Ser – To Be
There are two verbs (ser and estar) which can be translated as “to be” but the use of one or the other completely changes the meaning of a sentence.
Here we’ll look at ‘Ser’, which is the verb used to describe the essential quality of a noun.
The conjugation of the verb ‘Ser’ is:
Él, Ella, Usted es
Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes son
Ser is used in Spanish to identify the subject, a person’s name, or a noun:
¿Quién eres tú? – Who are you?
Yo soy Raúl. – I am Raul
¿Qué es? – What is it?
Es una casa. – It’s a house
*Remember that, in Spanish, subject pronouns are used only for emphasis, contrast or to avoid confusion.
Ser is used to express the hour, day, and date:
¿Qué hora es? – What time is it?
Son las cinco. – It’s five o’clock.
¿Qué día es hoy? – What day is it today?
Hoy es lunes. – Today’s Monday.
¿Qué fecha es hoy? – What’s the date today?
Es el seis de agosto. – It’s August sixth.
Ser is used to express place of origin:
¿De dónde eres tú? – Where are you from?
Soy de Spain. – I’m from Spain.
Ser is used to express occupation:
¿Cuál es tu trabajo? – What do you do?
Soy jardinero – I’m a gardener
Ser is used to express nationality:
¿Es él colombiano? – Is he Colombian?
No, es mexicano. – No, he’s Mexican
Ser is used to express the material something is made of:
¿De qué material es el reloj? – What’s the watch made of?
Es de oro. – It’s made of gold
Ser is used to express possession:
¿De quién es el coche? – Whose car is it?
Es de Pedro. – It’s Pedro’s
Ser is used to express the relationship of one person to another:
¿Quién es Sara? – Who is Sara?
Es la mujer de Fausto. – She’s Fausto’s wife
Ser is used to say where an event is taking place:
La clase es en el aula seis. – The lessons is in room six
¿Dónde es el partido de futbol? – Where is the football match?
Ser used with an adjective and a noun to denote an attribute:
Victoria es una mujer muy bonita. – Victoria is a beautiful woman.
Ser is used to express religious or political affiliation:
Mis padres son socialistas y catolicos. – My parents are socialist and catholics.
Ser is used to express the relationship of one person to another / family relationship:
Ella es mi hermana. – She is my sister.
Ser is used to express an artistic style:
La iglesia es romanica. – The church is romantic.
Ser is used to express the addressee (person or institution):
La carta es para Marta. – The letter is for Marta.
Ser is used to express price and quantity:
Cuánto es ? – How much is it?
Son 20 euro. – It’s 20 euro.