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How to conjugate Ser in Spanish

To be (permanent) Irregular

Introduction

Ser is the Spanish verb "to be". It is generally used to portray permanent situations, for example: I am from Spain, he is a profesor, she is tall, this watch is my mother's etc. You'll find that this particular verb is one of the most versatile out there, but also hugely irregular, following almost no rules. Ser is not to be confused with Estar, also meaning "to be", but used for different situations.

SpanishSpanishEnglish
Infinitiveserto be (permanent)
Past participlesidobeen
Gerundsiendobeing

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Indicative Tenses of Ser

Ser in the Indicative Present

The Indicative Present of ser is used to talk about situations, events or thoughts that are happening now or in the near future. It is also used to talk about facts and truths. For example, "soy estudiante", meaning "I am a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YosoyI am
eresyou are
Ella / Él / Ustedess/he is, you (formal) are
Nosotras / Nosotrossomoswe are
Vosotras / Vosotrossoisyou (plural) are
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedessonthey are, you (plural formal) are
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Ser in the Indicative Preterite

The Indicative Preterite of ser is used to talk about actions completed in the past, at a specific point in time. For example, "fui estudiante", meaning "I was a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YofuiI was
fuisteyou were
Ella / Él / Ustedfues/he were, you (formal) were
Nosotras / Nosotrosfuimoswe were
Vosotras / Vosotrosfuisteisyou (plural) were
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesfueronthey were, you (plural formal) were
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Ser in the Indicative Imperfect

The Indicative Imperfect of ser is used to describe regular and repeated actions that happened in the past and descriptions of things you used to do. For example, "era estudiante", meaning "I used to be a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoeraI used to be
erasyou used to be
Ella / Él / Ustederas/he used to be, you (formal) used to be
Nosotras / Nosotroséramoswe used to be
Vosotras / Vosotroseraisyou (plural) used to be
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeseranthey used to be, you (plural formal) used to be
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Ser in the Indicative Future

The Indicative Future of ser is used to talk about something that will happen in the future. For example, "seré estudiante", meaning "I will be a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoseréI will be
serásyou will be
Ella / Él / Ustedserás/he will be, you (formal) will be
Nosotras / Nosotrosseremoswe will be
Vosotras / Vosotrosseréisyou (plural) will be
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesseránthey will be, you (plural formal) will be
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Ser in the Indicative Conditional

The Indicative Conditional of ser is used to talk about something that may happen in the future, hypothesis and probabilities. For example, "sería estudiante", meaning "I would be a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoseríaI would be
seríasyou would be
Ella / Él / Ustedserías/he would be, you (formal) would be
Nosotras / Nosotrosseríamoswe would be
Vosotras / Vosotrosseríaisyou (plural) would be
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesseríanthey would be, you (plural formal) would be
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Ser in the Indicative Present Perfect

The Indicative Present Perfect of ser is used to describe actions that started recently (in the past) and are still happening now or things that have been done recently. For example, "he sido estudiante", meaning "I have been a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohe sidoI have been
has sidoyou have been
Ella / Él / Ustedha sidos/he has been, you (formal) have been
Nosotras / Nosotroshemos sidowe have been
Vosotras / Vosotroshabéis sidoyou (plural) have been
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshan sidothey have been, you (plural formal) have been
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Ser in the Indicative Past Perfect

The Indicative Past Perfect of ser is used to talk about actions that happened before another action in the past. For example, "había sido estudiante", meaning "I had been a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabía sidoI had been
habías sidoyou had been
Ella / Él / Ustedhabía sidos/he had been, you (formal) had been
Nosotras / Nosotroshabíamos sidowe had been
Vosotras / Vosotroshabíais sidoyou (plural) had been
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabían sidothey had been, you (plural formal) had been
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Ser in the Indicative Future Perfect

The Indicative Future Perfect of ser is used to talk about something that will have happened in the future after something else has already happened. For example, "habré sido estudiante", meaning "I will have been a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabré sidoI will have been
habrás sidoyou will have been
Ella / Él / Ustedhabrá sidos/he will have been, you (formal) will have been
Nosotras / Nosotroshabremos sidowe will have been
Vosotras / Vosotroshabréis sidoyou (plural) will have been
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrán sidothey will have been, you (plural formal) will have been
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Ser in the Indicative Conditional Perfect

The Indicative Conditional Perfect of ser is used to talk about something that would have happened in the future but didn’t due to another action. For example, "habría sido estudiante", meaning "I would have been a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohabría sidoI would have been
habrías sidoyou would have been
Ella / Él / Ustedhabría sidos/he would have been, you (formal) would have been
Nosotras / Nosotroshabríamos sidowe would have been
Vosotras / Vosotroshabríais sidoyou (plural) would have been
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshabrían sidothey would have been, you (plural formal) would have been
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Subjunctive Tenses of Ser

