Archive for Ser Posts

Spanish Subjunctive: Ser Subjunctive Conjugation

Ser SubjunctiveThe Spanish Subjunctive is a strange concept to English speakers as it is very rarely used in the English language, in Spanish however it is used frequently.

The subjunctive is a verb mood that is typically used to express a wish, emotion, opinion, judgement, possibility or something that has not yet happened and if you need further information regarding an explanation of how the subjunctive is used in Spanish there is a link at the end of this post that will help you.

This post, however, will provide the irregular subjunctive conjugation of each of the tenses of the much used Spanish verb Ser.

Subjunctive Present Tense (Subjuntivo presente)

  • yo sea
  • tú seas
  • él/ella sea
  • usted sea
  • nosotros/as seamos
  • vosotos/as seáis
  • ellos/ellas sean
  • ustedes sean

Subjunctive Imperfect Tense (Subjuntivo pretérito imperfecto)

  • yo fuera/fuese
  • tú fuera/fueses
  • él/ella fuera/fuese
  • usted fuera/fuese
  • nosotros/as fuéramos/fuésemos
  • vosotos/as fuerais/fuereis
  • ellos/ellas fueran/fuesen
  • ustedes fueran/fuesen

Just to add to any confusion you may be suffering from, it should be noted that there are two different set of endings for the imperfect tense in the subjunctive both mean the same and either can be used!

Subjunctive Future Tense (Subjuntivo futuro imperfecto)

  • yo fuere
  • tú fueres
  • él/ella fuere
  • usted fuere
  • nosotros/as fuéremos
  • vosotos/as fuereis
  • ellos/ellas fueren
  • ustedes fueren

Ser Conjugation, Ser vs Estar etc…

Ser vs EstarUnderstanding all aspects of Ser conjugation is extremely important to anyone who is learning Spanish and arguably the most important of the ser conjugation patterns to master is that of the indicative present tense.

However, before you even learn the conjugation of the irregular Spanish verb ser it is a requirement to understand how it is used, or even if ser is the verb you should even be using! This is because, unlike as in English, Spanish has two verbs that that are used that mean ‘to be‘, and these are, as you probably know already…ser and estar.

The rules surrounding the use of ser and estar may seem complicated at first but do become much easier after continuous and regular use, thus making the ser vs estar question a distant memory very quickly for the majority of students. Unfortunately though, before this can happen, a period of study is required and in order to master this area of Spanish efficiently you will need concise and accurate information that relates to the differences between these two Spanish verbs and also the conjugation of the verb ser… all this information can be found on this page http://www.irregularspanishverbs.com/ser/ where you can also download or print off a full and complete Ser Conjugation chart.

For those of you who need more help with learning Spanish verbs, may I suggest reading my review of the Verbarrator verb training software which is, in my opinion, the best program currently available for studying, and mastering, the complexities of Spanish verb conjugation

How to Conjugate the Spanish Verb Ser Imperfect Tense

Spanish Verb Ser ImperfectSer is one of those verbs in Spanish that seems to be irregular no matter which tense it is used in and the imperfect ser is no different.

The imperfect tense in Spanish is one that is relatively easy to master as there are very few irregular verbs that cause problems, in fact there are only three irregular verbs in the Spanish ‘imperfecto‘ of which ser is one, the others being ir to go‘ and verto see‘.

Before covering the imperfect conjugation of ser here is a brief explanation as to when the imperfect tense is used:

The imperfect is used to describe past actions that have not been completed. When the imperfect is used it implies that the past action being referred to didn’t have a definite beginning or a definite end.

The Imperfect Tense of the verb ser ‘to be’ is formed thus:

  • yo era – I was being
  • tú eras – you were being
  • él/ella era – he or she was being
  • nosotros éramos – we were being
  • vosotros erais – you were being
  • ellos/ellas eran – they were being

If you are finding learning the various irregular conjugations of ser and other Spanish verbs difficult you should consider the use of a verb training software program. You should consider reading my Verbarrator review, the Verbarrator is a relatively new program designed to help students learn Spanish verb conjugation better and is an excellent aid to studying, it achieves fast results and eliminates the tedium often encountered when learning verb conjugation so check it out!

