Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

5.16: Gramática. Examinando los verbos ser y estar

  • Page ID
    • Erica Brown, Alejandra Escudero, María Cristina Montoya, & Elizabeth Small
    • SUNY Oneonta via OER SUNY

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)


    • Distinguish ser and estar in their unique uses (time, definition, origin, location, present progressive)
    • Review the contrasting use of ser and estar with adjectives

    In a previous section you studied the difference in usage and meaning between ser and estar when followed by adjectives:

    • ¿Cómo es él? Es aburrido. (What’s he like? He’s boring.)
    • ¿Cómo está él? Está aburrido. (How’s he doing? He’s bored.)

    Now let’s further review and contrast ser and estar by also remembering the ways we can use them that are unique to each one:


    1. definitions and identifications (ser + noun)
    2. origins and materials (ser + de + noun)
    3. telling time (son las # / es la # )
    4. essential characteristics (ser + adjective)


    1. location (estar + [preposition of place] + noun)
    2. present progressive tense (estar + gerund)
    3. conditions and emotions (estar + adjective)


    • ¿Qué es eso? Es un pastel de chocolate. (What is that? It’s a chocolate cake.—identification, material)
    • ¿De dónde es tu profesora? Ella es de Venezuela. (Where is your professor from? She is from Venezuela.—origin)
    • ¿Qué hora es en España? Son las nueve y media de la noche, unas seis horas antes de los Estados Unidos. (What time is it in Spain? It’s 9:30 pm, some six hours ahead of the US.—telling time)
    • ¿Dónde está mi diccionario? Es importante para la clase de español. (Where is my dictionary? It’s important for Spanish class.—location, essential characteristic)
    • ¿Dónde está Juanito? Ya son las ocho y estoy preocupada. (Where’s Johnny? It’s eight o’clock already and I’m worried.—location, telling time, condition/emotion)
    • Está entrando en casa ahora, y está avergonzado por preocuparte. (He’s coming in the house now, and he’s embarrassed for having worried you.—present progressive, condition/emotion)

    Contributors and Attributions

    • Gramática: Ser y Estar II. Authored by: SUNY Oneonta with Lumen Learning. Provided by: SUNY Oneonta. License: CC BY: Attribution

    This page titled 5.16: Gramática. Examinando los verbos ser y estar is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Erica Brown, Alejandra Escudero, María Cristina Montoya, & Elizabeth Small (OER SUNY) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.