Spanish Verbs Be and Have - Ser, Estar, Tener

Learn how to conjugate ser, estar, and tener in Spanish


Learn Spanish phrases, vocabulary, and grammar online for free with audio recordings by native speakers - ielanguages.com Buy Spanish Language Tutorial as a PDF e-book! Spanish Language Tutorial includes a complete vocabulary and grammar review of the Spanish language (much more than what is available online), transcripts of authentic Spanish videos, and Spanish realia photos. The PDF e-book and mp3s - including nearly two hours of recordings by five native speakers from three countries - are available for immediate download with FREE lifetime updates. Thank you for supporting ielanguages.com! Download the first ten pages of Spanish Language Tutorial (including the table of contents).

Buy Spanish Language Tutorial


Spanish Verbs Be and Have Spanish Flashcards Spanish Exercises Spanish Youtube Videos

 

ser - to be
  present   preterite imperfect   future  
(yo) soy I am fui era I was seré I will be
(tú / vos) eres / sos you are
fuiste
eras
you were serás
you will be
(él / ella)
(usted)
es
es
he / she / it is
you are
fue
fue
era
era
he / she / it was
you were
será
será
he / she / it will be
you will be
(nosotros / -as) somos we are fuimos éramos we were seremos we will be
(vosotros / -as) sois you are fuisteis erais you were seréis you will be
(ellos / ellas)
(ustedes)

son
son
they are
you are
fueron
fueron
eran
eran
they were
you were
serán
serán
they will be
you will be

 

estar - to be
  present   preterite imperfect   future  
(yo) estoy I am estuve estaba I was estaré I will be
(tú / vos) estás you are estuviste estabas you were estarás
you will be
(él / ella)
(usted)
está
está
he / she / it is
you are
estuvo
estuvo
estaba
estaba
he / she / it was
you were
estará
estará
he / she / it will be
you will be
(nosotros / -as) estamos we are estuvimos estábamos we were estaremos we will be
(vosotros / -as) estáis you are estuvisteis estabais you were estaréis you will be
(ellos / ellas)
(ustedes)

están
están
they are
you are
estuvieron
estuvieron
estaban
estaban
they were
you were
estarán
estarán
they will be
you will be

 

tener - to have
  present   preterite imperfect   future  
(yo) tengo I have tuve tenía I had tendré I will have
(tú / vos) tienes / tenés you have
tuviste tenías
you had
tendrás
you will have
(él / ella)
(usted)
tiene
tiene
he / she / it has
you have
tuvo
tuvo
tenía
tenía
he / she / it had
you had
tendrá
tendrá
he / she / it will have
you will have
(nosotros / -as) tenemos we have tuvimos teníamos we had tendremos we will have
(vosotros / -as) tenéis you have tuvisteis teníais you had tendréis you will have
(ellos / ellas)
(ustedes)

tienen
tienen
they have
you have
tuvieron
tuvieron
tenían
tenían
they had
you had
tendrán
tendrán
they will have
you will have

 

Highlighted forms are only used in northern/central Spain. You do not need to use the subject pronouns unless you want to emphasize the person, or to avoid ambiguity.

The conjugation for vos is usually only different from the conjugation in the present tense and the imperative (commands), though there can be differences in the preterite and subjunctive as well. Sometimes the present tense conjugation is identical to the tú conjugation (in which case, there will only be one form given in the conjugation charts). For the present tense conjugation of ser, in some regions of Chile, Colombia, and Cuba the vos conjugation is soi, whereas in some parts of Panama and Venezuela it is sois. A final -s may or may not be used for the vos conjugation in the preterite tense. There is a lot of variation in the vos conjugations, in addition to the use of the pronoun tú with a vos conjugation or the pronoun vos with a tú conjugation. Voseo is usually associated with Argentina but there are many more places in Latin America that use vos in some form so it is important to be aware of it.

The difference between the preterite and imperfect tenses will be explained in Spanish II. In general, the preterite expresses a completed action in the past while the imperfect expresses a repeated or continuing action in the past. For now, just learn the forms for recognition purposes.

 

Ser is used to identify or describe.  It tells what something is, its basic characteristics, or its origin.  Estar is used to tell the location of something or how someone feels.

 

Uses of Ser

Identify person/object
Inherent characteristics
or qualities
Nationality/Occupation
Telling time
Express ownership
Impersonal expressions
Passive voice
El edificio es un templo.
La casa es grande.
Carlos es pobre.
Es carpintero.
Son las tres.
Los libros son de Juan.
Es necesario.
El teléfono fue inventado por Bell.
The building is a temple.
The house is large.
Charles is poor.
He is a carpenter.
It's three o'clock.
The books are John's.
It is necessary.
The telephone was invented by Bell.

Uses of Estar

Location/position
Temporary condition/state
State of health
Form progressive tense
El libro está en la mesa.
La ventana está abierta.
Juan está enfermo.
Miguel está estudiando.
The book is on the table.
The window is open.
John is sick.
Michael is studying.

 

Sometimes changing the verb can completely change the meaning: ser aburrido means to be boring, while estar aburrido means to be bored. Others include: ser bueno - to be nice, estar bueno - to be in good health; ser callado - to be discrete, estar callado - to be silent; ser moreno - to have brown hair, estar moreno - to be tan.

 

Many common expressions using the verb "be" in English use the verb "tener" in Spanish (but not all):

to be afraid tener miedo to be in a hurry tener prisa, estar de prisa
to be against estar en contra to be jealous tener celos
to be at fault tener la culpa to be lucky tener suerte
to be careful tener cuidado to be patient tener paciencia
to be cold tener frío to be sleepy tener sueño
to be curious ser curioso/a to be successful tener éxito
to be fed up estar harto/a to be thirsty tener sed
to be happy estar contento/a to be tired estar cansado/a
to be hot tener calor to be ___ years old tener ___ años
to be hungry tener hambre    

Tener is also used with the following expressions that use "have" in English:

No tengo ni idea. I have no idea.

¿Tienes un resfriado? Do you have a cold?

Tengo que irme. I have to go.

 




Buy ielanguages.com language tutorials

If you enjoy the tutorials, then please consider buying French, Informal French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, or Dutch Language Tutorials as a PDF e-book with free mp3s and free lifetime updates.

Buy French Tutorial

Buy Informal French

Both French e-books

Buy Italian Tutorial

Buy Spanish Tutorial

Buy German Tutorial

Buy Swedish Tutorial

Buy Dutch Tutorial





Please consider sending a donation of any amount to help support ielanguages.com. Thank you!

Donate




Return to top of page






Learn languages with videos and subtitles at FluentU

FluentU offers authentic videos in French, Spanish, German, English, Chinese and Japanese. Learn from captions and translations and enjoy access to ALL languages!

Learn languages with videos and subtitles at Yabla

Learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and English with authentic videos by Yabla that include subtitles and translations.



Learn languages by reading Interlinear Books

Learn to read languages with interlinear bilingual books that include the original language and an English translation below in a smaller font.

Udemy Language Learning Courses

Hundreds of free and paid online language learning video courses at Udemy. By native speakers and experts, from Arabic to Zulu.






© Copyright 1997 - 2016 by Dr. Jennifer Wagner About | Contact | Blog | Blog RSS | Affiliate Program | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy