Estan Vs Son

When it comes to Spanish verbs, Estar and Ser are two fundamental verbs that are essential for you to learn to communicate effectively in Spanish. They both mean “to be” in English, and they are both used to describe qualities or states of being.

However, Estar and Ser are very different in their uses, and it’s important to learn the distinctions between the two to use them correctly. In this article, we will explore the differences between Estar vs. Ser and breakdown their uses.


Estar is used to describe the current state or condition of something or someone. It is often used to describe temporary or situational conditions rather than to describe something’s deeper essence or identity.

Some ways to use Estar include:

1. Describing location:
Estar is used to describe where someone or something is located at the moment. For example, “El coche está en el garaje” – The car is in the garage.

2. Describing physical states:
Estar is used to describe the physical state or condition of a person, place, or thing. For example, “Estoy cansado” – I am tired. “El edificio está en ruinas” – The building is in ruins.

3. Describing emotional states:
Estar is used to describe temporary emotional states, such as feelings of joy, sadness, or anger. For example, “Estamos contentos porque ganamos el partido” – We are happy because we won the game.

4. Describing actions in progress:
Estar is used to describe actions that are in progress or ongoing. For example, “Estoy estudiando español” – I am studying Spanish.


Ser is used to describe the essential or permanent qualities and characteristics of people, places, and things. Ser is often used to talk about identity or professions, and it is also used for generalizations and expressing what is always true.

Some ways to use Ser include:

1. Describing identity:
Ser is used to describe a person’s identity or nationality. For example, “Soy americano” – I am American. “Ella es una estudiante de medicina” – She is a medical student.

2. Describing physical characteristics:
Ser is used to describe physical characteristics that are unchanging, such as height, weight, or eye color. For example, “Soy alto” – I am tall. “El gato es negro” – The cat is black.

3. Describing professions:
Ser is used to describe someone’s profession. For example, “Mi padre es carpintero” – My father is a carpenter.

4. Expressing what is always true:
Ser is used to express generalizations or what is always true. For example, “El agua es transparente” – Water is transparent. “El sol es amarillo” – The sun is yellow.

The Differences

In summary, Estar is used to describe temporary or situational conditions, while Ser is used to describe permanent or essential qualities. It’s important to understand the differences between Estar and Ser because using them correctly can help you to communicate more effectively in Spanish.

Some examples to distinguish Estar vs. Ser.

1. Ser versus estar with locations:

– ¿Dónde está el baño? / Where is the bathroom?
– El baño está aquí. / The bathroom is here. (Está because we’re describing the location now.)
– ¿Dónde es el baño? / Where is the bathroom? (Note: You would never use ser to ask about a location.)
– El baño es en la planta baja. / The bathroom is on the ground floor. (Es because we’re describing the location in a more permanent way.)

2. Ser versus estar with emotions:

– Mi abuela está triste hoy. / My grandmother is sad today. (Está because it’s a temporary emotion.)
– Mi abuela es una persona triste. / My grandmother is a sad person. (Es because it’s a personality trait.)

3. Ser versus estar with physical qualities:

– El cielo está oscuro. / The sky is dark. (Está because it’s a temporary condition.)
– La profundidad del mar es desconocida. / The depth of the sea is unknown. (Es because it’s a permanent quality.)

4. Ser versus estar with professions:

– ¿Qué es tu trabajo? / What’s your job?
– Soy contadora. / I’m an accountant. (Soy because it’s my profession.)
– Estoy trabajando como camarero. / I’m working as a waiter. (Estoy because it’s a temporary arrangement.)