How to conjugate ser and estar in Spanish in all tenses & moods

To be or not to be? To ser or to estar? This question takes an added challenge as you learn to conjugate “to be” in Spanish.

As a native English speaker, you’re already somewhat familiar with verb conjugations. For example, you know that you do something, but your friend does something. This conjugation of the verb “to do” is something that every native English speaker can do without much effort.

However, many Spanish learners find that verb conjugations in Spanish are a whole new beast. With many conjugation rules to learn and even more irregular verbs that love to break the rules, it will take many hours of dilligent study and plenty of practice to finally nail down the conjugation of every verb.

But no need to panic! Taking it slow and steady is the best way to learn all the different conjugations, and this time, we’ll spend a good amount of time going over the different conjugations for the verb “to be” in Spanish. That way, you’ll have a strong grip of this elementary verb by the time you’re done with this article!

Let’s get started!

To be or not to be? That is the question.

The verbs “Ser” and “Estar”

You may have already noticed that the verb “to be” can be translated into both the verb “ser” and the verb “estar.” That’s because Spanish has a distinction between a permanent state of being and a transitory state of being.

For example, when you say that you “are angry,” does that mean that you are permanently angry? Is that an intrinsic part of who you are? No, right! It just means that someone cut you off in traffic or a customer service agent refused to give you a refund for a defective item. Perhaps it’s even worse and you’re hangry (hungry and angry)! But the commonality in all these situations is that they are transitory states. Your anger will pass no matter how badly you wanted that last almond croissant that the person in front of you ordered at the coffee shop.

That’s the general way Spanish differentiates between the verbs “ser” and “estar.” However, there is a bit more nuance to this, so let’s jump right into a few more cases!

When to use "ser"

Describing things that won’t change easily

The verb “ser” describes the core being or characteristic of a noun. Thus, this verb is commonly used with things that don’t change very easily, such as:

  • Characteristics. This includes physical characteristics as well as personality traits, such as “eres inteligente” (you are smart) or “La casa es blanca” (the house is white).
  • Professions and occupations. Although some professions can be more temporary than permanent, all of them use the verb “ser.” For example, “Soy doctor” (I’m a doctor) or “Eres barista” (I’m a barista).
  • Relationships. Your relationships with other people don’t (or, ideally, shouldn’t!) change very often. For example, “Ella es mi mamá” (She is my mom) or “Todos somos amigos” (We’re all friends).
  • Climate. A country or city’s climate describes the general characteristics of the weather there, not what the weather is like at a particular moment. For example, “México es muy caluroso” (Mexico is very hot) and “El sur de Chile es muy frío” (Southern Chile is very cold). That doesn’t mean that Mexico is always hot or that Chile is always cold — they’re just general characteristics!

Describing time and events

If you know how to tell the time in Spanish, then you already know that the verb “ser” is used any time you need to talk about the time. It’s also used when describing when an event takes place, such as “El concierto es el viernes en la noche” (The concert is on Friday night) or “La clase es a las 10 a.m.” (The class is at 10 a.m.).


Any time you want to establish ownership or ask questions about the ownership of something, you’ll want to use the verb “ser.” For example, “¿De quién es este vaso?” (Whose cup is this?) or “Esta camiseta es mía” (This shirt is mine).

When to use "estar"

Things that can change easily

The verb “estar” refers to the state of something rather than its intrinsic characteristics. For example, you can be a calm person and still get angry from time to time. Healthy people can catch a cold, and even the gorgeous weather of Tenerife can get stormy every now and then.

  • Mood. Humans are complex beings capable of experiencing the whole gamut of emotions. As such, our moods tend to change quite frequently. Use “estar” any time you want to talk about moods, feelings, and emotions in Spanish. For example, “¡Estoy muy emocionada!” (I am very excited!) and “¿Por qué estás triste?” (Why are you sad?).
  • Health. We use “estar” when talking about health and well-being in Spanish. That’s why you say “¿Cómo estás?” when asking how are you in Spanish.
  • Locations. The verb “estar” can help us locate things. For example, “¿Dónde está la biblioteca?“ (Where is the library?) and “Estamos afuera de tu casa” (We’re outside your house).
  • Weather. While a place’s climate may be predictable, the weather can be anything but. With hundreds of common weather expressions in Spanish, you’ll want to use the verb “estar” when saying “¡está lloviendo!” (it’s raining!) or “está soleado” (it’s sunny).
  • Ongoing actions. We use the verb “estar” to express things that are happening right now. For example, “Mi mamá está dormida” (My mom is asleep) and “Estoy comiendo” (I’m eating).

Estoy comiendo.

Expressing different meanings with “ser” and “estar

If you’re more of an intermediate Spanish speaker, then you might be wondering why similar situations seem to use “ser” and “estar” interchangeably. In certain contexts, the speaker has a choice between these two verbs that can give the adjective a new meaning. Let’s take a look at some of these situations.


Many Spanish adjectives can be used with both “ser” and “estar.” However, as you now know, “ser” has a more permanent connotation, and using it with an adjective implies an innate or unchangeable characteristic in the noun it’s describing. On the other hand, using “estar” with an adjective implies the current state of the noun — but it could change at any moment.

