Ser v.s. Estar

by Henry Dow

Ser & Estar both mean "to be."

Ser conjugation

Yo- Soy

Tu- Eres

El, Ella, Usted- Es

Nosotros- Somos

Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes- Son

Estar Conjugation

Yo- Estoy

Tu- Esatas

El, Ella, Usted- Esta

Nosotros- Estamos

Ellos, Ellas, Usteds- Estan

When to use Ser

It's considered to be a general rule that Ser is used to describe something permanent. Ser is also used when describing the following; Time & Date, Taking Place, Orign, Profession, Personality, and Physical characteristics. This can be remebered with the acronym S.T.T.O.P.P.P.

When to use Estar

Estar is typically used to describe something temporary. The acronym E.L.F. can be used to remember when to use Estar. E.L.F. stands for Estar, Location of a person or thing, and Feelings.

Taking place

  • La Fiesta es al mediadia.

The party is at noon. (Taking Place)

Time & Place

  • Hoy es el 1 de Octubre.
Today is October 1st.


  • Soy de Concord.
I'm from Concord.


  • Yo soy a Maestro.
I am a teacher.


  • Yo soy simpatico.
I am nice.

Physical Charistics

  • Yo soy alto.
I am tall.


  • Estoy bien.
I'm good.

Location of Person or Thing

  • Yo estoy en escuela.
I am in school.