When to use SER and ESTAR – Most important Spanish verbs

When to use SER and ESTAR
When to use SER and ESTAR - The 2 most important Spanish verbs

When to use SER and ESTAR, the two most important verbs in Spanish

When to use SER and ESTAR


In my 7th Spanish class from the renewed version of my Spanish course I taught the most important Spanish verbs. From that short list, SER and ESTAR are arguably the most important ones. The problem for English speakers is that they both translate into only one English verb: TO BE. Therefore, if SER = TO BE, and ESTAR = TO BE; how to know when we must use one or the other? This is a typical doubt among all English speakers that are learning Spanish.

In my Spanish class Nbr. 7 I explained the difference between both verbs, and when we must use one or the other. But in the present video I will be completing that explanation with some very important information. You will find this useful and relevant to help you decide whether you must use SER or ESTAR.




  • SER – It is used whenever we tell the time, or whenever we are talking about time.
  • ESTAR – It is used whenever we are talking about the location of something or somebody. Also, when talking about being with somebody or something.

Examples with SER and ESTAR:

  • Son las 4 de la tarde = It is 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
  • Te llamé cuando eran las 11 = I called you when it was 11 o’clock.
  • Estoy con un amigo = I am with a friend.
  • Estoy en casa con mi perro = I am at home with my dog.
  • Te llamaré cuando esté en la oficina = I will call you with I am at the office (when I get to the office)
  • Estoy en el trabajo = I am at work.

You can find a full list of all the video lessons by clicking on the List of Lessons tab on the Main Menu.

To enlarge the video-screen to full-screen size, click on the icon on the lower right corner of the video.

Also, you can visit my YouTube channel.

Don’t forget to comment if you have any questions or suggestions!

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