Here are some examples to help you visualize the differences:

I am bored.Estoy aburrido.ehs-toy ah-boo-ree-doeesˈtoj aβuˈriðo ‖
I am a boring person.Soy ah-boo-ree-doeˈsoj aβuˈriðo ‖
She is very good looking.Ella es muy ehs mooy goo-ah-pahˈeʎa ˈez muj ˈɣwapa ‖
She looks good right now.Ella está muy ehs-tah mooy goo-ah-pahˈeʎa esˈta muj ˈɣwapa ‖
Mexico is very hot.México es muy caluroso.meh-he-co ehs mooy cah-loo-roe-soˈmexiko ˈez muj kaluˈɾoso ‖
Today is very hot.El día está muy caluroso.elle dee-ah ehs-tah mooy cah-loo-roe-soel ˈdia esˈta muj kaluˈɾoso ‖

Differentiate homophones

Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings, and Spanish has many of these. Although context will usually let you find the correct one, the verb used is another way to help you identify what word is being used. Here are some examples:

You’re so smart!¡Eres muy lista!eh-rehs mooy lees-tahˈeɾez muj ˈlista ‖
Are you ready?¿Ya estás lista?yah ehs-tahs lees-tahʝa esˈtaz ˈlista ‖
He is very arrogant.Él es muy orgulloso.elle ehs mooy ore-goo-yo-soˈel ˈez muj oɾɣuˈʎoso ‖
I am very proud.Estoy muy orgulloso.ehs-toy mooy ore-goo-yo-soesˈtoj muj oɾɣuˈʎoso ‖
Remember to pay attention to your phone.Recuerda estar atento a tu teléfono.reh-coo-air-dah ehs-tahr ah-ten-toe ah too teh-leh-fo-noreˈkweɾða esˈtaɾ aˈtento a tu teˈlefono ‖
Us Colombians are very solicitous.Los colombianos somos muy atentos.loss coh-lom-bee-ah-nos soh-moss mooy ah-ten-toeslos kolomˈbjanos ˈsomoz muj aˈtentos ‖


Using the verb “estar” instead of “ser” can sometimes help you add a layer of specificity to your statements. When you use “estar,” you’re talking about a specific item, whereas using “ser” implies that you’re talking about the noun as a whole.

Enchiladas are very tasty.Las enchiladas son muy ricas.lahs ehn-chee-la-dahs son mooy ree-caslas enʧiˈlaðas ˈsom muj ˈrikas ‖
These enchiladas are very tasty.Las enchiladas están muy ricas.lahs ehn-chee-la-dahs ehs-tahn mooy ree-caslas enʧiˈlaðas esˈtam muj ˈrikas ‖
Pigs are very fat.Los cerdos son muy gordos.los sehr-dos sohn mooy gore-doslos ˈθeɾðos ˈsom muj ˈɣoɾðos ‖
These pigs are very fat.Los cerdos están muy gordos.los sehr-dos ehs-tahn mooy gore-doslos ˈθeɾðos esˈtam muj ˈɣoɾðos ‖
The beach is very pretty.La playa está muy plah-yah ehs-tah mooy bo-nee-tahla ˈplaʝa esˈta muj βoˈnita ‖
This beach is very pretty.La playa es muy play-yah ehs mooy bo-nee-tahla ˈplaʝa ˈez muj βoˈnita ‖

Spanish to be conjugation: All possibilities

Knowing when to use “ser” and “estar” is just one part of the equation — now you have to learn how to conjugate them! Although it might be tedious to learn so many different conjugations at first, memorizing the conjugations of irregular verbs is an inescapable part of learning Spanish. Fortunately, investing time into learning the conjugations well from the start will make them come naturally to you in the future, allowing you to focus your attention on more advanced topics.

Without further ado, let’s dive into all the possible conjugations of the verbs “ser” and “estar”!

Present tense (presente)

The present tense, known as el tiempo presente (elle tee-ehm-poh preh-sehn-teh) in Spanish, is likely to be the verb tense you’ll use the most often. It’s also the first tense covered extensively in beginner Spanish lessons, so you might already be familiar with it.

I amYo soyYo estoy
You areeresestás
You are (formal)Usted esUsted está
He/she/it isÉl es / Ella es / Eso esÉl está / Ella está / Eso está
We areNosotros somos / Nosotras somosNosotros estamos / Nosotras estamos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes sonUstedes están
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros sois / Vosotras soisVosotros estáis / Vosotras estais
They areEllos son / Ellas sonEllos están / Ellas están

Examples of present tense Spanish conjugations for “to be”

I am ArgentinianYo soy are-hen-tee-noˈʝo ˈsoj aɾxenˈtino ‖
You’re wrong.estás mal.too ehs-tahs malˈtu esˈtaz ˈmal ‖
She is my sister.Ella es mi ehs me air-ma-nahˈeʎa ˈez mj eɾˈmana ‖
We’re friends.Nosotros somos amigos.noh-soh-tross soh-mohs ah-me-gossnoˈsotɾos ˈsomos aˈmiɣos ‖
Where are you? (plural)¿Dónde están ustedes?don-deh ehs-tahn oos-eh-dessˈdonde esˈtan usˈteðes ‖
They’re sleeping.Ellos están ehs-tahn dore-me-dossˈeʎos esˈtan doɾˈmiðos ‖

Ser and estar conjugation in preterite / simple past (pretérito)

The simple past tense is known as the tiempo pretérito (tee-ehm-poh preh-teh-ree-toe) in Spanish. It helps us express actions that took place in the past and have since concluded. Here are the conjugations for the verbs “ser” and “estar” in the preterite tense in Spanish.

I amYo fuiYo estuve
You arefuisteestuviste
You are (formal)Usted fueUsted estuvo
He/she/it isÉl fue / Ella fue / Eso fueÉl estuvo / Ella estuvo / Eso estuvo
We areNosotros fuimos / Nosotras fuimosNosotros estuvimos / Nosotras estuvimos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes fueronUstedes estuvieron
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros fuisteis / Vosotras fuisteisVosotros estuvisteis / Vosotras estuvisteis
They areEllos fueron / Ellas fueronEllos estuvieron / Ellas estuvieron

Examples of simple past Spanish conjugations for “to be”

