t understand the class.
Me adapté a estar sola.I adapted to being alone.
Quiero estar temprano para no hacer cola.I want to be early so I don’t queue.
Suelo estar conectada siempre.I am always connected.
Estar hambrienta me pone débil.Being hungry makes me weak.
Quiero estar aquí para apoyarte.I want to be here to support you.
Estar en ascuas me pone muy tensa.Being on tenterhooks makes me very tense.
Me gustaría estar entre las finalistas.I would like to be among the finalists.
Estar al frente del programa fue una experiencia inolvidable.Leading the program was an unforgettable experience.
Voy a estar al pendiente de su salud.I will keep an eye on your health.
En la sala de estar tengo un vaso, alcánzamelo.I have a glass in the living room, reach it for me.
Si quieres verme, te voy a estar esperando.If you want to see me, I’ll be waiting for you.
Tu recuerdo siempre va a estar presente.Your memory will always be present.
Siempre te voy a estar esperando.I will always be waiting for you.
A donde quiera que llegues siempre debes saber estar a la altura.Wherever you arrive you must always know how to live up to it.

Ser and Estar | Quizlet

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