To Be, & the Progressive Tense
The verb 'to be' in English is irregular. We may not think about it that way, but there it displays no regular pattern and therefore each subject that we are talking about must have its own verb form. For example, when I say: 'I am a man', this statement uses the verb 'I am' and is rooted in the verb 'to be'.
When speaking or writing in Spanish, the verb 'to be' is also irregular. However, Spanish has two different verbs for the verb, 'to be'. That might sound scary, but once you get the hang of it, you won't have much of a problem figuring out which form to use.
The two verbs of 'to be' in Spanish are 'Estar' and 'Ser' ****.
Before we talk about their differences, let's talk about their irregular forms, one at a time.
Estar is conjugated in the following manner:
Basically, the difference of each verb depends upon the meaning you want to express. Both verbs have their time and place for normal usage.
Ex. Ser: origin, nationality, personal qualities
****Pedro es de Puerto Rico. (Pedro is from Puerto Rico.)
****El es de Puerto Rico. (He is from Puerto Rico.)
Ex. Ser: occupations, qualities, or traits that will most likely not change
****Pedro es jugador de baloncesto. (Pedro is a basketball player.)
****Pedro es alto. (Pedro is tall.)
Ex. Ser: time & dates, possessions, and certain expressions
****Son las dos. (It's two o'clock.)
****Es el catorce de febrero. (It's the 14th of February.)
****El libro es mio. (The book is mine.)
****Es necessario jugar baloncesto todos los dias. (One has to play basketball everyday.)
Ex. Estar: Express the location of someone or something
****¿Donde esta Pedro? (Where is Pedro?)
****Pedro esta en su casa. (Pedro is in his house.)
****¿Donde esta el supermercado? (Where is the supermarket?)
****El supermercado esta a la derecha. (The supermarket is to the right.)
Finally, there are some idiomatic expressions that will come in handy if you know how to use them with the verb estar.
Here are a few:
Ex. Estar de acuerdo. (To be in agreement with someone or something)
****Estoy de acuerdo con los nueves leyes. (I agree with the new laws.)
****El presidente esta de acuerdo con la Casa Blanca. (The president agrees with the White House.)
Ex. Estar de vuelta (To be back or coming back.)
****Estoy de vuelta. (I'm back. Or, I've returned.)
****Te doy la vuelta. (I'm giving you your change. [Used in Spain from by a vendor after an item has been purchased].
Fill in the blank with the correct form of the verb 'To Be'. You will use either 'estar' or 'ser'.
Answers: ****1. Soy; 2. es; 3. soy; 4. estan; 5. esta; 6. Estamos; 7. somos; 8. son; 9. esta; 10. es