I was in Costa Rica last year.Yo estuve en Costa Rica el año pasado.yo ehs-too-veh ehn cos-tah ree-ca elle ah-nyoh pah-sah-dohˈʝo esˈtuβe en ˈkosta ˈrika el ˈaɲo paˈsaðo ‖
Is it true that you were a firefighter?¿Es verdad que fuiste bombero?ehs ver-dahd keh foo-ees-teh bom-beh-rohˈez βeɾˈðað ˈke ˈfwiste βomˈbeɾo ‖
He was an English teacher in Guatemala.Él fue maestro de inglés en Guatemala.elle foo-eh mah-ehs-troh deh een-glehs ehn goo-ah-teh-mah-lahˈel ˈfwe maˈestɾo ðe jnˈɡles en ɡwateˈmala ‖
We were waiting for two hours.Nosotros estuvimos esperando por dos horas.noh-so-tros ehs-too-vee-mos ehs-peh-rahn-doh pore dos oh-rahsnoˈsotɾos estuˈβimos espeˈɾando poɾ ˈðos ˈoɾas ‖
You (plural) were sitting at our table.Vosotros estuvisteis sentados en nuestra mesa.voh-so-trohs ess-too-vees-teh-is sehn-tah-dohs ehn noo-ehs-trah meh-sahboˈsotɾos estuˈβistejs senˈtaðos en ˈnwestɾa ˈmesa ‖
They were faster than us.Ellas fueron más rápidas que foo-eh-rohn mas rah-pee-dahs keh no-soh-trosˈeʎas ˈfweɾom ˈmaz ˈrapiðas ˈke noˈsotɾos ‖

Imperfect tense (imperfecto)

The imperfect tense, known as el pretérito imperfecto (elle preh-teh-ree-toe eem-pehr-fec-toe) in Spanish, also helps us talk about actions that happened in the past, but it is less precise than the simple past. With the imperfect tense, the actions that we describe may have happened over a long period of time, may not have ended yet, and may still have an impact on the present. These are the imperfect conjugations for “ser” and “estar” in Spanish.

I amYo eraYo estaba
You areerasestabas
You are (formal)Usted eraUsted estaba
He/she/it isÉl era / Ella era / Eso eraÉl estaba / Ella estaba / Eso estaba
We areNosotros éramos / Nosotras éramosNosotros estábamos / Nosotras estábamos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes eranUstedes estaban
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros erais / Vosotras eraisVosotros estabais / Vosotras estabais
They areEllos eran / Ellas eranEllos estaban / Ellas estaban

Examples of imperfect tense Spanish conjugations for “to be”

I was waiting for your call.Yo estaba esperando tu llamada.yo ehs-tah-bah ehs-peh-rahn-doh too yah-mah-dahˈʝo esˈtaβa espeˈɾando tu ʎaˈmaða ‖
You were the best student in elementary school.eras la mejor estudiante en la primaria.too eh-rahs la meh-hor ehs-too-dee-ahn-teh ehn la pre-mah-ree-ahˈtu ˈeɾaz la meˈxoɾ estuˈðjante en la pɾiˈmaɾja ‖
He was waiting for the bus when it started to rain.Él estaba esperando el camión cuando empezó a llover.elle ehs-tah-bah ehs-peh-rahn-doh elle cah-me-ohn coo-ahn-doh em-peh-zo ah yoh-vehrˈel esˈtaβa espeˈɾando el kaˈmjon ˈkwando empeˈθo a ʎoˈβeɾ ‖
We were the only ones in school.Nosotros éramos los únicos en la eh-rah-mos los oo-ne-cohs ehn la ehs-coo-eh-lahnoˈsotɾos ˈeɾamoz los ˈunikos en la esˈkwela ‖
Where were you? (plural)¿Dónde estaban ustedes?dohn-deh ehs-tah-bahn oos-teh-dehsˈdonde esˈtaβan usˈteðes ‖
They were the fastest ones in the soccer team.Ellas eran las más rápidas del equipo de fú eh-rahn las mas rah-pee-dahs dell eh-key-po deh foot-bollˈeʎas ˈeɾan laz ˈmaz ˈrapiðaz ðel eˈkipo ðe ˈfutβol ‖

Future tense (futuro simple)

We then have the future tense, known as el futuro simple (elle foo-too-roh seem-pleh) in Spanish. Naturally, this tense helps us speak about actions that haven’t happened yet, so use this to talk about your plans, goals, and aspirations!

I amYo seréYo estaré
You areserásestarás
You are (formal)Usted seráUsted estará
He/she/it isÉl será / Ella será / Eso seráÉl estará / Ella estará / Eso estará
We areNosotros seremos / Nosotras seremosNosotros estaremos / Nosotras estaremos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes seránUstedes estarán
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros sereis / Vosotras sereisVosotros estaréis / Vosotras estaréis
They areEllos serán / Ellas seránEllos estarán / Ellas estarán

Examples of future tense Spanish conjugations for “to be”

I won’t be happy until I’ve learned Spanish.No seré feliz hasta aprender Españ seh-reh feh-leez ahs-tah ah-prehn-dehr ehs-pah-nyolˈno seˈɾe feˈliθ ˈasta apɾenˈdeɾ espaˈɲol ‖
Will you be there too?¿Tú también estarás ahí?too tam-bee-ehn ehs-tah-rahs ah-eˈtu tamˈbjen estaˈɾas aˈi ‖
I think she will be there too.Creo que ella también estará ahí.creh-oh keh eh-yah tam-bee-ehn ehs-tah-rah ah-eˈkɾeo ˈke ˈeʎa tamˈbjen estaˈɾa aˈi ‖
We will be the first ones to arrive.Nosotros seremos los primeros en seh-reh-mos los pre-meh-rohs ehn yeh-garnoˈsotɾos seˈɾemoz los pɾiˈmeɾos en ʎeˈɣaɾ ‖
You (plural) will be right behind us.Ustedes estarán justo detrás de nosotros.oos-teh-dess ehs-tah-rahn deh-trahs deh no-soh-trohsusˈteðes estaˈɾan ˈxusto ðeˈtɾaz ðe noˈsotɾos ‖
They will be waiting for you.Ellos estarán esperá ehs-ˈeʎos estaˈɾan espeˈɾandote ‖

Future perfect tense (futuro compuesto)

The future perfect tense helps us express things that will have started at some point in the future. It’s known as el futuro compuesto (elle foo-too-roh com-poo-ehs-toe) in Spanish. It doesn’t tell us about the current status of the action, but it does help us talk about things that will have happened by some specific or approximate point in the future. In Spanish, we use the verb “haber” (to have) for the conjugation of this tense, which is another very helpful Spanish verb to know!

