THE VERBS:

SER (TO BE), ESTAR (TO BE) & HABER (TO HAVE)
The verbs ser, estar and haber are irregular and used very frequently in Spanish.

PRESENT SER:
Yo soy
Tú eres
Él/ella/usted es
Nosotros/-as somos
Vosotros/-as sois
Ellos/-as son

USES OF THE VERB SER:

1. Identifying a person:

  • Ella es Ana y él es Juan. (She is Ana and he is Juan)
  • Este edificio es un palacio. (This building is a palace)

2. Profession:

  • Mi padre es médico. (My father is a doctor)
  • Elena es profesora. (Elena is a teacher)

3. Nationality /origin:

  • Jorge es de Barcelona. (Jorge is from Barcelona)
  • Pilar es española. (Pilar is Spanish)

4. Describing people and things:

  • Mis hermanos son altos. (My brothers are tall)
  • La clase de literatura es interesante. (The literature class is interesting)
  • Mi piso es pequeño. (My apartment is small)

5. Possession:

  • Las gafas son de Juan. (The glasses are Juan’s)
  • Nuestras maletas son aquellas. (Those are our suitcases)

6. Definitions:

  • ¿Qué significa la palabra ‘orgulloso’? Que es arrogante. (What does the word ‘pride’ mean? That he’s arrogant)

7. Asking for and responding about prices:

  • ¿Cuánto es? Son 20€. (How much is it? That’s 20€)

8. Asking for the date:

  • ¿Qué día es hoy? Es lunes. (What day is it today? It’s Monday)

9. Time:

  • ¿Qué hora es? Son las cinco. (What time is it? It’s five)
  • Es de día, es de noche. (It’s daytime, it’s night)

PRESENT TENSE OF THE VERB ESTAR.

Yo estoy
Tú estás
Él/ella está
Nosotros/-as estamos
Vosotros/-as estáis
Ellos/-as están

USES OF THE VERB ESTAR:

1. Space and time:

  • Las entradas están en la mesa. (The tickets are on the table)
  • ¿Está María en casa? (Is Maria home?)

2. State:

  • Carlos está enfermo. (Carlos is sick)
  • Los chicos están nerviosos. (The boys are nervous)
  • Mi padre está calvo. (My dad is bald)
  • La habitación está limpia. (The room is clean)

 

THE VERB HABER

This irregular verb is used often in Spanish in the third person: Hay (there are).

USES OF HAY (THERE ARE)

To speak of the existence or non-existence of people, animals, objects and places.

  • Hay un coche. (There’s a car)
  • Hay pan. (There’s bread)
  • Hay flores. (There are flowers)
  • Hay mucha gente. (There are a lot of people)
  • Hay un libro. (There’s a book)
  • ¿Hay una farmacia? (Is there a pharmacy?)
  • Hay cervezas en la nevera. (There are beers in the fridge)
  • Allí hay un payaso. (There’s a clown there)

Articles (el/la/los/las) or the possessive case (mi/mis, tu/tus, su/sus, nuestro/-a/-os/-as, vuestro/-a/-os/-as) are never used with this verb.

  • En mi barrio hay un estanco. (There’s a tobacco store in my neighborhood)
  • En mi barrio hay estancos. (There are tobacco stores in my neighborhood)
  • En esta ciudad hay mucha gente. (There are a lot of people in this city)

 

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