Easy Spanish grammar for English speakers [3] - Ser / estar: specific uses

¡Hola!

Welcome to one more post of the Spanish Grammar for English Speakers series!

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As promised, we're going to complete the ser/estar sub-series with a post on the specific uses of these very important Spanish verbs.

The most important uses are the following ones:

  • Location
    - Specific things, people, and places: verb estar --> ¿Dónde está tu madre? – Mi madre está en casa. (Where's your mother? – My mother is at home) BUT Specific events: verb ser --> ¿Dónde es la fiesta? – La fiesta es en un bar (Where's the party? - The party is at a bar).

  • Time reference
    - Verb ser: ¿Qué hora es? ¿Qué día es hoy? ¿Cuándo fue tu boda? (What time is it? What day is it today? When was your wedding?).

  • Identification, origin, occupation, possession
    - Verb ser: Esta es mi amiga Sara. Mi vecino es de Venezuela. Su novio es policía. Este es mi teléfono (This is my friend Sara. My neighbour is from Venezuela. His boyfriend is a police officer. This is my phone).

  • Price
    - Verb ser ---> paying total amount ¿Cuánto es? (How much is it?)
    - Verb estar ---> variable price ¿A cuánto está? (How much does it cost?)

  • Auxiliary verbs
    - Progressive structures: estar + gerund ---> Estoy comiendo paella (I'm eating paella).
    - Passive voice: ser + past participle ---> Este edificio fue construido hace dos años (This building was built two years ago).

Remember that verb tenses (present, past, future, conditional, etc) don't modify the meaning of verbs; they only specify the time when the actions take place. E.g. ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños? (When is your birthday? / General action : present indicative) vs. ¿Cuándo fue tu fiesta de cumpleaños? (When was your birthday party? / Finished action in the past: indefinite past): same meaning (time reference) vs. different tense (present / past).

Super easy! ;-)

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Please post your questions, ideas and/or comments right below!

¡Feliz aprendizaje!

last edited by Javier

1997 called and said it wanted its animated GIFs back.

And as for ser and estar lessons, I think it would work better if integrated with the lessons, rather than posted inside forum posts linked with annoying and extraneous images.

last edited by Gisle Hannemyr

¡Hola!

Thank you very much for contacting Lingvist!

Regarding your suggestion, we would like to inform you that all our courses contain a Grammar Tips Section integrated within each language pair, where you will find relevant grammar content for the language you have chosen to learn. As for this instance, there is also a specific section which contains useful advice and examples on how to use the verbs ser and estar.

Our forum grammar posts are intended to add some extra information which, we hope, will make our users' language learning journey more engaging and exciting.

We really appreciate your relevant and positive feedback!

¡Feliz aprendizaje! ;-)

last edited by Javier

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