Spanish Fundamentals #5: Introducing the verb 'ser' and verb conjugation
Welcome to Lesson Five of WordBrewery’s Spanish Fundamentals series. We have scoured thousands of recent Spanish-language news articles and chosen 300 sentences from them to teach you the essentials of Spanish grammar and vocabulary. We have also had native speakers record audio of each sentence, and we’ve created an Anki deck where you can practice these and other sentences.
This post assumes knowledge of previous lessons in the Spanish Fundamentals series; each post defines only words that are appearing for the first time in the series.
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23. ¡Gracias por ser y estar!
- This is an idiom—a set phrase—that means approximately the same thing as “Thank you for everything.” (Literally, it means something like “Thank you for being and being!”)
24. Y somos mucho más que eso.
somos we are (note: like soy (“am”) and es (“is”), this is a form of the word ser, “to be.”)
25. Son las dos cosas.
26. Soy como una abuela.
27. Eres uno más en el grupo.
|eres||You are (familiar form; addressing a single person that the speaker knows well).|
In Lesson 3, we met the sentence ¡Yo no soy así! and learned that soy means “I am.” We saw this word again in Lesson 4 with the sentence Yo no soy tu amigo, eh. We have also seen the word es (“is”) a number of times in sentences like these:
|La verdad es que no.||Eso también es verdad.||Un minuto es la vida.|
|Eso es la vida.||Y no es así.||Y no solo eso.|
|Y eso es bueno.||Bueno, no es así.||Pero no lo sé.||Eso es un error.|
By the way, if you can’t read all of those sentences quickly and fluently with 100% understanding, please go back and review the earlier lessons.
Spanish verbs use different forms—called inflections or conjugations—depending on the subject of the sentence. English uses verb conjugations, too: English speakers say “I am” but “you are and “she is.” “Am,” “are,” and “is” are all forms of the verb to be. If someone erroneously said “He am American,” a listener would understand (but immediately recognize the mistake). To fluent English speakers, “I am” sounds correct and “He am” sounds wrong. As you build your fluency in Spanish, you will gradually begin to recognize that “Yo soy” means “I am,” and it would be unthinkable to say “Yo es” or “Yo somos.” The best way to accelerate this process is to learn the rules in the context of real example sentences such as those on this blog and on WordBrewery.
The most common verbs in Spanish are ser and estar, which both mean “to be” but are used in different contexts. You are probably familiar with the common Spanish greeting ¿Cómo estás? (“How are you?”). Estás is a form of estar. In this post, we used all of these forms of ser. If you master these example sentences and keep practicing new ones, you will learn verb conjugation without having to memorize tables of verb endings.
The forms of ser in the present tense:
|(yo) soy||I am|
|(tú) eres||you are (familiar; speaking to one person)|
|(usted, es) es||you are (formal); he/she/it is|
|(nosotros) somos||we are|
|(ustedes, ellos, ellas) son||you (plural) are; they are|
28. ¿Y eso es un error?
29. Es un buen grupo.
30. Creo que los dos.
31. Es la hora de la verdad.
WordBrewery Spanish Fundamentals post index:
This post is part of WordBrewery’s Spanish Fundamentals series, which is described here. All the Spanish example sentences on this blog are real, recent sentences from the news selected from WordBrewery’s database, and each sentence is paired with audio recorded by native speakers.
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