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How can I distinguish when to use the verbs "ser" or "estar"?

Both these verbs are translates as "to be", however they are used in different circumstances.

the verb "ser" is used to express permanent states of being, such as characteristics of identity (nationality, gender, name, profession), e.g. soy española (I am Spanish), él es medico (he is a doctor)

A second use for "ser" is to tell when/where an event occurs, e.g. la fiesta es el lunes (the party is on monday), el mes que viene será invierno (next month it will be winter)

"Estar", on the other hand, has multiple uses to express temporary states:

1. It is used to express emotional, physical and mental states of being, e.g. estoy cansado (I am tired)

2. it cna be used to express location, e.g. estoy en Madrid (I am in Madrid)

3. It is also used in continuous tenses, e.g. ellos están jugando (they are playing), mañana estaremos trabajando (tomorrow we will be working)

Hannah C. A Level Spanish tutor

2 years ago

Answered by Hannah, an A Level Spanish tutor with MyTutor


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