SER vs ESTAR

Hello readers!

Welcome back to grammar with FluentlyFast. Today we'll be looking into a slightly difficult topic but don't worry because we've made it easy for you. When you start learning Spanish as a foreign language you may face difficulties with verbs and verb forms, knowing exactly what a verb means and its regularities or irregularities helps alot.


Let us first see the conjugations of the two verbs before diving head first into their uses.

SER

Yo Soy

Tú Eres

Él/ Ella/ Usted Es

Nosotros Somos

Vosotros Sois

Ellos/ Ellas/ Ustedes Son


ESTAR

Yo Estoy

Tú Estás

Él/ Ella/ Usted Está

Nosotros Estamos

Vosotros Estáis

Ellos/ Ellas/ Ustedes Están


Both the verbs SER and ESTAR mean 'to be' but they differ in their use. The biggest difference between them is that SER is used to describe things that are permanent or unchangeable whereas ESTAR is used to describe temporary or changeable things.


USES OF SER

  • Description- it can include description of qualities that are not likely to change or are permanent like

  1. physical appearance

  2. nationality

  3. religion

  4. characteristics

  5. place of origin

  • Occupation- when you wish to express someone's occupation or hobby, you use 'ser'.

  • Time- time is always used with the verb 'ser' be it the time on clock, dates, days. months or years, decades. Any 'time' is 'ser'.

  • Material- when you wish to express the origin or the material a thing is made of, you use this verb.

  • Relationships- relationships are shown by the verb 'ser' especially personal relationships like familial ties and romantic relationships.

USES OR ESTAR

  • Position or location- the physical position of a person or thing and the location of something or someone at any given point in time. NOTE- location of an event is described with SER.

  • Participle- the present participle or past participle is used with the verb 'estar'.

  • Conditions- physical and mental conditions are described using estar as they tend to vary over hours to months.

  • Emotions- estar is used to describe how a person is feeling in a given moment of time.



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