Gramática: El presente de ser

Photo in black and white taken behind young woman seated on hillside gazing at the town below, graffiti on bench says "No somos invisibles"
"No somos invisibles" by Bruno Malfondet is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

El presente de ser / the present indicative of ser (to be)



yo soy

I am


you (informal, singular) are

usted es

you (formal, singular) are

él / ella es

he / she is

nosotros / nosotras somos

we are

vosotros / vosotras sois

you (informal, plural) are

ustedes son

you (formal, plural) are

ellos / ellas son

they are

Uses of ser

1. Identification

¿Quién es ella? / Who is she?
- Ella es mi hermana. / She is my sister.
¿Qué es esto? / What is this?
- Es un diccionario. / It is a dictionary.

2. Origin and nationality

Yo soy de Panamá. / I am from Panamá.
Yo soy panameña. / I am Panamanian.

3. Personality and physical characteristics

Yo soy simpático / antipático. / I am nice / mean.
Ella es inteligente / no es inteligente. / She is intelligent / is not intelligent.
Nosotros somos activos / no somos activos. / We are active / are not active.
Ellas son atléticas / no son atléticas. / They are athletic / are not athletic.
4. Professions

Nosotros somos estudiantes. / We are students.
Ellos son profesores. / They are professors.

5. Possessions (with de)

¿De quién es el libro? / Whose book is this?
El libro es de María. / It is María’s book. (Literally, it is the book of María.)

6. Time/hourEs la 1:00 de la tarde. / It is 1:00 p.m.
Son las 2:00 de la tarde. / It is 2:00 p.m.
7. Where and when an event takes place¿Dónde es la fiesta? / Where is the party?
- La fiesta es en el restaurante La Salsa. / The party is at La Salsa restaurant.
¿Cuándo es la fiesta? / When is the party?
- Es en diciembre. / It is in December.

Photo of a high school classroom, students in blue uniforms with hands raised, teacher at front calling on student
"Somos de Barrio. Los Estudiantes. Arenoso. Rafael Arias" by Gobierno Danilo Medina is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


Use the following link to hear the forms of ser pronounced in Spanish:

Introductory Spanish I - El verbo ser

Actividades de comunicación

Actividad 1. Identifications.

Work in pairs taking turns. Ask what each object is and let your partner answer the question. (All images in this activity are sourced from, licence CC-PD.)

  1. Calculator
  1. Laptop
  1. Backpack
  1. Chair
  1. Notebook
  1. Door
  1. Pencil
  1. Window
  1. Drawing of three people

Actividad 2. Nationalities.

Work in pairs taking turns. Using the map below as a guide, ask where each person is from and let your partner answer the question.

Map of countries of South America with names superimposed: Tomás in Venezuela, Ana e Isabel in Colombia, Nosotros in Perú, Tú in Paraguay, Adela in Chile, Fernando y María in Argentina
The original image by Haylli is licensed under CC BY.

Actividad 3. Professions.

Work in groups of four or more. One member will perform a profession and the rest will guess what it is.

Possible professions:
















taxi driver




construction worker



Actividad 4. Possessions.

Work in pairs taking turns. Say to whom these things belong. (All images in this activity are sourced from, licence CC-PD.)


Stack of books


  1. Calculator

    La mujer
  1. Two laptops

    El hombre
  1. Backpack

    El chico
  1. Rows of chairs

    Los estudiantes
  1. Notebook

    La chica
  1. Pencil

    La profesora
  1. Trash can

    Mi compañero/a de cuarto


Map of Medellín, Colombia


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