The most "bang for buck" Spanish course
4.7 star rating from 4800+ reviews
One payment for 24/7 lifetime access
60-day money back guarantee
Or until 1000 43 courses sold.
Save 60% Now

Spanish Verb Estar

A couple of lessons ago, we worked on the basic use of the verb “to be.” In this lesson we take a further look.

If you wanted to say, “I am sick,” or, “I am lost,” in Spanish, you’d be mistaken to use the “to be” verb that you previously learned, ser. “Ser” only describes permanent or nearly permanent states, such as being married (casado) or being tall (alto) or skinny (flaco).

The second “to be” verb in Spanish, estar, is used to describe location, health, or any condition that is only temporary. In the above example, you certainly don’t expect to be sick or lost forever.

The verb “estar,” has a straight-forward conjugation in the present tense:

Pronoun Present tense of ESTAR
Yo estoy
Ud., él, ella está
Nosotros/as estamos
Vosotros/as estáis
Uds., ellos, ellas están

Note the placement of the accent marks as well. While está can mean he or she is or you are, esta means “this,” as in esta cosa or “this thing.” The accent marks, in addition to indicating the correct pronunciation, distinguish completely separate words.

Where am I?

The most common way of asking the location of an object, person or place is:

¿Dónde está…?

This means, Where is…?

For example:

  • ¿Dónde está el baño? - Where is the bathroom?
  • ¿Dónde está mi carro? - Where is my car?
  • ¿Dónde está el hotel? - Where is the hotel?

If you want to understand the answer, you need to learn some basic direction and location words.

Important Direction Words

Por ejemplo (for example):

Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record

Rocket Record lets you perfect your Spanish pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!

¿Dónde está el baño?

Where is the bathroom?

¿Dónde está mi carro?

Where is my car?

¿Dónde está el hotel?

Where is the hotel?

A la derecha

To the right


Far away

Delante de

In the front

Forming DEL from DE and EL

Remember that the word de means of? Except for adelante, entre, and en, all the above direction words require de if they are followed by an object. For example:

  • a la izquierda de la calle - principal to the left of the principal street
  • delante de la tienda - in front of the shop
  • cerca del parque - near the park
  • al lado del museo nacional - beside the national museum

Hint: The words “de” + “el” form the contraction “del.”

More examples:

  1. ¿Dónde está el gato?

    Where is the cat?

    El gato está al lado del perro.

    The cat is beside the dog.

  2. ¿Dónde está el lápiz?

    Where is the pencil?

    El lápiz está a la derecha de Maria.

    The pencil is to Maria’s right.

  3. ¿Dónde está el baño?

    Where is the bathroom?

    El baño está cerca de la oficina.

    The bathroom is near the office.

Coming up next is a review of what you’ve learned in this part of the program.

How Do You Feel?

When you talk about how you feel--whether you be tired, sad, or sick--you are usually talking about a temporary state. Therefore, you should use the “to be” verb: estar.

How do you ask others how they feel?

Subject pronoun form of estar Meaning
Yo ¿Cómo estoy? How am I?
¿Cómo estás? How are you? (e.g., to a friend)
Ud. ¿Cómo está Ud? How are you? (e.g., to your boss)
Nosotros/as ¿Cómo estamos? How are we?
Vosotros/as ¿Cómo estáis? How are you? (e.g. to a group of friends)
Uds. ¿Cómo están Uds.? How are you? (e.g., to a group of co-workers)

Por ejemplo:

¿Cómo está tu madre?

How is your mother?

Ella está muy cansada por el viaje.

She is very tired because of the trip.

Juanita está muy feliz.

Juanita is very happy.

¿Cómo estoy, Doctor?

How am I, Doctor?

Usted está muy saludable.

You are very healthy.

Check out more Spanish Verbs for useful info! Here are some recommended lessons:

See you soon! ¡Hasta pronto!

Mauricio Evlampieff: Rocket Spanish

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!