This week we´re going to look at some of the most commonly used Spanish verbs. Remember every sentence must contain a verb or it cannot be a sentence. In English we need to include a subject pronoun or noun whereas in Spanish the subject pronoun can be missed because the ending of the verb relates to the subject.
I´m going to start with the two verbs that in English relate to the verb to be, and they are SER and ESTAR. Ser is used for permanent situations and estar is used for temporary situations and locations. I hope you are thinking of the verb to be, which is I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, they are, in the verb SER it becomes: yo soy, tú eres, él/ella/usted es, nosotros/as somos, vosotros/as sois, ellos/ellas/ustedes son. Of course as you can see the verb changes for each subject pronoun we don´t need to use them. The word for woman is mujer, so to say I am a woman we need the subject and verb: ´I am´, the article ´a´ and the noun ´woman´ as the noun mujer is feminine the indefinite article is ´una´ so put it together and we have ´soy una mujer´ remember the pronunciation, especially of the ´j´ which is a guttural sound like the ´ch´ in loch. The word for man is hombre and it´s a masculine noun so the indefinite article is ´un´, therefore: soy un hombre.
We also use the verb ser with the time, the correct way to say it is with es la una or son las for every other hour. For example, it´s one o´clock will be es la una, quarter past one – es la una y cuarto, but then it´s two o´clock – son las dos, etc.
We also use the verb ser when talking about being early or late, for example if we want to say, ´it´s late´ we would say: es tarde, there are a few ways to say early in Spanish, the first word learners are normally faced with is temprano, but Spanish speakers commonly use ´pronto´ to mean early even though the literal dictionary translation will define pronto as ´soon´. So to say it is early, we can say; es temprano or es pronto. With ´pronto´ they will define it even further with ´aún´ or ´todavía´ which in this case means still. So if you want to go out with Spanish friends at 7 o´clock they might say to you, ´es pronto aún para salir´ as they don´t tend to go out until it´s at least 9pm!
Another important use of ser where you might think you use estar due to it´s use in locations is when talking about events. If you are asking where somewhere is we use estar, however if we are talking about where an event is we use ser, for example; la película es en el cine – the film is in the cinema, la recepción de la boda es en el restaurante ´Torrevieja´ – the wedding reception is in the restaurant called Torrevieja. Be careful with this use though as it can change verbs depending on the noun that is used, for example the noun ´examen´ could refer to an exam (ser) or an exam paper (estar): el examen es en la sala número dos; el examen está en la mesa. So think carefully as to what the noun refers to.
Next week we will be looking at the verb estar en more detail, and I´ll let you know when to use it and maybe help with some queries you have. I can always be contacted via The Courier if you have any questions about Spanish. I am also still offering Spanish lessons and a conversational Spanish group for those near Almoradí. Another service my school offers is a Friday after-school class for English children to help with their English reading and writing. Send me an e-mail or whatsapp if you´re interested in either: firstname.lastname@example.org or 625 43 72 17.
¡Hasta la próxima!