YOUR LINGO

Ser vs. Estar

Learning the differences between ser and estar, por and para, and the subjunctive and the indicative is often quite challenging for learners of Spanish.
¡Ánimo! (Cheer up!) After reading this article, you’ll have a good handle on the first of these tricky pairs, ser and estar. Review Time: if you’re not sure how to conjugate these two important verbs (they’re irregular), check out the verb conjugation tables for ser and estar.

Uses of Ser

Ser is used to talk about permanent or lasting attributes. If this general rule is too vague for you, think of the acronym DOCTOR, which stands for Descriptions, Occupations, Characteristics, Time, Origin, and Relationships. Let’s take a look at each of the above categories individually.

  1. Descriptions

Descriptions are the essential qualities that define a person or thing and probably won’t change anytime soon. These descriptions can be names, physical descriptions, nationalities, and even religions.

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