I amYo habré sidoYo habré estado
You arehabrás sidohabrás estado
You are (formal)Usted habrá sidoUsted habrá estado
He/she/it isÉl habrá sido / Ella habrá sido / Eso habrá sidoÉl habrá estado / Ella habrá estado / Eso habrá estado
We areNosotros habremos sido / Nosotras habremos sidoNosotros habremos estado / Nosotras habremos estado
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes habrán sidoUstedes habrán estado
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habréis sido / Vosotras habréis sidoVosotros habréis estado / Vosotras habréis estado
They areEllos habrán sido / Ellas habrán sidoEllos habrán estado / Ellas habrán estado

Examples of future perfect tense Spanish conjugations for “to be”

When you return, I will have already been the champion twice.Cuando regreses, yo ya habré sido campeón dos veces.coo-ahn-doe reh-greh-sehs, yo ya ah-breh see-doh cam-peh-ohn dos veh-sehsˈkwando reˈɣɾeses | ˈʝo ʝa aˈβɾe ˈsiðo kampeˈon ˈdoz ˈβeθes ‖
Next month we will have been boyfriends for two years.El próximo mes ya habremos sido novios por dos años.elle prox-e-mo mes ya ah-breh-moss see-doe noh-vee-ohs pore dos ah-nyossel ˈpɾoksimo ˈmez ʝa aˈβɾemos ˈsiðo ˈnoβjos poɾ ˈðos ˈaɲos ‖
By then, you will have already been in Spain for six months.Para ese entonces, ya habrás estado en España por seis meses.pah-rah eh-seh ehn-ton-sehs yah ah-brahs ehs-tah-doe ehn es-pah-nyah pore say-s meh-sehsˈpaɾa ˈese enˈtonθes | ʝa aˈβɾas esˈtaðo en esˈpaɲa poɾ ˈsejz ˈmeses ‖
When we get there, she will have been singing for half an hour.Cuando lleguemos, ya habrá estado cantando media hora.coo-ahn-doe yeh-geh-moss yah ah-brah ehs-tah-doe can-tan-doe meh-dee-ah oh-rahˈkwando ʎeˈɣemos | ʝa aˈβɾa esˈtaðo kanˈtando ˈmeðja ˈoɾa ‖
By June, you all will have been the first graduates of this university.Para junio, ustedes habrán sido los primeros egresados de esta universidad.pah-rah who-nee-oh, oose-teh-dehs ah-brahn see-doe los pre-meh-ross eh-greh-sah-doss deh ehs-tah oo-nee-vehr-see-dadˈpaɾa ˈxunjo | usˈteðes aˈβɾan ˈsiðo los pɾiˈmeɾos eɣɾeˈsaðoz ðe ˈesta wniβeɾsiˈðað ‖
If they continue traveling like this, they will have been to every country in the world in just a few years!Si siguen viajando así, ¡en tan solo unos años habrán estado en todos los países del mundo!see see-gehn vee-ah-hahn-doe ah-see, ¡ehn tahn soh-loh ooh-noss ah-nyos ah-brahn ehs-tah-doe ehn toe-dos los pa-e-sehs dell moon-doesi ˈsiɣem bjaˈxando aˈsi | en ˈtan ˈsolo ˈunos ˈaɲos aˈβɾan esˈtaðo en ˈtoðoz los paˈisez ðel ˈmundo ‖

Conditional tense (condicional simple)

The conditional tense, known as el condicional simple (elle con-dee-see-oh-nall seem-pleh), helps us talk about something that would or could happen if certain conditions were met. If you love to consider hypothetical situations and talk about the wide realm of life’s possibilities, then this verb tense is for you!

I amYo seríaYo estaría
You areseríasestarías
You are (formal)Usted seríaUsted estaría
He/she/it isÉl sería / Ella sería / Eso seríaÉl estaría / Ella estaría / Eso estaría
We areNosotros seríamos / Nosotras seríamosNosotros estaríamos / Nosotras estaríamos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes seríanUstedes estarían
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros seríais / Vosotras seríaisVosotros estaríais / Vosotras estaríais
They areEllos serían / Ellas seríanEllos estarían / Ellas estarían

Examples of conditional tense Spanish conjugations for “to be”

If I were paid a dollar every time someone asked me that, I would be rich!Si me pagaran un dólar por cada vez que me preguntan eso, ¡ya sería rica!see meh pah-gah-rahn oon doh-lahr pore cah-dah vehs keh meh preh-goon-tahn eh-soh, ¡ya seh-ree-ah ree-cah!si me paˈɣaɾan un ˈdolaɾ poɾ ˈkaða ˈβeθ ˈke me pɾeˈɣuntan ˈeso | ʝa seˈɾia ˈrika ‖
If we had taken the subway, we would already be there.Si hubiéramos tomado el metro, ya estaríamos ahí.see ooh-bee-air-ah-moss toh-mah-doe elle meh-tro, ya ehs-tah-ree-ah-moss ah-esj uˈβjeɾamos toˈmaðo el ˈmetɾo | ʝa estaˈɾiamos aˈi ‖
I know you all would be there for me if times get tough.Sé que ustedes estarían ahí por mí en momentos difíciles.seh keh oos-teh-dehs ehs-tah-ree-ahn ah-e pore mee ehn mo-mehn-toss dee-fee-see-lessˈse ˈke wsˈteðes estaˈɾian aˈi poɾ ˈmi em moˈmentoz ðiˈfiθiles ‖
If I already knew, you all would be the first ones to hear from me.Si ya supiera, ustedes serían los primeros en saberlo.see ya soo-pee-air-ah, oos-teh-dehs seh-ree-ahn loss pre-meh-ross ehn sah-behr-lohsi ʝa suˈpjeɾa | usˈteðes seˈɾian los pɾiˈmeɾos en saˈβeɾlo ‖
They would be willing to help.Ellos estarían dispuestos a ehs-tah-ree-ahn dees-poo-ess-toss ah ah-yoo-darˈeʎos estaˈɾian disˈpwestos a aʝuˈðaɾ ‖
You all would be the first ones, is that okay?Vosotros seríais los primeros, ¿no importa?voh-soh-trohs seh-ree-ah-ees los pree-meh-ross, ¿no eem-pore-tah?boˈsotɾos seˈɾiajz los pɾiˈmeɾos | ˈno jmˈpoɾta ‖

Conditional perfect tense (condicional perfecto)

Known as the condicional perfecto (con-dee-see-oh-nall pehr-fec-toe) in Spanish, the conditional perfect tense describes something that could or would have happened in the past. It generally indicates that the action can no longer happen again or that the ship has sailed. In other words, this is the verb tense of regrets — so don’t spend too much time using it!

