Estar and Ser are both Spanish verbs that can be loosely translated into English as “to be.” While estar is used to describe temporary conditions, ser is used to describe permanent states. The verbs take different forms depending upon the context.

Comparison chart

Estar versus Ser comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartEstarSer
Uses Position, Location, Action, Condition and Emotion (PLACE) Description, Occupation, Characteristic, Time, Origin and Relationship (DOCTOR)
Time frame Temporary Permanent or long term
Refers to A noun’s condition A noun’s essence
ser o no ser
magnify
ser o no ser

Difference in Meaning

Estar is used to indicate temporary states. These attributes can be remembered using the acronym PLACE: Position, Location, Action, Condition and Emotion. These include whether someone is sitting or standing, where they are currently located, what they are currently doing, and physical, mental and emotional states like tired or sad.

Ser is used to indicate permanent (or at least long term) attributes of a noun. These attributes can be remembered by the acronym DOCTOR: Description, Occupation, Characteristic, Time, Origin and Relationship. These include names and physical descriptions, careers, personality, time of day or age, place of birth, and status as relatives or friends.

Present Tense Conjugation

Estar Ser
I amEstoySoy
You areEstasEres
He/she/it isEstaEs
We areEstamosSomos
You pl. areEstaisSois
They areEstanSon

Examples

Estar examples

Ser examples

References

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