Ser Present Tense

Ser Present TenseSer, meaning ‘to be‘, is the first irregular verb that many students encounter and is also one of the most irregular Spanish verbs, having irregularities in almost every tense, except the future and the conditional tenses.

However, it is with the present tense of ser that all students will begin and this tense is displayed below:

Singular:

  • Yo soy – I am
  • tú eres – you are (familiar)
  • él es – he is
  • ella es – she is
  • usted es – you are (polite)

Plural:

  • nosotros/as somos – we are
  • vosotros/as sois – you are (familiar)
  • ellos son – they are
  • ustedes son – you are (polite)

It does take a little time to memorize the unique conjugation patterns of the irregular verb ser and also, when it should be used. It is common for new students to be confused between ser and the equally irregular estar as they both mean ‘to be‘!

Should you require further information about both verbs and require a FREE printable verb conjugation sheet of each of them you should visit Ser and Estar.

If you are struggling with memorizing Spanish verb conjugations, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, you may also like to know how you can master them much more quickly and much more easily! If so, then you should check out my Verbarrator Review, great program and also…very successful!

What is the Difference Between Ser and Estar in Spanish?

The Difference Between Ser and EstarThere are few verbs in Spanish that are as important as ser; estar, also meaning ‘to be’, tener ‘to have’ and haber, also meaning ‘to have’ , but used extensively as an auxiliary verb in the Perfect tenses, to name but three.

However, it is with the use and conjugation of the Spanish verb ser that most students start. Ser is a difficult verb to start learning as it has many irregular forms in many of it’s tenses, but before looking at these irregularities it would be best to know when ser should be used.

In English we take the the verb ‘to be’ pretty much for granted as most of us learned how to conjugate it at such an early age that many of us probably can’t recall ever learning it, but unlike English, Spanish has two verbs meaning ‘to be’, ser and estar as mentioned previously, and these verbs are both used at different times; here though we shall only concentrate on Ser.

The Spanish verb Ser is used to describe:

  • Identity: Soy Danny – I am Danny
  • Possession: El Coche es de Danny – The car is Danny’s
  • Origin: Mis amigos son de Barcelona – My friends are from Barcelona
  • Nationality: Son ingleses – They are English
  • Occupation: El padre de Melanie es arquitecto – Melanie’s father is an architect
  • Material of which something is made: La casa es de oro – The house is made of gold
  • Inherent Characteristics: Juan es muy corto – Juan is very short
  • Expressions of time: Son las seis – It is six o’clock, Mañana es lunes – Tomorrow is Monday
  • Impersonal Expressions: Es mejor esperar – It is better to wait, Es difícil contestar – It is difficult to answer

If you wanted to express location, whether it is temporary or permanent, then estar would be used, for example:

  • Madrid está en España – Madrid is in Spain
  • Estoy en la cocina – I am in the kitchen.

Estar would also be used when describing temporary states or conditions such as:

  • Estoy enfermo – I am sick

Other than for the two uses above, ser is always used.

Ser is irregular in the following indicative tenses; present, imperfect and preterite as well as having an irregular present and past participle. It is also irregular in the following subjunctive tenses; present, imperfect and future, and finally ser is also irregular in the imperative.

As you can see there is quite a bit of ground to cover when learning the Spanish verb ser, I would advise downloading the free conjugation sheet from this location http://www.irregularspanishverbs.com/ser/.

However, if you are really struggling then you should check out my verbarrator review, it is a fantastic tool that will benefit you greatly when learning Spanish verb conjugation.

Why is the Spanish Verb Ser So Important?

