The verb "to be" in Spanish must have been thought up by a brilliantly tangled mind, both fool and genius, and is one of the stumbling blocks in Spanish. It isn't much better in English, either, with "to be" , "am", "is" and "are" all jockeying for position!
It is one of perhaps ten important radically-changing verbs in the Spanish language (English has its share, also).
Both ser and estar mean "to be", although they cannot be used interchangeably without altering the meaning of the sentence.
Let's look, first, at the verb ser (to be).
The conjugation is as follows:
|(Yo) soy||I am|
|(Tú) eres||You are|
|(Él) es||He is|
|(Ella) es||She is|
|(Usted) es||You are|
|(Nosotros) somos||We are|
|(Ustedes) son||You are|
|(Ellos, Ellas) son||They are|
As we have learned in previous Chapters, the subject does not need to be included. "Soy", for example, implies that "I am".
The verb denotes something essential or expresses a characteristic, about a person or thing:
|(Yo) soy creativo||I am creative|
|(Tú) eres creativo||You are creative|
|(Él) es creativo||He is creative|
|(Ella) es creativa||She is creative|
|(Usted) es creativo||You are creative|
|(Nosotros) somos creativos||We are creative|
|(Ustedes) son creativos||creative|
|(Ellos) son creativos||They are creative|
|(Ellas) son creativas||They are creative|
The verb "estar" [to be ] is used mostly to denote a subject's location, condition or position, relative to something or someplace:
|(Yo) estoy aquí||I am here|
|(Tú) estás aquí||You are here|
|(Él) está aquí||He is here|
|(Ella) está aquí||She is here|
|(Usted) está aquí||You are here|
|(Nosotros) estamos aquí||We are here|
|(Ustedes) están aquí||You are here|
|(Ellos, Ellas) están aquí||They are here|
This fairly covers the usage of this odd verb. You will learn to recognize the proper usage and inuendos as you explore the language further. In the above example, you will note that está is accentuated on the last syllable. This differentiates the verb from the article "esta" [f], wherein the emphasis (stress) is on the first syllable: ES-TA (see chapter seventeen]. The importance of the accent becomes obvious when differentiating between words that are similarly spelled.
Consider the following:
When using the Article esta and the verb está in the same sentence, it would look like this:
|este señor está aquí||this gentleman is here|
|esta señora está aquí||this lady is here|
Señor and Señora are the polite designations for gentleman and lady, similar to "Sir" and "Madam", or "Mister" (Mr.) and "Mrs." in English. They are abbreviated Sr. (Señor), and Sra. (Señora).
Diminutive & Augmentative Nouns
In Spanish, you don't need an adjective to make a noun "tiny".
You simply add a suffix! (called the "Diminutive form")
There's ...ita for femenine-gendered nouns [f]
and ...ito for masculine-gendered nouns [m]
|La casa [f] (The house) becomes||La casita (The tiny house)|
|El perro [m] (The dog) becomes||El perrito (The tiny dog)|
Attaching ...ita [f] to Señora (Lady, or Mrs.) converts it to "Señorita" (little Lady, or Miss)!
The abbreviation for Señorita is "Srta".
There is no accepted word in Spanish for "Ms", although the slang "Seño" is often used.
You can also make a noun large with a Suffix (called the "Augmentative form")
There's ...ota for femenine-gendered nouns [fl
and ...ote for masculine-gendered nouns [m]
|La casota (The big house)||El perrote (The big dog)|
The possibilities are endless!