Ser and estar both translate in English to the verb “to be” and because of this it can be really confusing deciding which of the two is more appropriate because their meanings differ in Spanish. Here are some guidelines to help:

ESTAR is used:

1. to state location or position of people, places, or objects (BUT NOT EVENTS – SEE SER):

a. Mis primos están afuera. – My cousins are outside

b. ¿En qué calle está la biblioteca nacional? – On what street is the National Library?

c. ¿Mis padres están en el cine? – My parents are at the cinema.

2. with certain weather expressions:

a. Está nublado. – It’s cloudy.

b. Está claro. – It’s clear.

3. with adjectives to express the state or condition the subject is in:

a. Estoy ontent. – I am content.

b. ¡El agua está fría! – The water is cold!

c. Mi abuelo está enfermo. – My grandpa is ill.


Adjectives Using Ser And Estar

Note: The meaning of adjectives is modified with SER and ESTAR. Keep in mind that SER is mainly used to describe a feature/ something that is characteristic of the subject (permanent) whilst ESTAR is mainly used to describe a state or condition which may change (temporary). For example:

Tell a friend

Leave a Reply