The verb “to be” in Spanish is “ser” or “estar”, both have different uses and meanings.
“Ser” is used to describe permanent or inherent characteristics, such as physical and personality traits, origin, and profession, as well as time and date expressions.
- Yo soy profesor (I am a teacher)
- Mi nombre es Juan (My name is Juan)
- El coche es rojo (The car is red)
- El libro es interesante (The book is interesting)
On the other hand, “estar” is used to describe temporary conditions, location and emotions.
- Yo estoy cansado (I am tired)
- El coche está estacionado en la calle (The car is parked on the street)
- El libro está en la mesa (The book is on the table)
- Ellos están felices (They are happy)
It’s important to note that the verb “ser” is usually translated as “to be” in English, but “estar” can also be translated as “to be” depending on the context.
It’s also important to know that both verbs are irregular in the conjugation.
Here is an example of a conjugation table for the verb “ser” in the present tense:
Please note that “vosotros/vosotras” is used in Spain, it’s not used in most of Latin America.