This is the ninth lesson in our beginner level Spanish course and we will look at the Spanish verb Estar To Be.

Earlier in this course we saw the Spanish verb Ser (Yo soy: I am. Tú eres: You are. Él/Ella es: He/She is) which is also the verb To Be. In Spanish there are two versions of the verb To be (Ser & Estar) when in English there is only one verb To be (I am, You are, He/She is).

Ser and Estar are fundamental to the Spanish language and from now in the course we will be using both Ser and Estar. Let’s first see how to conjugate the Spanish verb Estar To Be:

(Yo) Estoy: I am
(Tú) Estás: You are
(Él/Ella) Está: He/She is

Let’s remind ourselves of how to conjugate the Spanish verb Ser To Be:

(Yo) Soy: I am
(Tú) Eres: You are
(Él/Ella) Es: He/She is

Spanish Verb Estar To Be Spanish Lesson 9

As you can see, both Ser and Estar appear to mean the same thing: I am, You are, He/She is (the verb To Be). However, we use one or the other depending on the sentence. Generally speaking, Ser is used when describing permanent things and Estar when describing temporary things.

It is important to be clear on when to use Ser and when to use Estar. Let’s look in more detail:

Ser:

Name
Gender
Nationality
Occupation
Physical description
Personality
Time and dates
Events
Relationships
Possession

Estar:

Location/position
Emotions/feelings/moods
Temporary condition

Example sentences:

Ser:

Soy Pedro: I am Pedro
Soy hombre: I am a man
Soy de España: I am from Spain
Soy médico: I am a doctor
Soy alto y moreno: I am tall and dark
Soy honesto y trabajador: I am honest and hard working

Estar:

Estoy en Londres: I am in London
Estoy contento pero cansado: I am happy but tired
Estoy de vacaciones: I am on holiday

That is all for this lesson about the Spanish verb Estar To Be. Other Spanish verbs we have seen so far in this course are: Ser, Querer, and Tener. There was lots of very useful information in this lesson which we recommend that you practice by creating your own similar sentences. In our next Spanish lesson we will practice more with Estar using the verb to give and follow directions and to describe where places and things are located.