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Ser vs Estar – Part 1

 

This lesson is about the use of Ser vs Estar,

one of the most important subjects to review

when learning Spanish for beginners.

 

Let’s get started.

 

  

 You may also watch this on youtube over here: 

Ser vs Estar

 

 

The use of Ser vs Estar is sometimes regarded as a

confusing subject when learning Spanish, but ser vs

estar rules are relatively simple and used every day

in conversational Spanish.

 

 

Knowing when to use  Ser and Estar is simpler than it

looks, both mean “to be” but they are used in different

situations, let’s look at some examples and the

Ser vs Estar rules.

 

 

 

For example,

 

If you want to say: “el es hombre” – “he is a man”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - man

 

 

If you want to say: “el está borracho” – “he is drunk”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - drunk man

 

 

 

 

But when should we use them?

How do we know which one to use?

 

 

Ser vs Estar practice – The verb Ser:

 

Let’s look at some examples with the verb Ser,

pay close attention to the underlined words and

try to notice the patterns:

 

 

 

Ser vs Estar – Example 1

“La manzana es roja” – “the apple is red”

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - good red apple

 

 

“La manzana es verde” – “the apple is green”

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - green apple

 

 

 

 

Ser vs Estar – Example 2

 

“El gato es blanco” – “the cat is white”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - white cat

 

 

“El gato es negro” – the cat is black

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - black cat

 

 

 

 

Ser vs Estar – Example 3

 

 

El perro es grande – the dog is big

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - big dog

 

 

El perro es pequeño – the dog is small

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - small dog

 

 

The verb Ser is used to talk about permanent or essential

characteristics of something. It is used to talk about what

something is.

 

 

 

Let’s look back at one of the examples we just mentioned:

 

El perro es grande – the dog is big

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - big dog

 

El perro es pequeño – the dog is small

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - small dog

 

 

The size of a dog is an essential characteristic of

the animal. A dog does not wake up in the morning

being small, then gets big in the afternoon and small

again at night. It is either big or small.

 

 

 

 

 

Ser vs Estar practice – The verb Estar:

 

Let’s look at some examples with the verb Estar,

pay close attention to the underlined words

and try to notice the patterns:

 

  

 

Ser vs Estar – Example 4

 

“La manzana está buena” – “the apple is good”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - good red apple

 

 

“La manzana está mala” – “the apple is bad”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - bad apple

 

 

 

 

 

Ser vs Estar – Example 5

 

“El gato está sobre la mesa” – “the cat is on the table”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - cat on table

 

 

 

“El gato está bajo la mesa” – “the cat is under the table”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - cat under table

 

 

 

 

 

Ser vs Estar – Example 6

 

“El perro está corriendo” – “the dog is running”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - dog running

 

 

 

“El perro está durmiendo” – “the dog is sleeping”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - dog sleeping

 

 

The verb Estar is used to talk about non-permanent

or non-essential characteristics of something. It is used

to talk about how or where something is.

 

 

 

Let’s look at another example:

 

El es aburido – he is boring 

(what he is, a boring person)

 

El está aburido – he is bored

(how he currently is,

hey is currently bored)

 

 

 

How do I remember which verb

to use?

 

Using mental associations is a great way to learn new

things by leveraging the ones you already know.

One associationI have found to be very useful in relation

to the subject of Ser and Estar is the phonetic similarity

between the verb Estar and the word for those shiny

celestial bodies, Stars.

 

A star does not stay still during the night, they move, 

they do not hold a permanent position in the sky

due to Earth’s rotation.

 

So, next time you are unsure of which verb you should

use, between Ser vs Estar; just think of a star in the sky,

ESTAR in the sky, and how it has a non-permanent

place during the night, that will help you remember.

 

 

 

Would you like to learn more?

You may review this chart about when to use Ser

and when to use Estar: HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Now let’s look at some final examples of

Ser vs Estar:

 

 

 

“La manzana es roja” – “the apple is red”

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - good red apple

 

 

“La manzana está mala” – “the apple is bad ”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - bad apple

 

 

 

 

 

“El gato es blanco” – “the cat is white”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - white cat

 

 

 

“El gato está durmiendo” – “the cat is sleeping ”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - sleeping cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

“El perro es pequeño” – “the dog is small”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - small dog

 

 

 

“El perro está descansando” – “the dog is resting”

 

learning spanish for beginners - ser vs estar - dog resting

 

 

 

The use of Ser vs Estar is a very important subject when

learning Spanish for beginners, take the time to practice

until it comes out naturally; this is one of the most useful

subjects in conversational Spanish that is used every day.

 

 

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lines to help us help more people learn Spanish.

 

 

Do you have questions?

Let us know in the comments section below,

We would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 comments

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  1. Petit Pat

    Great help honestly thank you

    1. Jose

      you are welcome!

      Thanks for visiting http://learningspanishforbeginners.com, tell your friends about us on facebook =)

  2. Anu

    very good explanation about the ser and estar

    Thanks a lot

  3. stanley teffeteller

    what does the name santos mean in American launguage

    1. Jose

      “Santos” means “holy” (in plural) or “saints”.

      Let us know if you have more questions,

      Thanks for visiting! =)

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