Hi, there! I hope you are well! Today the issue is “ser or estar?”. This can be a bit tricky because ser is translated into English as “to be” and estar is translated into English as…”to be” too. Then, when must I use “ser” and “estar”? You are going to discover the answer to this question now. Don’t be scared! It is easy.

SER

This verb expresses identity or existence, e. g.,

Yo soy Melisa (I am Marisa).

Mi profesora favorita es española (My favourite teacher is Spanish).

Also, you can use this verb to indicate when an event takes place, e.g.,

¿Cuándo será la fiesta de cumpleaños de Laila? (When will the Laila’s birthday party be?)

Also, ser indicates unchanging qualities or permanent or abstract ideas. This is the case of:  

Este libro es genial (This book is great).

Normally, ser is used with permanent (or almost permanent) situations.

ESTAR

This verb indicates place, position, e.g.,

¿Está tu hermana aquí? (Is your sister there?)

Tu mochila está debajo de mi cama (Your bag is under my bed).

La zapatería está a la derecha (The shoe shop is on the right).

It describes states which can change soon.

Estaba nervioso antes de hacer el examen (I was nervous before doing my test).

Estoy enfermo y no puedo ir al colegio (He is ill and he can’t go to school).

I hope you have now a clear idea about when you must use ser or estar.

I see you soon!

Letras en Español – Ms. Riesco ©

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