SER vs ESTAR: How to use them correctly
Do you know what the difference between these two sentences is?
Then you might skip this and go directly to out “Ser vs Estar Quiz”. If not, you should read out ultimate “Ser vs Estar Quiz”-preparation first.
The correct use of “ser” and “estar” is one of the “evergreens” if you want to learn Spanish. Why? Because in languages like English and German, there’s is only ONE single verb for “ser” and “estar”: “to be” (german: “sein”).
That makes it hard to use both verbs correctly sometimes. But we are sure that you will be able to pass our ultimate “SER vs ESTAR Quiz” successfully after reading this post.
Oh, and the difference between the two sentences above?
“Soy nervioso.” in English means “I am a nervous person.”
“Estoy nervioso.” means that the person who is saying it is nervous at this moment.
Ser vs Estar explanation-video with Mónica
If you don’t feel ready for our ultimate “Ser vs Estar Quiz,” you should consider watching this video. Monica, our virtual Spanish teacher, did a great job explaining “ser vs estar”.
Ser and estar chart
The following chart gives you a general idea when to use “ser” and “estar”.
The use of “ser”
Character of a person (that doesn't change)
Soy una persona muy nervioso. (I am a very nervous person.)
Qualities of animals, things or places
La camiseta es de algodón. Es de mi hijo. (The Shirt is made of cotton, it’s my son’s.)
Date & Time
Son las 5am de la mañana.
Hoy es el 29 de junio de 2020.
Profession of a person
Maria es profesora.
Nationality & Origin
Julia es de El Salvador.
William es de Los Angeles.
Define & Identify
Julia es mi hermana. (Julia is my sister.)
Locate events & concerts
El concierto es en teatro nacional. (The concert takes place in the national theatre.)
Indicate a period of time
El concierto es de día. (The concert is during the day.)
The use of “estar”
Estoy nervioso. (I am nervous (in this moment).
Location of someone or something
El gato está en el jardín. (The cat is in the garden.)
Yo estoy soltera. (I am single.)
Está casada. (She’s married.)
Mi padre está sentado en el jardín.
(My father is sitting in the garden).
Julio está muy delgado. (If you say “…es delgado” you mean that he has always been skinny.)
Temporary status of things or places
La playa está muy sucia. (The beach is very dirty.)
Estamos en invierno. (We have winter.)
Estar + de = temporary work status
Pedro es médico, pero ahora está de mesero en un restaurante. (Pedro is a doctor, but now he’s working as a waiter in a restaurant.)
The ultimate “Ser vs Estar Quiz”
Ok, let’s start! Vamos! Can you score 100% in our ultimate “Ser vs Estar Quiz”. Please let us know how you did and feel free to share it if you want.
By the way: This quiz is part of our Spanish online learning platform. Click here to learn more!
If you found this post helpful, you also might be interested in the following:
POR VS PARA QUIZ:20 EXERCISES TO PRACTICE YOUR SPANISH!
3 ESSENTIAL TIPS TO MASTER THE SPANISH PAST TENSE