Lesson Topics

Ser and Estar: Part II

Notes:

  1. The written lesson is below.
  2. Links to quizzes, tests, etc. are to the left.

In the previous lesson you learned the fundamental difference between ser and estar - essence or condition. The examples used the verbs in conjunction with adjectives to clearly illustrate this point. In practice, ser and estar are not always used with adjectives, nor is it always easy for the non-native speaker to choose between the two verbs. Therefore, it is extremely useful to learn some concrete rules for deciding when to use ser or estar. This lesson examines some common uses for the verb ser.



Ser is used to express the hour, day, and date.

¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?

Son las dos.
It's two o'clock.

¿Qué día es hoy?
What day is today?

Hoy es lunes.
Today's Monday.

¿Qué fecha es hoy?
What's the date today?

Es el cinco de mayo.
It's May fifth.



Ser is used to express place of origin.

¿De dónde eres tú?
Where are you from?

Soy de Colombia.
I'm from Colombia.



Ser is used to express occupation.

¿Cuál es tu trabajo?
What do you do?

Soy carpintero
I'm a carpenter.



Ser is used to express nationality.

¿Es ella puertorriqueña?
Is she Puerto Rican?

No, es guatemalteca.
No, she's Guatemalan.



Ser is used to express religious or political affiliation.

¿Son los García bautistas?
Are the Garcias Baptists?

No, son católicos.
No, they're Catholics.

¿Es el gobierno socialista?
Is the government socialist?

No, es comunista.
No, it's communist.



Ser is used to express the material something is made of.

¿De qué material es la mesa?
What's the table made of?

Es de madera.
It's made of wood.



Ser is used to express possession.

¿De quién es la pluma?
Whose pen is it?

Es de Emilio.
It's Emilio's.



Ser is used to express the relationship of one person to another.

¿Quién es Rogelio?
Who is Roger?

Es el esposo de Marta.
He's Martha's husband.



Ser is used with certain impersonal expressions.

Es importante practicar cada día.
It's important to practice every day.

Es necesario hablar mucho.
It's necessary to speak a lot.



Ser is used to tell where an event is taking place.

La película es en el cine.
The movie is at the theatre.

La fiesta es en el club Fantástico.
The party is in the Fantastic Club.



Ser is used with adjectives to express inherent, or essential qualities.

Miguel es un hombre sincero.
Mike is a sincere man.

También es guapo.
He's also handsome.



Let's review. 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


Let's add another flashcard:

Verb Flashcards
Complete List

Uses of ser

the hour, day, and date
place of origin
occupation
nationality
religious or political affiliation
the material something is made of
possession
relationship of one person to another
certain impersonal expressions
where an event is taking place
essential qualities

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