Make your own free website on
Ser y Estar

Before viewing this, you should have completed the libro de personajes y emociones diferentes.

The two lttile verbs SER and ESTAR
Are as different in meaning as COMER and HABLAR.
To the American they're hard -not easy-  to learn,
But get them right and a good grade you will earn.

As you have seen by writing your book,
-Go ahead and give it a good, long look-
You described the character with the verb SER,
You told who he is, what he's like and  from where.

On the next page you used the other verb, ESTAR
to tell where he was, and maybe near or far.
You also used it to describe his motions,
And how he was feeling, his states and emotions.

 These pages you wrote
reflect the differences between
The verbs SER and ESTAR,
Do you see what I mean?

When you are saying what you are or where you are from,
Use a form of SER, and a good grade will soon come.
On the other hand you will notice you used the verb ESTAR
To say how you feel, what you're doing, where you are.

So what makes SER and ESTAR so difficult?  Is it as difficult to Spanish people as it is to Americans?

The topic is difficult to Americans because both these verbs translate into English to mean "to be".  So SOY and ESTOY both mean I AM.  Our (that is to say as Americans) brains work from our native language, English.  I don't understand exactly how a brain functions, but I do realize that in its complexity it has to work from what it knows- English for us.  So when we speak Spanish, until it becomes a true second language- the "language base" we use is English.  Therefore, if we want to say "I am bored", our brain starts with I AM and chooses either SOY or ESTOY and adds ABURRIDO.  If you are not careful, you will choose the incorrect word, and in certain situations- besides being wrong- drastically change the meaning of what you are saying.  In fact both sentences- "Soy aburrido" and "Estoy aburrido" are grammatically correct; but "Soy aburrido." means "I'm boring." and "Estoy aburrido" is the one that means "I'm bored."  That's why it's so difficult.  Don't worry if you don't get it (or haven't gotten it) right away.

What about the Spanish children?  Is it difficult for them?  No.  ESTOY and SOY for them are as different as "hablo" and "como".  They learn language by using it, (that's why you did the project BEFORE doing the lesson- to make it more of a real-life learning situation) and remember that they are learning their primary language- they base nothing on English.  SOY means SOY and ESTOY means ESTOY.

What are the basic differences?

SER is used, as you have seen, to express characteristics (or traits or features) about people or things.  Look at these examples:

SER is also used to identify who or what people are.
  SER is used to tell where someone (or something) comes from. ESTAR on the other hand is used to state how someone feels. ESTAR is also used to tell where someone is at- location, not origin.

There are other uses that are specific to each verb.  Do the following lessons at  As you READ through each lesson, take notes on the different uses.  Some of the information will be a repetition of what you already know, but there will also be some new material, too.  Try to understand and learn what you are doing.  As usual, send me your test results for each section.
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4

On a sheet of papel, apunta qué verbo - SER o ESTAR- se debe usar para expresar las cosas siguientes.

Go double check your answers.
(recuerda hacer clic en «back» para regresar)

También sugiero que leas la información en Capítulo 2 of your REPASO (páginas 19-21).  El libro está lleno de información práctica que quizás pueda ayudarte a comprender mejor las diferencias entre ser y estar.  Al terminar de repasar la lectura, repasa los ejercicios que siguen.

Unas actividades más.  Lee las oraciones siguientes y trata de comprender lo que quieren decir.

¿Qué quieren decir?

Go check your answers

¿SER o ESTAR?  How about a little test-like situation?  Lee las oraciones siguientes y complétalas con la forma correcta del verbo correcto- SER o ESTAR.  A menos que sea obvio, emplea el tiempo del presente.
  Go check your answers

regresar a la página principal de don Carlos
regresar a la página de explicaciones

¿Qué verbo?
  • characteristics SER
  • condition  ESTAR
  • date SER
  • day SER
  • emotion ESTAR
  • features SER
  • feeling ESTAR
  • geographic location ESTAR
  • material something is made of SER
  • nationality SER
  • occupation SER
  • physical location ESTAR
  • place of origin SER
  • political affiliation SER
  • possession SER
  • progressive tenses ( + gerundio) ESTAR
  • qualities SER
  • relationships SER
  • religion SER
  • state of being ESTAR
  • state of mind ESTAR
  • time SER
  • where an event is taking place SER



    Respuestas para ¿Qué quieren decir?:

    Respuestas para ¿SER o ESTAR?