Spanish The Verb "Ser"

Beginner Spanish - Level A1

Overview

SER is used primarily in situations to imply permanence, equivalence, characteristics, origin, nature, identity and possession ("My apple IS bigger than his", "Quito IS in Ecuador", "Ice IS cold", "He IS French", "This car IS mine". SER is an irregular verb. You just need to memorize the form that goes with each pronoun.

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The Verb SER

One of the most commonly used verbs in the English language is SER. In Spanish, we actually have two verbs that can mean “to be” and they are SER and ESTAR. Today we’re just going to focus on SER

NOTE: The unchanged form of the verb is called the infinitiveThus, SER is the infinitive form of this verb.

In English, the verb to be is irregular in that we change “be” to different conjugations like is, am and are. The verb “be” is also irregular in Spanish! Let’s take a look at the conjugations in the chart below. Remember from our previous lesson about subject pronouns (Subject Pronouns Lesson) that memorizing where the subject pronouns “live” in this chart can be very helpful in your Spanish learning! 

Ser = To Be

Soy = I am

Somos = We are

Eres = You (informal) are

Sois = You all are

Es = He is, She is, You (formal) are

Son = They (masculine) are, They (feminine) are, You all are

 

How do I know when to use ser versus estar?

We use ser in more permanent situations versus the temporary ones when we use estar. We will dive more in depth on this topic in our upcoming estar lesson but for now remember these few tips on when to use ser:

  • Telling time
  • Expressing the date
  • Description
  • Occupation
  • Origin (where someone is from)
  • Possession
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There are two ways to say indicate “to be” in Spanish. These are the verbs ser and estar. This is one of the first conjugations you should learn when starting your Spanish-language journey.

When do you use the verb ser?

Ser should be used in scenarios that are indefinite. It explains a state of “being” that should not or does not frequently change.

Here is a short list of potential scenarios that you incite the usage of ser in conversations:

  • Express nationality
  • Express time
  • Express gender identity
  • Unchanging characteristics
  • Express where you are from
  • Traits

The Conjugation of "ser"

ser

Let’s practice!

Choose the appropriate form of the verb ser to use in the following sentences. Be sure to click READ MORE to see the answer key!

  1. Mis amigos _______ muy amables.

    a. Es

    b. Somos

    c. Soy

    d. Son

  2. Yo _______ de España.

    a. Es

    b. Somos

    c. Soy

    d. Eres

  3. Roberto _______ doctor.

    a. Es

    b. Eres

    c. Soy

    d. Son

  4. Mi familia y yo_______ Méxicanos.

    a. Es

    b. Somos

    c. Soy

    d. Eres

  5. Hoy _______ lunes el 14 de febrero.

    a. Es

    b. Somos

    c. Soy

    d. Son

  6. ¿Cuándo _______ tu cumpleaños? .

    a. Es

    b. Somos

    c. Soy

    d. Son

  7. ¿Cómo  _______ tú?.

    a. Es

    b. Somos

    c. Eres

    d. Son

  8. Yo _______ policía.

    a. Es

    b. Soy

    c. Somos

    d. Son

  9. _____ son hermanos.

    a. Es

    b. Somos

    c. Soy

    d. Son

  10. _______ es una mujer.

       a. Es

       b. Somos

       c. Soy

       d. Son

Answer key: 1. D, 2. C, 3. A, 4. B, 5. A, 6. A, 7. C, 8. B, 9. D, 10. A  

I. Match the correct conjugation with its correct pronoun.

  1. Soy                   A. Yo
  2. Es                     B. Ellos/ Ellas/ Uds.
  3. Somos              C. Él/ Ella/ Ud.
  4. Son                   D. Nosotras
  5. Soís                  E. Tú
  6. Eres                  F. Vosotros

II. Multiple Choice: Select the correct answer

  1. Which of the following is a correct scenario to use the verb ser?
    1. Express emotion
    2. Express current location
    3. Express nationality
    4. None of the above
  2. Ser is used to express
    1. Indefinite “being”
    2. Definite “being”
    3. A state of being that does not change frequently
    4. Both a. and c.
  3. The verbs that translate to “to be” in Spanish are:
    1. Nadar and comer
    2. Maquillar and Caminar
    3. Ser and estar
    4. Él and Ella
       

    III. True or False?

  4. Ser is used to express current states of being.
    1. True
    2. False
  5. The Spanish pronoun has to be paired with a specific conjugation.
    1. True
    2. False

    IV. Fill in the blank with the correct pronoun.

  6. _____ eres un hombre.
  7. _____ es una mujer.
  8. _____ somos amigos.
  9. _____ son hermanos.
  10. _____ sois personas.

I. 1A, 2C, 3D, 4B, 5F, 6E

II. c, b, c

III. b, a

IV. Tú, Ella, Nosotros, Ellos, Vosotros

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