Uses of ser and estar

  • Created by: mhannah
  • Created on: 13-12-18 15:40


Ser is used to express:

  1. the hour, day, and date
  2. place of origin
  3. occupation
  4. nationality
  5. religious or political affiliation
  6. the material something is made of
  7. possession
  8. relationship of one person to another
  9. certain impersonal expressions
  10. where an event is taking place
  11. essential qualities
  • When the verb to be is followed by a noun, ser is always used
    • think of this to be as an = sign 
    • e.g. John is a doctor / John = doctor
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Estar is used to express:

  1. geographic or physical location
  2. state or condition
  3. many idiomatic expressions (e.g. estar de acuerdo)
  4. progressive tenses (i.e. gerund)
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Ser and estar (contrasting issues)

  • When an adjective follows the verb, decide between “essence” and “condition”
  • To tell where something is from, use ser
  • To tell where something is located right now, use estar
  • To tell where an event is taking place, use ser
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