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.
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
|You pl. are||Estais||Sois|
- Mi abuela esta sentada. My grandmother is sitting down.
- Estamos leyendo los periodicos. We are reading the newspapers.
- Estoy triste. I am sad.
- You soy Paul. I am Paul.
- Mi padre es jardinero. My father is a gardener.
- Son las cinco y veintecinco. It’s five twenty five.