I amYo habría sidoYo habría estado
You arehabrías sidohabrías estado
You are (formal)Usted habría sidoUsted habría estado
He/she/it isÉl habría sido / Ella habría sido / Eso habría sidoÉl habría estado / Ella habría estado / Eso habría estado
We areNosotros habríamos sido / Nosotras habríamos sidoNosotros habríamos estado / Nosotras habríamos estado
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes habrían sidoUstedes habrían estado
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habríais sido / Vosotras habríais sidoVosotros habríais estado / Vosotras habríais estado
They areEllos habríais sido / Ellas habríais sidoEllos habrían estado / Ellas habrían estado

Examples of conditional perfect tense Spanish conjugations for “to be”

If you hadn’t given up, you would have been successful.Si no te hubieras dado por vencido, habrías sido exitoso.see no teh ooh-bee-air-ahs dah-doh pore vehn-see-doe, ah-bree-ahs see-doe ex-e-toe-sosi ˈno te wˈβjeɾaz ˈðaðo poɾ βenˈθiðo | aˈβɾias ˈsiðo eksiˈtoso ‖
She would have been there if you had invited her.Ella habría estado ahí si la hubieras ah-bree-ah ehs-tah-doe ah-e see la ooh-bee-air-ahs een-vee-tah-doeˈeʎa aˈβɾia esˈtaðo aˈi si la wˈβjeɾas imbiˈtaðo ‖
We would have been the first ones to come if you had asked us to.Nosotros habríamos sido los primeros en venir si nos lo hubieras pedido.noh-soh-trohs ah-bree-ah-moss see-doe loss pre-meh-ross ehn veh-neer see nos loh oo-bee-air-ahs peh-dee-doenoˈsotɾos aˈβɾiamos ˈsiðo los pɾiˈmeɾos em beˈniɾ si noz lo wˈβjeɾas peˈðiðo ‖
They would have been satisfied if you hadn’t told them that the other room was bigger.Ellos habrían estado conformes si no les hubieras dicho que la otra habitación era más ah-bree-ahn ehs-tah-doe con-fore-mess see no less ooh-bee-air-ass dee-cho keh la oh-trah ah-bee-tah-see-ohn eh-rah la mas grahn-dehˈeʎos aˈβɾian esˈtaðo komˈfoɾmes si ˈno ˈles uˈβjeɾaz ˈðiʧo ˈke la ˈotɾa aβitaˈθjon ˈeɾa ˈmaz ˈɣɾande ‖
You all would have been chosen if you had participated.Ustedes habrían sido elegidos si hubieran participado.oos-teh-dehs ah-bree-ahn see-doe eh-leh-he-doss see ooh-bee-air-ahn par-tee-see-pah-doeusˈteðes aˈβɾian ˈsiðo eleˈxiðos sj uˈβjeɾam paɾtiθiˈpaðo ‖
We would have been the first ones to see you if you had arrived yesterday.Nosotras habríamos sido las primeras en verte si hubieras llegado ah-bree-ah-moss see-doe las pre-meh-rahs ehn vehr-tehh see ooh-bee-eh-rahs yeh-gah-doe ah-yehrnoˈsotɾas aˈβɾiamos ˈsiðo las pɾiˈmeɾas em ˈbeɾte sj uˈβjeɾaz ʎeˈɣaðo aˈʝeɾ ‖

Present perfect (pretérito perfecto)

The preterite perfect, known as the pretérito perfecto in Spanish (preh-teh-ree-toe pehr-fec-toe) is used to describe:

  • Actions that started in the past and are continuing into the present
  • Actions that started in the past and were completed recently
  • Actions that started and were completed in the distant past
  • Actions that happened in the past and have an implication for the present or future
  • Actions that imply a big sense of accomplishment or overcoming a challenge

This conjugation involves the present conjugation of the auxiliary verb “haber” (to have).

Note that European Spanish uses the present perfect the way Latin America (and English) uses the preterite tense — to explain things in the simple past.

I amYo he sidoYo he estado
You arehas sidohas estado
You are (formal)Usted ha sidoUsted ha estado
He/she/it isÉl ha sido / Ella ha sido / Eso ha sidoÉl ha estado / Ella ha estado / Eso ha estado
We areNosotros hemos sido / Nosotras hemos sidoNosotros hemos estado / Nosotras hemos estado
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes han sidoUstedes han estado
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habéis sido / Vosotras habéis sidoVosotros habéis estado
They areEllos han sido / Ellas han sidoEllos han estado / Ellas han estado

Examples of present perfect Spanish conjugations for “to be”

