Ser or Estar, That Is the Question (Part III)

by Vanessa Johnson on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Welcome to the third and final chapter of our ser vs. estar guide! This week, we’ll take another look at common words that mean one thing when paired with ser and another with estar.      

When you’re picking up new Spanish vocabulary words as you study Spanish in Spain and Latin America, keep in mind that a single word can have multiple meanings!

Click here to read this post in Spanish.


We use SER to express:

We use ESTAR to express:

That something or someone is boring.

El profesor de historia es aburrido. Sus clases no son nada interesantes.

(The history teacher is boring. His classes are not interesting at all).

That someone is bored.

El profesor de historia está aburrido. Está todo el rato bostezando.

(The history teacher is bored. He can’t stop yawning.)


We use SER to express:

We use ESTAR to express:

That someone is closed-minded.

Mi abuela es una mujer muy cerrada. No entiende que los homosexuales puedan casarse.

(My grandmother is very closed-minded. She is against gay marriage.)

That something is closed.

He ido al banco hace un rato pero estaba cerrado.

(I went to the bank earlier, but it was closed.)


We use SER to express:

We use ESTAR to express:

That someone is open-minded.

A pesar de su edad, mi abuela es una mujer muy abierta. Está totalmente a favor del matrimonio homosexual.

(Despite her age, my grandmother is very open-minded. She’s totally in favor of same-sex marriage.

That something is open.

El banco está abierto hasta las 14 h.

(The bank is open until 2 p.m.)


We use SER to express:

We use ESTAR to express:

That someone looks after others and cares about their well-being.

Mi novio es muy atento. Siempre está pendiente de lo que necesito.

(My boyfriend is very attentive/thoughtful. He always thinks about my needs.)

That someone is concentrating on something.

En clase hay que estar atento en todo momento. Todo lo que dice el profesor es interesante.

In class you have to be attentive/pay attention at all times. Everything the teachers says is interesting.


We use SER to express:

We use ESTAR to express:

That someone is vain or arrogant.

Roberto nunca te pedirá perdón. Es muy orgulloso.

(Robert will never apologize to you. He is very arrogant.)

That someone is very satisfied with something or someone.

Estoy muy orgullosa de mi hijo. Ha aprobado todas las asignaturas con muy buena nota.

(I am very proud of my son. He passed all his classes with flying colors.)

That brings us to the end of our explanation of ser and estar.

Esperamos que estés atento a los próximos artículos. ¡Te prometemos que no serán aburridos!

(We hope you’ll keep an eye out for our next posts. We promise they won’t be boring!)

A special thanks to Ignacio Sellés from our school in Alicante for putting together this helpful guide to ser and estar.

Be sure to check out Part I and Part II to fully master the differences between ser and estar!



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