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9.1.4: G.1.4- To Be (ser y estar)

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    Ser Estar
    yo soy estoy
    eres estás
    él/ella/Ud. es está
    nosotros/as somos estamos
    vosotros/as sois estáis
    ellos/ellas/Uds. son están

    Uses of ser

    1. To indicate nationality or origin:
      --David es de Tejas.
      David is from Texas.
    2. To describe intrinsic characteristics:
      --Los árboles son altos.
      The trees are tall.
    3. To indicate dates and time:
      --Hoy es lunes, 16 de septiembre y son las 11:30 de la mañana.
      Today is Monday, the 16th of September, and it is 11:30 in the morning.
    4. To form the passive voice with the past participle:
      --El premio fue ortogado por el comité.
      The prize was awarded by the committee

    Uses of estar

    1. To indicate where people, objects and places are located*:
      --El coche está en el parking.
      The car is in the parking lot.

      * Use ser to describe where an event takes place.
      --La clase de español es en Wescoe.
      The Spanish class is in Wescoe.
    2. To express mental states that result from an action or event:
      --Estoy deprimida porque saqué una “F” en el examen.
      I’m depressed because I got an “F” on the exam.
    3. To express physical states that result from an action or event:
      --El chico está cansado después de correr 5 millas.
      The boy is tired after running 5 miles.
    4. To express something unexpected:
      --¿No está muy delgada Carolina?
      Doesn’t Carolina look really thin?

    In general, the verb ser is used to express characteristics or inherent circumstances, while the verb estar is used to describe a resulting state. Equating ser with permanent states and estar with non-permanent states, can lead to erroneous verb use. Take a look at the following example:


    --Mi abuela se murió el año pasado.
    My grandmother died last year.

    --Mi abuela está muerta.
    My grandmother is dead.

    Death is a permanent state but estar is used because death is the state or condition resulting from dying.

    This page titled 9.1.4: G.1.4- To Be (ser y estar) is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by KU Open Language Resource Center via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.