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Ser y Estar

PostPosted: February 6th, 2011, 12:50 pm
by Jessica
Ser and estar are another pair that can get easily confused and misused.

Ser is used

1. With adjectives to express characteristics of the subject, such as size, color, shape, religion, and nationality.
    El carro de mi madre es azul.
    Tomás es alto y delgado.
    Los jóvenes son católicos.
    Somos mexicanos.
    My mother's car is blue.
    Tomás is tall and thin.
    The young men are Catholic.
    We are Mexican.

2. With the preposition de to indicate origin, possession, and to tell what material something is made of.
    Alberto es de Costa Rica.
    Los libros son de Luisa.
    Es un reloj de oro.
    Alberto is from Costa Rica.
    The books are Luisa's.
    It is a gold watch.

3. To express an occupation or profession.
    Mi hermana es abogada
    Sebastián es medico.
    My sister is a lawyer.
    Sebastián is a doctor.

4. To express dates, days of the week, months, and seasons of the year.
    Es primavera.
    Es el 10 de octubre.
    It's spring.
    It's October 10.

5. To express time.
    Son las cinco de la tarde.
    Es la una de la mañana.
    It's five o'clock in the afternoon.
    It's one in the morning.

6. With the preposition para to tell for whom or for what something is intended or to express a deadline.
    La hamburguesa es para mi amigo.
    La composición es para el viernes.
    The hamburger is for my friend.
    The composition is for Friday.

7. WIth impersonal expressions.
    Es importante ir a la clase.
    Es fascinante estudiar la cultura hispana.
    It's important to go to the laboratory.
    It's fascinating to study Hispanic culture.

8. To indicate where and when events take place.
    La fiesta es en mi casa.
    El concierto es a las ocho.
    The party is at my house.
    The concert is at eight.

Estar is used

1. To indicate the location of persons and objects whether permanent or temporary.
    ¿Dónde están los platos?
    Rosa está en la cafeteria.
    Está en la Florida.
    Where are the dishes?
    Rosa is at the cafeteria.
    It's in Florida.

2. With adjective to describe the state or condition of the subject that is generally the result of a previous action and is relatively variable.
    Las chicas están contentas.
    Pedro está enfermo.
    Trabajé mucho y ahora estoy cansado.
    The girls are happy.
    Pedro is sick.
    I worked a lot and now I am tired.

3. In the construction "estar + present participle" in order to stress the fact that the action of the verb continuing at the time you are expressing the idea. This construction is roughly equivalent to the English "to be + past participle" and is called the progressive tense

    Antonio está hablando con Sara.
      The present progressive is used to stress the fact that Antonio is talking to Sara at that very moment.