I have also been the last one to finish an exam.Yo también he sido el último en terminar el examen.yoh tam-bee-ehn eh see-doe elle ool-tee-moe ehn tehr-me-nahr elle ex-ah-mehnˈʝo tamˈbjen ˈe ˈsiðo el ˈultimo en teɾmiˈnaɾ el ekˈsamen ‖
They have been best friends ever since they met.Ellas han sido mejores amigas desde que se ahn see-doe meh-hoh-rehs ah-me-gass des-deh keh seh coh-no-see-air-ohnˈeʎas ˈan ˈsiðo meˈxoɾes aˈmiɣaz ˈðezðe ˈke se konoˈθjeɾon ‖
We have been neighbors since 2008.Nosotros hemos sido vecinos desde el eh-moss see-doe veh-see-noss dess-deh elle dos meel oh-chonoˈsotɾos ˈemos ˈsiðo βeˈθinoz ˈðezðe el 2008.
They have been waiting for you right there for two hours.Ellos han estado esperando ahí por dos han ehs-tah-doh ehs-peh-rahn-doh ah-e pore dos oh-rahsˈeʎos ˈan esˈtaðo espeˈɾando aˈi poɾ ˈðos ˈoɾas ‖
Have you been sleeping this whole time?¿Has estado dormida todo este tiempo?ahs ehs-tah-doh dore-mee-dah toh-doh ehs-teh tee-ehm-poeˈas esˈtaðo ðoɾˈmiða ˈtoðo ˈeste ˈtjempo ‖
He has been the first one to graduate from university in his family.Él ha sido el primero en graduarse de la universidad en su familia.elle ah see-doh elle pre-meh-roh ehn gra-doo-are-seh deh la oo-nee-vehr-see-dad ehn soo fah-me-lee-ahˈel ˈa ˈsiðo el pɾiˈmeɾo en ɡɾaˈðwaɾse ðe la wniβeɾsiˈðað en su faˈmilja ‖

He has been the first one to graduate from university in his family.

Pluperfect (pluscuamperfecto)

The pluperfect term, known as pluscuamperfecto (ploos-cooh-ahn-pehr-fec-toe) in Spanish, expresses an action that happened in the past before another action that also happened in the past. In other words, it is the past of the past. Even if its name sounds like a Spanish tongue twister, this tense is actually quite easy to learn (and very useful, too!).

I amYo había sidoYo había estado
You arehabías sidohabías estado
You are (formal)Usted había sidoUsted había estado
He/she/it isÉl había sido / Ella había sido / Eso había sidoÉl había estado / Ella había estado / Eso había estado
We areNosotros habíamos sido / Nosotras habíamos sidoNosotros habíamos estado / Nosotras habíamos estado
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes habían sidoUstedes habían estado
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros habíais sido / Vosotras habíais sidoVosotros habíais estado / Vosotras habíais estado
They areEllos habían sido / Ellas habían sidoEllos habían estado / Ellas habían estado

Examples of pluperfect Spanish conjugations for “to be”

I don’t remember well, but I think that I had already been here before.No recuerdo bien, pero creo que ya había estado aquí antes.noh reh-coo-air-doh bee-ehn, pear-oh kreh-oh keh ya ah-bee-ah ehs-tah-doh ah-key ahn-tessˈno reˈkweɾðo ˈβjen | ˈpeɾo ˈkɾeo ˈke ʝa aˈβia esˈtaðo aˈki ˈantes ‖
We thought that we had been the first ones to arrive, but then we saw you.Nosotras creíamos que habíamos sido las primeras en llegar, pero después te creh-e-ah-moss keh ah-bee-ah-moss see-doh las pre-meh-rahs ehn yeh-gar, pear-oh dehs-poo-ess teh vee-mossnoˈsotɾas kɾeˈiamos ˈke aˈβiamos ˈsiðo las pɾiˈmeɾas en ʎeˈɣaɾ | ˈpeɾo ðesˈpwes te ˈβimos ‖
You had been the winner, but since you weren’t there, they chose a different candidate.habías sido la ganadora, pero como no estabas, eligieron a otro concursante.too ah-bee-ahs see-doh la gah-nah-door-ah, pear-oh coh-mo no ess-tah-bass, eh-lee-he-air-ohn ah oh-troh con-coor-sahn-tehˈtu aˈβias ˈsiðo la ɣanaˈðoɾa | ˈpeɾo ˈkomo ˈno esˈtaβas | eliˈxjeɾon a ˈotɾo konkuɾˈsante ‖
Had you all ever been in Granada before?¿Vosotros habíais estado en Granada anteriormente?voh-soh-tross ah-bee-ice ehs-tah-doh ehn gra-nah-dah ahn-teh-ree-ore-mehn-tehboˈsotɾos aˈβiajs esˈtaðo en ɡɾaˈnaða anteɾjoɾˈmente ‖
That building had been abandoned until they converted it into a hotel.Ese edificio había estado abandonado hasta que lo convirtieron en eh-dee-fee-see-oh ah-bee-ah ehs-tah-doe ah-bahn-doh-nah-doh ahs-tah keh lo con-veer-tee-air-ohn ehn oh-tellˈese eðiˈfiθjo aˈβia esˈtaðo aβandoˈnaðo ˈasta ˈke lo kombiɾˈtjeɾon en oˈtel ‖
She had been crying until she received the good news.Ella había estado llorando hasta que recibió las buenas ah-bee-ah ess-tah-doe yoh-rahn-doe ahs-tah keh reh-see-bee-oh las boo-eh-nas no-tee-see-ahsˈeʎa aˈβia esˈtaðo ʎoˈɾando ˈasta ˈke reθiˈβjo laz ˈβwenaz noˈtiθjas ‖

Present subjunctive (subjuntivo)

The subjunctive, known as el subjuntivo (elle soob-whoon-tee-vo) in Spanish, is used to discuss nebulous things that could, would or might maybe someday happen. It’s used to discuss our hopes, dreams, fears, feelings and emotions, aspirations, and innermost desires. Unlike the conditional tense we covered earlier, the subjunctive doesn’t necessarily have a basis in reality, so dream away!

