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9.1.24: G.7.1- To Be (ser y estar) Review and Additional Uses

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    Review the forms of SER and ESTAR.



    Ser Estar
    yo fui estuve
    fuiste estuviste
    él/ella/Ud. fue estuvo
    nosotros/as fuimos estuvimos
    vosotros/as fuisteis estuvisteis
    ellos/ellas/Uds. fueron estuvieron


    Ser Estar
    yo era estaba
    eras estabas
    él/ella/Ud. era estaba
    nosotros/as éramos estábamos
    vosotros/as erais estabais
    ellos/ellas/Uds. eran estaban

    Past Participle

    Ser Estar
    sido estado

    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.
    5. To indicate profession or affiliation with a group (religious, political, etc.):
      --María Elena es abogada.
      María Elena is a lawyer.

      --La mayoría del mundo hispano es católica.
      The majority of the hispanic world is Catholic.
    6. To form impersonal expressions:
      Es bueno/malo que ...
      Es importante/necesario que ...
      Era increíble que ...
    7. To indicate a relation between people:
      --Juan es el hermano de María.
      Juan is María’s brother.

    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?
    5. To form idiomatic expressions:
      --estar de acuerdo
      to be in agreement

      --estar de pie
      to be standing

      --estar en camino
      to be on the way

      --estar en las nubes
      to daydream
    6. To form the present progressive:
      --Los niños están cantando con la música.
      The children are singing to the music.

      --Está lloviendo ahora mismo.
      It is raining right now.

    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.

    Summary of the Uses of Ser and Estar

    Persona Ser Estar Example
    Verb "to be" followed by a noun X Katie es estudiante.
    Katie is a student.
    Verb "to be" followed by an adjective X X La sopa es buena.
    Soup is good. (to describe an inherent characteristic)

    La sopa está buena.
    The soup tastes good. (to describe a condition or state)
    To indicate where someone/thing is from; origin X Evo Morales es de Bolivia.
    Evo Morales is from Bolivia.

    ¿De dónde es esta música?
    Where is this music from?
    To describe where something is located X Lawrence está en Kansas.
    Lawrence is in Kansas.

    Los libros están en la mesa.
    The books are on the table.
    To describe where an event is taking place X La clase es en Wescoe Hall.
    The class is in (takes place in) Wescoe Hall.

    El partido es en Allen Field House.
    The game is in (takes place in) Allen Field House.

    In Acceso Hub: Forma y Función (LingroLearning) you will find input and output activities to practice this structure.

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