The Verb To Be – El Verbo Ser


In this topic we will look closely at the Spanish verb Ser (To Be). We have already used Ser various time in this course, but until now we have only been conjugating our verbs for Yo (I), Tú (You), Él (He) and Ella (She). Now we will learn how to conjugate the Ser for all persons.

Remember, there are two Spanish verbs with distinct uses, Ser and Estar, which translate to the verb To be in English (I am, You are, He is, She is, It is, We are, They are). Ser is generally used when describing permanent things (Nationality, Occupation, Physical description, Personality, Time and dates, Events, Relationships, Possession) and Estar when describing temporary things (Location, Emotions, Moods, Temporary conditions).

Later in the course we will look at conjugating Estar for all persons, but for now we will concentrate on Ser…

El verbo Ser (To be)
(Yo) Soy: I am
(Tú) Eres: You are
(Él/Ella) Es: He/She is
(Nosotros/as) Somos: We are
(Vosotros/as) Sois: You are
(Ellos/as) Son: They are

(Usted) Es: You are (formal)
(Ustedes) Son: You are (group/formal)

So, in this topic we have introduced Nosotros/as (We), Vosotros/as (You), and Ellos/as (They).

The ‘/as’ is to indicate that when you are talking about a We, You, or They that is entirely female you should use Nosotras, Vosotras, or Ellas. When the We, You, or They is entirely male or a mix of male and female you will use Nosotros, Vosotros, or Ellos.

You will see that Vosotros/as and Tú both mean You in English. Tú is used when you are describing one person and Vosotros/as is used when you are describing more than one person.

Remember also that the personal pronouns Yo, Tú, Él, Ella, Nosotros/as, Vosotros/as, and Ellos/as are all in brackets because using them is optional. For example, Nosotros somos means We are and Ellos son means They are. But equally so, just Somos means We are and just Son means They are. It is up to you whether or not you use the personal pronouns.

Let’s see some example sentences using Ser:

¿Quién eres? (Who are you?) Soy Juan (I am Juan)
¿Quiénes sois? (Who are you?) Somos María y Pablo (We are María and Pablo)
¿Quiénes son? (Who are they?) Son Sara y Elena (They are Sara and Elena)
¿Sois Alberto y Ana? (Are you Alberto and Ana?) No, somos Juan y Silvia (No, we are Juan and Silvia)
¿Son españoles? (Are they Spanish?) Sí, son españoles (Yes, they are Spanish)
Somos abogados. ¿Y vosotros? (We are lawyers. And you?) Somos profesores (We are teachers)

From now on in the course we will continue using all of the personal pronouns (I, You, He, She, We, You, They) with our verbs and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with all of the verb endings we have learned here by writing your own practice sentences using Ser. Later we will also look at how to use the other verbs we have already seen, Estar, Querer, and Tener, with all persons.


Play the audio below and practice your pronunciation by repeating with Laura.



Ser: To be:

(Yo) soy: I am
(Tú) eres: You are (friendly)
(Usted) es: You are (formal)
(Él) es: He is
(Ella) es: She is
(Nosotros/as) somos: We are
(Vosotros/as) sois: You are (group/friendly)
(Ustedes) son: You are (group/formal)
(Ellos/ellas) son: They are

Soy Laura: I am Laura
¿Eres Antonio?: Are you Antonio?
¿Sois Antonio y Ana?: Are you Antonio and Ana?

No soy: I am not


Play the audio below and try to follow the conversation. Please listen at least twice before checking the transcript.



Tom: Hola, perdona ¿eres la hermana de Elisa?
Clara: Sí, ¿conoces a Elisa?
Tom: Sí, es mi amiga del colegio. Yo soy Tom.
Clara: Hola Tom. Yo soy Clara. ¿Tienes hermanos?
Tom: No ¿Por qué?
Clara: Te pareces mucho a mi amigo Michael.
Tom: ¿Michael Arthurs? Es mi primo.
Clara: Aaahhh… Claro. Entonces Tracy Arthurs es tu prima también.
Tom: Sí, claro. Es la hermana de Michael.
Clara: ¿Sabes que el novio de Tracy es mi hermano?
Tom: ¿Sí? ¿Cómo se llama?
Clara: Pedro.
Tom: ¡Ah sí! ¡Pedro!


Open the text below and try to follow what is written. Please read at least twice before checking the translation.


José: Hola, buenos días. ¿Quiénes sois?
El equipo de fútbol argentino: Hola, somos el equipo de fútbol argentino.
José: ¿Tú eres el entrenador del equipo?
El entrenador argentino: Sí, yo soy el entrenador de este equipo magnífico. Me llamo Alberto Gutiérrez.
José: Mucho gusto. Yo soy José Blanco. Soy el entrenador del equipo de fútbol español.
El entrenador argentino: Mucho gusto José. ¿Entonces ellos son los jugadores españoles?
José: Sí, ellos son mi equipo. Son muy buenos futbolistas.
El entrenador argentino: ¿Quién es tu capitán?
José: El capitán del equipo de fútbol español es Pedro Muñoz.
El entrenador argentino: ¿Quién es Pedro?
José: ¡Oye Pedro!
Pedro: Sí jefe.
José: Hola Pedro, este señor es Alberto Gutiérrez, el entrenador del equipo argentino.
Pedro: Encantado Señor Gutiérrez. Sois un equipo excelente. El entrenador argentino: Gracias, vosotros también.


José: Hello, good morning. Who are you?
The Argentine soccer team: Hello, we are the Argentine soccer team.
José: Are you the coach of the team?
The Argentine coach: Yes, I am the coach of this magnificent team. My name is Alberto Gutiérrez.
José: Nice to meet you. I am José Blanco. I am the coach of the Spanish football team.
The Argentine coach: Delighted to meet you José. So they are the Spanish players?
José: Yes, they are my team. They are very good footballers.
The Argentine coach: Who is your captain?
José: The captain of the Spanish football team is Pedro Muñoz.
The Argentine coach: Who is Pedro?
José: Hey Pedro!
Pedro: Yes boss.
José: Hi Pedro, this man is Alberto Gutiérrez, the coach of the Argentine team.
Pedro: Delighted to meet you Mr. Gutiérrez. You are an excellent team.
The Argentine coach: Thanks, you too.


Open the questions below and answer them in writing using the box provided. Check the answers afterwards to see how you got on.


Please answer the questions according to the information in brackets:


  1. ¿Quién eres? (Julia)
  2. ¿Quiénes sois? (Robert and Steven)
  3. ¿Él es Juan? (No, he is Julian)
  4. ¿Es ella Penélope? (Yes, she is Penélope)
  5. ¿Ustedes son turistas? (No, we are not tourists)
  6. ¿Usted es inglés? (No, I am not English, I am Scottish)
  7. ¿Ellas son tus hermanas? (Yes, they are my sisters)
  8. ¿Ellos son políticos? (Yes, they are politicians)
  9. ¿Son David y Paula periodistas? (No, they are not journalists)
  10. ¿Somos los primeros? (No, you are not the first)


Soy Julia
Somos Robert y Steven
No, él es Julian
Sí, ella es Penélope
No, no somos turistas
No, no soy inglés, soy escocés
Sí, son mis hermanas
Sí son políticos
No, no son periodistas
No, no sois los primeros


Play the audio below and respond to the questions Laura asks you. Check the answers afterwards to see how you got on.



1. Are you Sonia and Ana? (formal/group)
2. I am not Roberto
3. We are students
4. Are you Spanish? (friendly)

1. No es Peter, es John
2. ¿Es usted María?
3. Soy camarero
4. ¿Sois ingleses?