Ser and estar are the verbs in Spanish that mean “to be”. They are of different use. Ser is used for permanent conditions while estar is used for temporary conditions.
What is to be?
To be means “to be”. It is used to describe permanent conditions. It is related to immutable things. To say about “occupation”, we would use ser since occupation is a permanent thing. Similarly, the “characteristics” of a person or a material or a product are defined to be how the characteristics are permanent and not changeable. To define the origin of a thing we use to be, since the origin of things does not change. Relationships are also permanent, they remain even if a man is alive or dead, so being is used to explain relationships.
What is Being?
Estar means “to be”. It is used to describe temporary conditions. It is related to changing things. The position of a person or thing is variable and temporary, so estar is used to define the position. The location of something can be temporary and here it is used to be. The actions are the temporary events and, therefore, estar is used for them. Estar describes the physical or mental condition of a person, since it is not permanent.
- Being is used to describe permanent conditions while being is used to describe temporary conditions.
- Being is related to immutable things while being is related to changing things.
- The characteristics of a person are permanent, so ser is used to define characteristics instead of estar.
- The physical or mental condition of a person is changing and, therefore, uses estar to explain instead of being.
- A person’s nationality is permanent, so ser is used, while a person’s location is temporary, so estar is used.
- Happiness is temporary, so being is used, while kind beauty, cordiality is something permanent, so being is used.
- Estar is used to describe the actions of a person, while ser is used to describe the characteristics of a person.
- The condition of a car defines it to be as temporary, while the possession of a car defines it to be as permanent.