Gramática: El verbo ser / Ser + de


  • Identify the correct conjugations of the verb ser (to be)
  • Recognize possession indicated by ser + de

El verbo ser

Sign reading: soy professora mis alumn@s no son números

aumento = increase; las aulas: classrooms

The verb ser means “to be”. Just as “to be” has an irregular conjugation in English (I am, you are, he/she is…), the verb ser is very irregular in Spanish. Therefore, it is important that you memorize it! When you change the verb depending on the subject, like the example below, you are conjugating the verb. In Spanish to conjugate verbs, you will give them a different form for each of the six subject pronouns.

Examples of conjugating with singular subjects:

  • Play AudioYo soy (I am)
  • Play Audio eres (You are)
  • Play Audioél es / Play Audioella es / Play Audiousted es (He is / she is / you (formal) are)

Examples of conjugating with plural subjects:

  • Play Audionosotros somos (We are)
  • Play Audiovosotros sois* (You are)
  • Play Audioellos son / Play Audioellas son / Play Audioustedes son (They are / They (feminine) are / You (plural) are)
ser (to be)
singular plural
Play Audioyo soy Play Audionosotros somos
Play Audiotú eres Play Audiovosotros sois*
Play Audioél es / Play Audioella es / Play Audiousted es Play Audioellos son / Play Audioellas son / Play Audioustedes son

* Remember that the “vosotros” form is only used in Spain. The Latin American equivalent is ustedes son.

Graffiti which reads: tu eres lo que ves

lo que = what/ that which; ver (tú ves)=to watch, see

Using ser

Up to this point, you have seen ser used in the following ways:

  • to identify someone/something
    • Play AudioYo soy Manuel.
    • Play AudioEs mi cuaderno.
  • to ask or say where someone is from (origin)
    • A: Play Audio¿De dónde son ustedes?
    • B: Play AudioNosotros somos de los Estados Unidos.
  • To ask and say your profession
    • A: Play Audio¿Eres profesor?
    • B: Play AudioNo, yo soy estudiante.
  • To describe something or someone.
    • Play AudioEl cuaderno es rojo.
    • Play AudioLa profesora es inteligente.
  • To ask and answer about dates.
    • ¿Cuándo es tu cumpleaños?
    • Es el primero de marzo.

Possession with ser

Ser is also used to ascribe ownership, in combination with the preposition de (of). Be careful! English uses an apostrophe to say who something belongs to, but in Spanish we have to use a phrase with “de”.

  • El cuaderno azul es de Raúl. (The blue notebook is Raúl’s.)
  • El cuaderno de Raúl es azul. (Raúl’s notebook is blue.)