1.2 Present Indicative: Ser
Hola, amigos. Today we’re going to talk about the verb “ser.” "Ser" is one of the most important and one of the most common verbs in Spanish because it's used to describe both people and things. We use "ser" to describe physical description of somebody, their personality, their profession, their nationality, and their religion as well. We also use it to describe inherent characteristics of objects. That is, the size, color, shape, or the material that something is made of.
Notice that all of these things I just mentioned are permanent or at least, they don't change very often. I suppose you could change your nationality or dye your hair to change your apperance, but in general, these are inherent characteristics that are fundamental to describe somebody.
You can think of "ser" as a type of equals sign. “Yo soy rubio,” which means “I am blonde.” Kind of, at least. "Blonde" is something that describes me, or describes who I am. “Tú eres estudiante.” “You are a student.” That would be your profession at the moment. And finally, “El papa es católico.” "The Pope is Catholic," which describes his religion.
We also use "ser" to tell the time (such as, "Es la una de la manana,” or "Son las seis de la tarde.") We also use it to say the date (such as "Hoy es el quince de junio."), And finally, we use it to say the possession or who owns something, such as “Ese auto es mio!”
Now that we know when to use the verb “ser”, let's talk about how to use it correctly. The first thing we need to know is, Who is the subject of the sentence? The form, or the conjugation that we use will correspond with the student. Just like in English. we say "I am" or "you are" and the conjugation of the verb "to be" that we are using changes depending on the subject.
Here you can see the different conjugations of the verb "ser." Did you notice that it looks a lot like the chart we saw in the last lesson for the subject pronouns? Here, we can see which conjugation to use depending on the subject we're talking about.
Yo soy. Tú eres. Usted es. Él es. Ella es. Nosotros somos. Vosotros sois. Ustedes son. Ellos son. Ellas son. Let's get a little help with going through the chart from one of our native Spanish speakers.
Now let's do some practice. When you hear the pronoun, you're going to say the correct conjugation of "ser." Ready?
Yo soy morena. Tú eres simpático. Nosotras somos mujeres.
Well guys, now I think you're ready to check out the quiz on our website, IdiomaPRO.com to see how well you understood the lesson. If there's something that confused you or you need a little more help or explanation, check out the website for the PDF exercises to practice more. There's also the lesson transcription and lots of other resources to help you out.
See you in the next lesson!
Ser means "to be" and is used to talk about basic, permanent characteristics of people and things.
When to use "ser"
The verb "ser" is used to talk about:
1. Physical Descriptions
The Negative Form
To make the negative form, just put the word "no" in front of the conjugation of "ser'.
Open Summary & Exercises (PDF)