Updated: Mar 12
As we have seen in previous lessons, the verb "TO BE" has two forms in Spanish: SER and ESTAR. Both Ser and ESTAR are irregular verbs. In this lesson, we will learn how to conjugate the verb SER in Spanish for all the pronouns, and more importantly, how to make sentences using SER in Spanish to talk about different situations. This lesson includes several nice resources for you to see the verb in use and practice too.
Ser Present Indicative
The conjugations for ser in the present indicative tense are totally irregular. The first person singular conjugation soy is similar to other verbs like dar (doy), estar (estoy) and ir (voy). Here’s the present tense conjugation:
Now let’s see a few example of the singular forms of the verb ser:
Note that the form of the verb changes with each person. Since the form of the verb changes with each person, the subjects yo, tú, él, and ella can be omitted. For example:
Es mi amigo.
Plural forms of the verb ser.
Now let's going to see the plural form of the verb ser.
How to make sentences using SER in Spanish:
Ser and estar are some of the most commonly used verbs in Spanish. Although they both mean "to be," they are used in very different contexts. In general, sentences with SER will use the form ES to describe a single object and SON for several.
The main difference between both SER and ESTAR is that SER describes things that will not change easily over time or that never change at all such as, Ella es alta e inteligente (She is tall and smart). It is also used to talk about someone's profession or occupation, as in Ella es doctora y él es arquitecto (She is a doctor and he is an engineer), or to talk about where someone is from, as in El profesor es de Cuba (The professor is from Cuba), to describe houses, to talk about the time, to say what the weather is like and many other purposes.
ESTAR has the same use when talking about conditions that will change soon, for example: “El clima está frío”. This last example means that the weather is cold today but maybe it was warm in the past few days. On the other hand, “El clima es frío” means that the weather is always cold in that place.
SER how is used
Let's see some example:
1. to talk about description, physical attributes and name:
2. to talk about someone's occupations, jobs, careers:
3. to talk about someone's origin and the time:
4. to say that something belongs to someone:
La casa es de mi abuelo (The house belongs to my grandfather).
Es mío (It’s mine).
5. in calculations:
cinco y tres son ocho (five and three are eight).
– ¿Cuánto es todo? -Son doce euros (-How much is all together? -It’s twelve euros).
6. when followed by an infinitive:
Lo importante es decir la verdad (The important thing is to tell the truth).
7. to describe actions using the passive (for example they are made, it is sold)
Son fabricados en China (They are made in China).
8. to talk about where an event is taking place:
El concierto es en el Teatro Real de Madrid (The concert is at Madrid’s Royal Theatre).
To make a sentence negative, you simply put no in front of the verb.
1. Antonio es mexicano. El no es colombiano.
2. Yo soy de Bogotá. No soy de Cali.
Activity No. 1: Listening activity.
Let's see the verb Ser in context by watching this video. In this video José explains the conjugation of the irregular verb SER (to be) in the present tense and it's uses for presentation.
Activity No. 2:
Free handout for you to practice. Click the blue button below to DOWNLOAD the free handout. Add your name and email and we’ll send it to you! Remember you can contact your tutor with any question have. Don’t you have a Spanish tutor yet? Please, leave a message if you want we prepare more activities about this topic. Thanks for helping us to improve.
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¡Hasta la vista!
The Español Latino Team