Paula's Archives
Home Page
Spanish Resources
The efficient way to learn more English vocabulary.
Get Paula's Vocabulary Vine for Latin & Greek roots.
More fun, more reinforcement, less money!


Ser & Estar.
Which One?
Ser & estar both mean “to be” in Spanish. Which do you use? The popular tricks weren’t working for me:

Instead I memorized these two sentences. They reference all the common uses of each verb. Now when I need ser or estar, I recall which sentence contains a similar use, and I have my answer!

Ser:
Hoy mi jefe es Juan. Es un doctor alto y serio de Chile, y la clase que es aquí es suya.

Today my boss is Juan. He is a tall, serious doctor from Chile, and the class that is here is his.

Estar:
Estela está cansada y triste porque está esperando, sentada en el banco, y su pez está muerto.

Estela is tired and sad because she is waiting, sitting on the bench, and her fish is dead.



Explanation: when to use ser.
Hoymi jefe es Juan.Es un doctoraltoy seriodeChile, y la clase
que es aquí
es suya.
timerelationshipoccupationdescrip-
tion
character-
istic
de phrases:
origin, mtls,
possession
originevent locationpossession




Explanation: when to use estar.
Estela está cansaday tristeporque está esperandosentadaen el bancoy su pez está muerto.
conditionemotionongoing actionpositionlocationdeath




A few more thoughts.
Home Page
Spanish Resources
E-mail Paula H