Spanish Verb Ser – "To be"

In English we know the forms of the verb "to be" without thinking. I am. You are. We are. They are. In Spanish, each verb changes to reflect the subject of the verb, as well as the tense (such as present, past, or future). These changes are called conjugations.

Spanish Verb Ser — Conjunctions

The following table shows the conjugations of the verb ser in the present tense.

Singular Subject

Plural Subject

Yo (I)

soy

Nosotros/as (we)

somos

Tú (familiar you)

eres

Vosotros/as (familiar you)

sois

Ud., él, ella (polite you, he, she)

es

Uds, ellos, ellas (you, them)

son

Por ejemplo:

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Yo soy de España
I am from Spain
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Tú eres joven
You are young
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Ella es profesora
She is a teacher
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Nosotros somos de Nueva Zelanda
We are from New Zealand
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Ustedes son muy inteligentes
You are all very intelligent

Drop the Subject

Each conjugation is so precise that you usually don't need to include a subject at all! In Spanish you can simply say
the verb:

• Soy de España
• Eres joven
• Somos de Nueva Zelanda

Spanish Verb Ser – Whose it is and where you're from

The word "de" is widely used with the verb ser. It means "of" when used to indicate possession and "from" when used to indicate origin.

Por ejemplo:

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¿De quién es el zapato?
Whose shoe is this? Literally: "Of whom is this shoe?"
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El zapato es de Mateo
It is Matthew’s shoe. Literally: "The shoe is of Matthew."
Esos son los pasaportes de mis padres
Those are my parents' passports (Literally: Those are the passports of my parents.)
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¿De dónde es Eduardo?
Where does Edward come from? Literally: "From where is Edward?"
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Eduardo es de España
Edward is from Spain

Talking about What You Do for a Living

The verb ser is used to describe occupation. Note that in Spanish you will say, "She is professor" (Ella es profesora), NOT "She is a professor" (Ella es una profesora). When talking about occupation, you should not include either un or una.

Por ejemplo:

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José es piloto de aviones
José is an airplane pilot
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Yo soy actor
I am an actor.
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Ellos son estudiantes
They are students

Be Careful with "To Be" Verbs

Unlike English, there are TWO verbs for "to be" in Spanish!

In the next section we'll work on How to Say Numbers in Spanish

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