Learn, once and for all, when to use Ser and Estar.
As a Spanish online tutor for beginners I’m well aware of which are the main struggles for my students.
And one of those pain points is to know when to use Ser and Estar.
This is especially hard for English speakers since in English both words can be translated with the verb “To be”.
I know this can be a bit frustrating since you want to speak good Spanish and you don’t want people to correct you all the time… “Está bueno, no es Bueno”…
In this post I’m going to give you THE ultimate tip so you will always know when to use one or the other.
It works in 99% of the cases! Great, isn’t it?
Don’t complain! If you’re wrong only 1% of the time it is already a huge progress, don’t you think? I will give you some examples as well so you understand it easily.
Is it a Characteristic or a Circumstance?
This is basically the question that you need to ask yourself before using Ser or Estar.
If what you are going to say is a characteristic you’ll use Ser but if it’s a circumstance you use Estar.
Got it? Ok that’s it. Thanks for reading.
No, I’m joking, let’s see some examples so you get this clear for once and for all in your mind.
Answer this question, being blonde is a characteristic or a circumstance?
Exactly, it’s a characteristic you use to describe someone.
“My girlfriend is blonde” – “Mi novia es rubia”
But if you are explaining to your friend that your girlfriend is angry at you, what would you think being angry is, a characteristic or a circumstance?
I hope you have answered circumstance because if you said it’s a characteristic that would mean she is always angry and then you might as well start looking somewhere else 😊
So because being angry is a circumstance we say in Spanish “Mi novia está enfadada”.
Is it now a bit more clear?
I’m Spanish and I’m in Menorca.
Being Spanish is a characteristic but being in Menorca is a circumstance because I could be in Inverness freezing my b….
Let’s practice a bit more with the next exercise.
The first picture is the Taj Mahal and is in India – Es el Taj Mahal y está en India.
You do the rest. Come on, don’t be lazy!