Grammar \ Explanations \ Usage \ Ser and Estar

Spanish Grammar - Ser and Estar

In Spanish the verbs ser and estar both mean to be. The problem is that they are not interchangeable.

Uses of ser Examples
  • Nationality and origins
  • Mi madre es alemana, pero yo soy de Madrid.
  • My mother is German but I am from Madrid.
  • Profession and occupation
  • Mi padre es un abogado.
  • My father is a lawyer.
  • Characteristics
  • El avion es seguro.
  • The plane is safe.
  • Time and date
  • Es la una de la mañana.
  • It's 1am.
  • Son las tres de la tarde.
  • It's 3pm.
  • Hoy es viernes.
  • Today is friday.
  • Events
  • La fiesta es en el apartamento de Juan.
  • The party is in Juan's apartment.
  • Material
  • La botella es de vidrio.
  • The bottle is made of glass.
  • Possession
  • Es mi libro.
  • It's my book.
Uses of estar Examples
  • Location
  • El libro está en la biblioteca.
  • The book is in the library.
  • Health
  • Estamos enfermos.
  • We are sick.
  • Physical states and conditions
  • La toalla está mojada.
  • The towel is wet.
  • Emotional states
  • Carla está nerviosa.
  • Carla is nervous.
  • Weather
  • Hoy está nublado.
  • Today it's cloudy.
  • Estoy comiendo pizza.
  • I am eating pizza.
  • Results of actions
    (past participle)
  • Los platos están lavados.
  • The dishes are washed.

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