Spanish verb SerThere are few verbs in Spanish that are as important as ser; estar, also meaning ‘to be’, tener ‘to have’ and haber, also meaning ‘to have’ , but used extensively as an auxiliary verb in the Perfect tenses, to name but three.

However, it is with the use and conjugation of the Spanish verb ser that most students start. Ser is a difficult verb to start learning as it has many irregular forms in many of it’s tenses, but before looking at these irregularities it would be best to know when ser should be used.

In English we take the the verb ‘to be’ pretty much for granted as most of us learned how to conjugate it at such an early age that many of us probably can’t recall ever learning it, but unlike English, Spanish has two verbs meaning ‘to be’, ser and estar as mentioned previously, and these verbs are both used at different times; here though we shall only concentrate on Ser.

The Spanish verb Ser is used to describe:

  • Identity: Soy Danny – I am Danny
  • Possession: El Coche es de Danny – The car is Danny’s
  • Origin: Mis amigos son de Barcelona – My friends are from Barcelona
  • Nationality: Son ingleses – They are English
  • Occupation: El padre de Melanie es arquitecto – Melanie’s father is an architect
  • Material of which something is made: La casa es de oro – The house is made of gold
  • Inherent Characteristics: Juan es muy corto – Juan is very short
  • Expressions of time: Son las seis – It is six o’clock, Mañana es lunes – Tomorrow is Monday
  • Impersonal Expressions: Es mejor esperar – It is better to wait, Es difícil contestar – It is difficult to answer

If you wanted to express location, whether it is temporary or permanent, then estar would be used, for example:

  • Madrid está en España – Madrid is in Spain
  • Estoy en la cocina – I am in the kitchen.

Estar would also be used when describing temporary states or conditions such as:

  • Estoy enfermo – I am sick

Other than for the two uses above, ser is always used.

Ser is irregular in the following indicative tenses; present, imperfect and preterite as well as having an irregular present and past participle. It is also irregular in the following subjunctive tenses; present, imperfect and future, and finally ser is also irregular in the imperative.

As you can see there is quite a bit of ground to cover when learning the Spanish verb ser, I would advise downloading the free conjugation sheet from this location http://www.irregularspanishverbs.com/ser/.

However, if you are really struggling then you should check out my verbarrator review, it is a fantastic tool that will benefit you greatly when learning Spanish verb conjugation.

How to Conjugate Ser in the Preterite Tense

How to Conjugate Ser in the Preterite TenseLearning how to conjugate ser in the preterite tense can be a little confusing for students for two reasons. And they are that –

1. the preterite conjugation of ser is highly irregular
2. it shares the exact same conjugation as the Spanish verb ‘ir‘ – meaning ‘to go’.

The first reason shouldn’t come as a surprise to most students who have encountered ‘ser‘ when studying conjugations in other tenses as it is one of the most irregular verbs in Spanish, but the degree of irregularity in the preterite still surprises many of them.

The second reason is generally the most confusing aspect of ‘ser‘ in the preterite tense as the question that is often asked is whether it means ‘was’ or ‘went’?

Once explained however, the confusion is short lived. Although, before you are enlightened further we should look at how ser is conjugated in the preterite first of all!

The Preterite Form of Ser (…and Ir!)

  •     fui – I was
  •     fuiste – you was
  •     fue – he was
  •     fuimos – we were
  •     fuisteis – you were
  •     fueron – they were

Now that you have been shown the conjugation above that is used for both ‘ser‘ and ‘ir‘, I should perhaps explain how you can tell whether it is ‘was’ or ‘went’ that is being used.

All you need do is simply listen to, or read, the context in which the verb is being used!

For example:
Ella fue una mal mujer – which means, she was a bad woman.
Ella fue al mercado – which means, she went to the market

As you can see both sentences begin with the same conjugation but the context defines which verb is being used. I mean, it would make no sense what so ever to say ‘she went a bad woman’ or ‘she was to the market’ now…would it?