I amYo seaYo esté
You areseasestés
You are (formal)Usted seaUsted esté
He/she/it isÉl sea / Ella sea / Eso seaÉl esté / Ella esté / Eso esté
We areNosotros seamos / Nosotras seamosNosotros estemos / Nosotras estemos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes seanUstedes estén
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros seáis / Vosotras seáisVosotros estéis
They areEllos sean / Ellas seanEllos estén / Ellas estén

Examples of present subjunctive Spanish conjugations for “to be”

I hope that José is the winner of the contest.Espero que José sea el ganador del concurso.ehs-peh-roh keh hoh-seh seh-ah elle gah-nah-door dell con-coor-sohesˈpeɾo ˈke xoˈse ˈsea el ɣanaˈðoɾ ðel konˈkuɾso ‖
When I’m rich, I’m going to invite everyone on vacation to the Caribbean.Cuando sea rica, los voy a invitar a todos de vacaciones en el Caribe.coo-ahn-doe seh-ah ree-cah, loss voy ah een-vee-tar ah toe-doss deh vah-cah-see-oh-ness ehn elle cah-ree-behˈkwando ˈsea ˈrika | loz ˈβoj a jmbiˈtaɾ a ˈtoðoz ðe βakaˈθjones en el kaˈɾiβe ‖
Oh, grandma, I don’t know what I’m gonna do when you’re not here.Ay, abuelita, no sé que voy a hacer cuando no estés aquí.ah-e, ah-boo-eh-lee-tah, noh seh keh voy ah ah-sehr coo-ahn-doh noh ehs-tehs ah-keyˈaj | aβweˈlita | ˈno ˈse ˈke ˈβoj a aˈθeɾ ˈkwando ˈno esˈtes aˈki ‖
Honestly, I’m not sure that you all are the right fit for this project.La verdad, no estoy seguro que ustedes sean los indicados para este vehr-dad, noh ehs-toy seh-goo-roh keh oos-teh-dehs seh-ahn los een-deh-cah-doss pah-rah ehs-teh proh-yec-toela βeɾˈðað | ˈno esˈtoj seˈɣuɾo ˈke wsˈteðes ˈsean los indiˈkaðos ˈpaɾa ˈeste pɾoˈʝekto ‖
Do you think that she’s also thinking about me?¿Crees que ella también esté pensando en mí?crash keh eh-yah tam-bee-ehn eh-steh pen-sahn-doe ehn meˈkɾees ˈke ˈeʎa tamˈbjen esˈte penˈsando em ˈmi ‖
I hope that our cousins are also okay after such an awful storm.Espero que nuestros primos estén bien después de esta tormenta tan fea.ehs-peh-roh keh noo-ehs-trohs pre-mos ehs-tehn bee-ehn des-poo-ehs deh ehs-tah tore-mehn-tah feh-ahesˈpeɾo ˈke ˈnwestɾos ˈpɾimos esˈtem ˈbjen desˈpwez ðe ˈesta toɾˈmenta ˈtam ˈfea ‖

Imperfect subjunctive (imperfecto del subjuntivo)

The imperfect subjunctive, known as el imperfecto del subjuntivo (elle eem-pehr-fec-toe dell soob-whoon-tee-voe) in Spanish, is a very versatile mode that can be used in the past, present or future tense. Like the present subjunctive, this mode helps us talk about desires, wishes, and alternate realities.

I amYo fuera / Yo fueseYo estuviera / Yo estuviese
You arefueras / Tú fuesesestuvieras / Tú estuvieses
You are (formal)Usted fuera / Usted fueseUsted estuviera / Usted estuviese
He/she/it isÉl fuera / Él fuese / Ella fuera / Ella fuese / Eso fuera / Eso fueseÉl estuviera / Él estuviese / Ella estuviera / Ella estuviese / Eso estuviera / Eso estuviese
We areNosotros fuéramos / Nosotros fuésemos / Nosotras fuéramos / Nosotras fuésemosNosotros estuviéramos / Nosotros estuviésemos / Nosotras estuviéramos / Nosotras estuviésemos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes fueran / Ustedes fuesenUstedes estuvieran / Ustedes estuviesen
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros fuerais / Vosotras fueraisVosotros estuvierais / Vosotros estuvieseis / Vosotras estuvierais / Vosotras estuvieseis
They areEllos fueran / Ellos fuesen / Ellas fueran / Ellas fuesenEllos estuvieran / Ellos estuviesen / Ellas estuvieran / Ellas estuviesen

Examples of imperfect subjunctive Spanish conjugations for “to be”

If it was earlier, I would come with you to the store.Si fuera más temprano, te acompañaría a la tienda.see foo-air-ah mahs tehm-prah-noh, teh ah-com-pah-nyah-ree-ah ah lah tee-ehn-dahsi ˈfweɾa ˈmas temˈpɾano | te akompaɲaˈɾia a la ˈtjenda ‖
If you were more polite, then maybe your calls would be returned.Si usted fuese más amable, tal vez le devolverían sus llamadas.see oos-ted foo-eh-seh mahs ah-mah-bleh, tall vehs leh deh-voll-veh-ree-ahn soos yah-mah-dasssj usˈteð ˈfwese ˈmas aˈmaβle | ˈtal ˈβeð le ðeβolβeˈɾian suz ʎaˈmaðas ‖
If it were sunny, we would be able to go to the beachSi estuviera soleado, podríamos ir a la playa.see ehs-too-vee-air-ah soh-leh-ah-doh, poh-dree-ah-moss eer ah lah plah-yahsj estuˈβjeɾa soleˈaðo | poˈðɾiamos ˈiɾ a la ˈplaʝa ‖
We wouldn’t be waiting in the rain if we had somewhere to go.No estuviéramos esperando en la lluvia si tuviéramos a dónde ehs-too-vee-air-ah-moss ehs-peh-rahn-doh ehn la you-vee-ah see too-vee-air-ah-moss ah don-deh eerˈno estuˈβjeɾamos espeˈɾando en la ˈʎuβja si tuˈβjeɾamos a ˈðonde ˈiɾ ‖
If he was interested, he would have called you already.Si él estuviese interesado, ya te hubiera llamado.see elle ehs-too-vee-eh-seh een-teh-reh-sah-doh, yah teh ooh-vee-air-ah yah-mah-dohsj ˈel estuˈβjese jnteɾeˈsaðo | ʝa te wˈβjeɾa ʎaˈmaðo ‖
Who would’ve thought that that would have been the ideal solution for the situation?Quién hubiera dicho que eso fuera lo ideal para arreglar la situación.key-ehn ooh-vee-air-ah dee-cho keh eh-soh foo-eh-rah lo e-deh-ahl pah-rah ah-reh-glahr la see-too-ah-see-ohnˈkjen uˈβjeɾa ˈðiʧo ˈke ˈeso ˈfweɾa lo jðeˈal ˈpaɾa areˈɣlaɾ la sitwaˈθjon ‖

Future subjunctive (futuro imperfecto del subjuntivo)

The future subjunctive, known as futuro imperfecto del subjuntivo (foo-too-roh eem-pehr-fec-toe dell soob-whon-tee-vo), is another form of the imperfect mode. As you can probably guess, it is used to refer to events that could happen in the future, although the action may be impossible or improbable.