Ser in the Subjunctive Present

The Subjunctive Present is used to talk about situations of uncertainty, or emotions such as wishes, desires and hopes. It differs from the indicative mood due to the uncertainty of the events which are being spoken about. For example, "sea", meaning "I am".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YoseaI am
seasyou are
Ella / Él / Ustedseas/he is, you (formal) are
Nosotras / Nosotrosseamoswe are
Vosotras / Vosotrosseáisyou (plural) are
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesseanthey are, you (plural formal) are
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Ser in the Subjunctive Imperfect

The Subjunctive Imperfect is used to speak about unlikely or uncertain events in the past or to cast an opinion (emotional) about something that happened in the past. For example, "fuera", meaning "I was".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YofueraI was
fuerasyou were
Ella / Él / Ustedfueras/he were, you (formal) were
Nosotras / Nosotrosfuéramoswe were
Vosotras / Vosotrosfueraisyou (plural) were
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesfueranthey were, you (plural formal) were
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Ser in the Subjunctive Future

The Subjunctive Future is used For example, "fuere", meaning "I will be".

PronounSpanishEnglish
YofuereI will be
fueresyou will be
Ella / Él / Ustedfueres/he will be, you (formal) will be
Nosotras / Nosotrosfuéremoswe will be
Vosotras / Vosotrosfuereisyou (plural) will be
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesfuerenthey will be, you (plural formal) will be
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Ser in the Subjunctive Present Perfect

The Subjunctive Present Perfect is used to describe past actions or events that are still connected to the present day and to speak about an action that will have happened by a certain time in the future. For example, "haya sido", meaning "I have been".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohaya sidoI have been
hayas sidoyou have been
Ella / Él / Ustedhaya sidos/he has been, you (formal) have been
Nosotras / Nosotroshayamos sidowe have been
Vosotras / Vosotroshayáis sidoyou (plural) have been
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshayan sidothey have been, you (plural formal) have been
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Ser in the Subjunctive Past Perfect

The Subjunctive Past Perfect is used to speak about hypothetical situations, and actions/events that occurred before other actions/events in the past. For example, "hubiera sido", meaning "I had been".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiera sidoI had been
hubieras sidoyou had been
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiera sidos/he had been, you (formal) had been
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéramos sidowe had been
Vosotras / Vosotroshubierais sidoyou (plural) had been
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieran sidothey had been, you (plural formal) had been
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Ser in the Subjunctive Future Perfect

The Subjunctive Future Perfect is used For example, "hubiere sido", meaning "I will have been".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yohubiere sidoI will have been
hubieres sidoyou will have been
Ella / Él / Ustedhubiere sidos/he will have been, you (formal) will have been
Nosotras / Nosotroshubiéremos sidowe will have been
Vosotras / Vosotroshubiereis sidoyou (plural) will have been
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeshubieren sidothey will have been, you (plural formal) will have been
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Imperative Tenses of Ser

Ser in the Imperative Affirmative

The Imperative Affirmative is used to give orders and commands, to tell someone to do something. For example, "sea", meaning "(to you formal) be!".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
(to you) be!
Ella / Él / Ustedsea(to you formal) be!
Nosotras / Nosotrosseamos(to we) be!
Vosotras / Vosotrossed(to you plural) be!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedessean(to you plural formal) be!
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Ser in the Imperative Negative

The Imperative Negative is used to give orders and commands, telling someone not to do something. For example, "no sea", meaning "(to you formal) don't be!".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yo--
no seas(to you) don't be!
Ella / Él / Ustedno sea(to you formal) don't be!
Nosotras / Nosotrosno seamos(to we) don't be!
Vosotras / Vosotrosno seáis(to you plural) don't be!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesno sean(to you plural formal) don't be!
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Example sentences and usage

  • Es un juego de palabras. This is a pun.
  • No soy un pez de verdad, sólo soy un peluche. I'm not a real fish, I'm just a mere plushy.
  • No eres lo bastante rápido. You're not fast enough.
  • Ya son las once. It is already eleven.
  • Ese fue el mejor día de mi vida. That was the best day of my life.
  • La vida empieza cuando te das cuenta de quién eres realmente. Life begins when we realize who we really are.
  • ¿Aún te sigues preguntando cuál es el sentido de la vida? You are still asking yourself what the meaning of life is?
  • La situación es peor de lo que creíamos. The situation is worse than we believed.
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Want to explore other verb conjugations?

Why not check out entender – to understand or see the complete list of verbs here.

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Ella Verbs guides you through 30 levels of bite sized lessons and verb drills, helping you to master the 16 main Spanish tenses from our verb library of over 1,000 verbs.

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