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How to conjugate Ser in Spanish

To be (permanent) Irregular Verb

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.

SpanishEnglish
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
Yosoy I am
eres you are
Ella / Él / Ustedes s/he is , you (formal) are
Nosotras / Nosotrossomos we are
Vosotras / Vosotrossois you (plural) are
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesson they are , you (plural formal) are

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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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
Yofui I was
fuiste you were
Ella / Él / Ustedfue s/he were, you (formal) were
Nosotras / Nosotrosfuimos we were
Vosotras / Vosotrosfuisteis you (plural) were
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesfueron they were, you (plural formal) were

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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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
Yoera I used to be
eras you used to be
Ella / Él / Ustedera s/he used to be, you (formal) used to be
Nosotras / Nosotroséramos we used to be
Vosotras / Vosotroserais you (plural) used to be
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedeseran they used to be, you (plural formal) used to be

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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Ser in the Indicative Present Continuous

The Indicative Present Continuous of ser is used to talk about something that is happening continuosly or right now. For example, "estoy siendo estudiante", meaning "I am being a student".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yoestoy siendoI am being
estás siendoyou are being
Ella / Él / Ustedestá siendos/he is being, you (formal) are being
Nosotras / Nosotrosestamos siendowe are being
Vosotras / Vosotrosestáis siendoyou (plural) are being
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesestán siendothey are being, you (plural formal) are being
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Ser in the Indicative Informal Future

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

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yovoy a serI am going to be
vas a seryou are going to be
Ella / Él / Ustedva a sers/he is going to be, you (formal) are going to be
Nosotras / Nosotrosvamos a serwe are going to be
Vosotras / Vosotrosvais a seryou (plural) are going to be
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesvan a serthey are going to be, you (plural formal) are going 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
Yosea I am
seas you are
Ella / Él / Ustedsea s/he is , you (formal) are
Nosotras / Nosotrosseamos we are
Vosotras / Vosotrosseáis you (plural) are
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedessean they are , you (plural formal) are

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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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
Yofuera I was
fueras you were
Ella / Él / Ustedfuera s/he were, you (formal) were
Nosotras / Nosotrosfuéramos we were
Vosotras / Vosotrosfuerais you (plural) were
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesfueran they were, you (plural formal) were

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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Ser in the Subjunctive Future

The Subjunctive Future is used to speak about hypothetical situations, and actions/events that may happen in the future. For example, "fuere", meaning "I will be".

PronounSpanishEnglish
Yofuere I will be
fueres you will be
Ella / Él / Ustedfuere s/he will be, you (formal) will be
Nosotras / Nosotrosfuéremos we will be
Vosotras / Vosotrosfuereis you (plural) will be
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesfueren they will be, you (plural formal) will be

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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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 to speak about something that will have happened if a hypothetical situations occurs in the future. 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 let's be!
Vosotras / Vosotrossed(to you plural) be!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedessean (to you plural formal) be!

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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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 let's not be!
Vosotras / Vosotrosno seáis (to you plural) don't be!
Ellas / Ellos / Ustedesno sean (to you plural formal) don't be!

The red dot () above denotes an irregular conjugation.

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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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Downloadable cheat sheets

Download and print a cheat sheet of ser Spanish conjugation tables in image or PDF format:

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Practice Ser conjugations (free mobile app)

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Want to explore other verb conjugations?

Why not check out Pedir – to ask for, to request, to order (e.g. food) or see the complete list of verbs here.

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