The Spanish verb SER

Free Spanish Grammar Lesson

El verbo SER

These notes on Spanish grammar cover how to use the verb 'SER' (to be) and are accompanied by a video and interactive exercises. For SER in the past tense please click on the link at the bottom of the page.

The Spanish verb SER means "to be". But there are two verbs meaning "to be" in Spanish - SER and ESTAR.

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.

PronounPresent Tense Verb Form
Él, Ella, Ustedes
Nosotros, Nosotrassomos
Vosotros, vosotrassois
Ellos, Ellas, Ustedesson

Here are some examples in Spanish of the common uses of the verb SER:

La alumna es colombiana. - The student is Colombian.

El sol es caliente. - The sun is hot

Estos autos son rápidos. - These cars are fast.

Nosotros somos los primeros en llegar. - We are the first to arrive.

Los zapatos son mios. - The shoes are mine.

eres muy inteligente. - You are very intelligent.

Yo soy un niño. - I am a boy.

Some more special uses of the verb SER.

Use Ser to tell the time: "Son las nueve de la mañana." - It is 9.00 in the morning.

Use Ser for the passive voice: "El lápiz es usado para escribir." - The pencil is used for writing

Use Ser in impersonal statements: "Es importante no olvidar." - It is important not to forget.

Use Ser for the location of an event: La presentación es en el museo. - The presentation is in the musuem. (note that ESTAR is used for direct statements of location - "el museo está al lado del parque")

Spanish grammar: the verb SER. Another free Spanish grammar video from 121Spanish

Interactive Exercise 1

1. Las muchachas parte del grupo de cantantes. quiz answer

2. Alex y yo amigos de la escuela. quiz answer

3. ¿Quien la nueva profesora de Literatura?. quiz answer

4. Yo de Manchester en Inglaterra. quiz answer

5. Este libro de la hermana de Luis. quiz answer

6. Vosotros amigos de mis padres. quiz answer

7. ¿Cuándo tu cumpleaños? quiz answer

8. Nosotros no los guitarristas de este grupo. quiz answer

9. ¿Ustedes los dueños de estos autos? quiz answer

10. Mis mejores amigos no amantes del fútbol. quiz answer


Interactive Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verb SER.

Note: Try to use the correct written accents if you can e.g.: á, é, í, ó, ú, ñ, ü.

If you don't know the correct answer, type '?' to reveal it.

1. Yo  quiz answerMaría.

2. ¿Tú  quiz answerde Paraguay?

3. Él  quiz answerboliviano.

4. Ella  quiz answerchilena.

5. Nosotras  quiz answeramigas.

6. Nosotros  quiz answerperezosas (ellos).

7. Vosotros  quiz answeralumnos ambiciosos.

8. Ellos  quiz answermuy simpáticos.

9. Ellas  quiz answermuy antipáticas.


Topics covered in this lesson

Forms of the verb SER in Spanish. How to conjugate the verb SER. Present tense forms of the verb SER. Comparisons of SER and ESTAR.

Click here for a the verb SER in the preterite and imperfect tenses.

Click here for a comparison of SER and ESTAR.

Click here for to learn about the verb ESTAR.



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