Menu
Account

Grammar - A Review of Ser and Estar

"How are you? I am happy to see you. I am a girl. I am from Texas. Texas is very hot. Texas is in the south." What do each of these sentences have in common? They each contain a form of the 'to be' verb in them. That gives you a hint of what this quiz is about. This Spanish Medium Review quiz will have you revisit the 'to be' verbs of SER and ESTAR.

In English, there is only one 'to be' verb. This gives us: I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are and they are. However, in Spanish, there are two 'to be' verbs. Their bases are SER, which is an ER verb and ESTAR which is an AR verb. The next question to ask you then is: Do you remember when to use each of these verbs in a sentence?

Read More

PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY

As you may recall from the Spanish Easy Review quizzes, both 'to be' verbs are conditional verbs. However, SER refers to conditions that are more permanent while ESTAR refers to conditions that are temporary. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

The first example is the sentence: I am tall. In Spanish this would be stated as: Yo soy alto. The verb SER is used here because being tall is a permanent condition.

The second example sentence is: I am sick. In Spanish this would be stated as: Yo estoy enfermo. The verb ESTAR is used here because being sick is a temporary condition.

Now let’s look back at the opening of this introduction and see it as it would appear if written in Spanish.

"¿Cómo está? Estoy feliz ver usted. Soy una muchacha. Soy de Texas. Texas está caliente. Texas está en el sur."

LOOKING AT EACH QUESTION OR STATEMENT

How are you? (¿Cómo está?) This is asking you about how you are feeling right now. That means that it is asking you about a temporary condition. As the condition is temporary, the verb ESTAR is used.

I am happy to see you. (Estoy feliz ver usted.) This is responding as to one’s temporary feeling or condition. Therefore, the verb ESTAR is again is used.

I am a girl. (Soy una muchacha.) This statement refers to a permanent condition. As being a girl is a permanent condition, the verb SER is used.

I am from Texas. (Soy de Texas.) Although you may move around the country or the world throughout your life, your birthplace will always remain constant. Here the statement is referring to where that birthplace was – Texas. As it is a permanent condition, the verb SER is used.

Texas is hot. (Texas está caliente.) Will Texas always be hot? Not likely as the seasons change. Therefore, this statement is relating to a temporary condition. As it is temporary, the verb ESTAR needs to be used.

The last sentence is: Texas is in the south. (Texas está en el sur.) Do you think that Texas will move its location? That is highly unlikely. Rather, Texas will always remain in the south. Ah, but be careful with this one because in this circumstance, a geographical location is being referred to. In Spanish, when a geographical or physical location is being described, the verb ESTAR is used. There are always exceptions to the rule – including the fact that the verb SER is used to describe the time of the day and the date even though they both of these will change. In these two instances, you will have to remember that the conditions are exceptions and the opposite 'to be' verb needs to be used.

Another thing you will need to remember for this quiz is how to conjugate both 'to be' verbs. In addition, both verbs are irregular verbs in the present tense so you need to pay close attention to their conjugated endings. If you do not remember how these verbs are conjugated in the present tense, please go back and review the Spanish Easy Review quiz titled Grammar: Ser versus Estar. Then, once you’ve got that done, move on back here to this quiz.

There are ten sentences in the quiz that each contain a 'to be' verb in them. From the answers provided, locate the correct Spanish translation of that 'to be' verb.

Read Less
  1. Joseph IS my brother.
    The first thing to determine here is whether the condition is temporary or permanent. As being someone’s brother is a permanent condition you know that you will be using the verb SER. Now you can eliminate the second and third answers as they come from the verb ESTAR. Now let’s replace Joseph with a pronoun as the pronoun will tell us which conjugated verb form will need to be used. 'Joseph is' becomes 'He is'. The Spanish pronoun for he is él. Now what is the conjugated from of SER for 'he is'? It is 'es'. The first answer is the conjugated form for 'you (singular familiar) are' so it is not correct.
  2. We ARE in France.
    First determine if the condition is permanent or temporary. Will they always be in France? Probably not so the condition is temporary. Now you can eliminate the third and last answers as they come from the verb SER. You have already been provided with the pronoun of we. The first answer means 'they are' and is not what you are looking for. The second answer means 'we are'.
  3. Elephants ARE big.
    First determine if the condition is permanent or temporary. As Elephants will always be big it is a permanent condition. Therefore, the second and last answers can be eliminated as they come from ESTAR which is temporary. Now what would be the pronoun used for elephants. That would be los for they. The first answer means 'you (plural familiar) are' and is not what is needed here. The third answer means 'they are'.
  4. Sandy, Jason, Mark and Evelyn ARE cousins.
    First determine if the condition is permanent or temporary. As Sandy, Jason, Mark and Evelyn will always be cousins it is a permanent condition. Now you can eliminate the first and third answer as they are from the verb ESTAR which is a temporary condition. Next, what pronoun can be used to replace Sandy, Jason, Mark and Evelyn? In this case it would be 'they'. The second answer means 'we are' and is not correct. The last answer means 'they are'.
  5. Daddy IS tired of reading.
    Again, remember to determine whether the conditions is permanent or temporary. Will daddy always be tired? Most likely not so it is a temporary condition. Now you can eliminate the third and last answers as they come from SER which is a permanent condition. Next, determine the pronoun that can replace daddy. That would be 'he'. The third answer means 'you (singular familiar) are'. That is not correct. The first answer means 'he is'.
  6. I, Carol and Michael ARE freezing.
    First determine if the condition is permanent or temporary. Will they always be freezing? Most likely not so it is only a temporary condition. Now you can eliminate the first and last answers as they come from SER. What then would be the pronoun that would replace 'I, Carol and Michael'? It would be 'we' because the pronoun of 'I' is one of the people. The third answer means 'they are'. Since 'I' is one of the people, it would not be 'they' but rather 'we'. The second answer means 'we are'.
  7. I AM at peace.
    First determine whether the condition is permanent or temporary. Will you always be at peace? Most likely not. Therefore, the first and second answers can be eliminated as they come from SER which is for a permanent condition. You have already been given the pronoun of 'I'. The third answer means 'you (singular familiar) are' and is not what is needed here. The last answer means 'I am'.
  8. You ARE in the city. (You here refers to your family.)
    First determine whether the condition is permanent or temporary. Will you (your family) always be in town? Probably not. This means you can now eliminate the first and last answers as they come from SER a permanent condition. You have already been given the pronoun of 'you' and since 'you' is referring to your family, you know it is plural and familiar. The second answer means 'they are' and is not the correct translation. The third answer means 'you (plural familiar) are'.
  9. You ARE a good father.
    Is the condition referred to in this sentence a temporary or a permanent condition? Chances are that in this case it is a permanent condition. Therefore, the second and last answers can be eliminated as they are from ESTAR which is temporary. In the sentence you know that 'you' refers to father. Father is very familiar so the Spanish, familiar pronoun for you would be tú. The third answer means 'you are' but it is the formal form and does not represent father. The first answer means 'you are' for a familiar person such as father.
  10. They ARE in the North.
    First determine if the condition is permanent or temporary. Being in the North is most likely temporary. However, when a geographical location is used, the verb ESTAR is used. Therefore, the first and third answers can be eliminated. The last answer means 'we are' which is not correct. The second answer means 'they are'.

Author: Christine G. Broome

© 2014 Education Quizzes

TJS - Web Design Lincolnshire

Welcome to Education Quizzes
Login to your account