I amYo fuereYo estuviere
You arefueresestuvieres
You are (formal)Usted fuereUsted fuese
He/she/it isÉl fuere / Ella fuere / Eso fuereÉl estuviere / Ella estuviere / Eso estuviere
We areNosotros fuéremos / Nosotras fuéremosNosotros estuviéremos / Nosotras estuviéremos
You all are
(Latin American)
Ustedes fuerenUstedes estuvieren
You all are
(European Spanish)
Vosotros fuereis / Vosotras fuereisVosotros estuviereis / Vosotras estuviereis
They areEllos fueren / Ellas fuerenEllos estuvieren / Ellas estuvieren

Examples of future subjunctive Spanish conjugations for “to be”

The winner, whomever it may be, will be crowned tomorrow.El ganador, sea quien fuere, será coronado mañana.elle gah-nah-door, seh-ah key-ehn foo-eh-reh, seh-rah coh-roh-nah-doe mah-nyah-nahel ɣanaˈðoɾ | ˈsea ˈkjem ˈfweɾe | seˈɾa koɾoˈnaðo maˈɲana ‖
If he isn’t ready to defend his thesis, he won’t be able to graduate.Si no estuviere listo para defender su tésis, no se podrá graduar.see noh ehs-too-vee-air-ah lees-toe pah-rah deh-fen-dehr soo teh-sees, no seh poh-drah grah-doo-arsi ˈno estuˈβjeɾe ˈlisto ˈpaɾa ðefenˈdeɾ su ˈtesis | ˈno se poˈðɾa ɣɾaˈðwaɾ ‖
Wherever they might be, they will be taken to jail.Donde sea que estuvieren serán llevados a la cárcel.dohn-deh seh-ah keh ehs-too-vee-eh-rehn seh-rahn yeh-vah-doss ah la car-sehlˈdonde ˈsea ˈke estuˈβjeɾen seˈɾan ʎeˈβaðos a la ˈkaɾθel ‖
What more could I ask for than for her to be the winner of the scholarship.Qué más quisiera que ella fuere la ganadora de la beca.keh mahs key-see-air-ah keh eh-yah foo-eh-reh la ga-nah-door-ah deh la beh-cahˈke ˈmas kiˈsjeɾa ˈke ˈeʎa ˈfweɾe la ɣanaˈðoɾa ðe la ˈβeka ‖
In case other people are there, we will look for another site for our reunion.En el caso de que otras personas estuvieren ahí, buscaremos otro sitio para nuestra reunión.ehn elle cah-so deh keh oh-tahs pehr-soh-nass ehs-too-vee-eh-rehn ah-e, boos-cah-reh-moss oh-troh see-tee-oh pah-rah noo-ehs-trah reh-ooh-nee-ohnen el ˈkaso ðe ˈke ˈotɾas peɾˈsonas estuˈβjeɾen aˈi | buskaˈɾemos ˈotɾo ˈsitjo ˈpaɾa ˈnwestɾa rewˈnjon ‖
Whomever is present will be escalated to the nearest exit.Quien estuviere presente será escoltado hacia la salida más cercana.key-ehn ehs-too-vee-eh-reh preh-sehn-teh seh-rah ehs-coll-tah-doh ah-see-ah la sah-lee-dah mahs sehr-cah-nahˈkjen estuˈβjeɾe pɾeˈsente seˈɾa eskolˈtaðo ˈaθja la saˈliða ˈmas θeɾˈkana ‖

Affirmative imperative (imperativo afirmativo)

The affirmative imperative, known as el imperativo afirmativo (elle eem-peh-rah-tee-vo ah-feer-ma-tee-vo) in Spanish, is used to give orders and strong suggestions or recommendations. Because of this, there are no first-person singular conjugations of the verb to be, as you cannot command yourself to do something. If you want to give yourself a pep talk, though, you can use the second-person singular conjugation, just as if you were having a dialogue with yourself!

You are¡!¡Está!
You are (formal)¡Sea!¡Esté!
We are¡Seamos!¡Estemos!
You all are
(Latin American)
You all are
(European Spanish)

Examples of affirmative imperative Spanish conjugations for “to be”

Be brave!¡ valiente!seh vah-lee-ehn-tehˈse βaˈljente ‖
Stop criticizing her! Be polite!¡Deje de criticarla! ¡Sea educado!deh-heh deh cree-tee-car-la! seh-ah eh-doo-cah-dohˈdexe ðe kɾitiˈkaɾla ‖ ˈsea eðuˈkaðo ‖
Let’s be ready for the arrival of her majesty!¡Estemos listos para la llegada de su majestad!ehs-teh-moss lees-toes pah-rah lah yeh-gah-dah deh soo mah-hehs-tadesˈtemoz ˈlistos ˈpaɾa la ʎeˈɣaða ðe su maxesˈtað ‖
Stop moving, be still!Dejen de moverse, ¡estén quietos!deh-hehnn deh mo-vehr-seh, ehs-tehn key-eh-tosˈdexen de moˈβeɾse | esˈten ˈkjetos ‖
Please, it’s time to stop lying. Let’s be honest!Por favor, es hora de dejar de mentir. ¡Seamos sinceros!pore fah-vore, ehs oh-rah deh deh-har deh mehn-teer. seh-ah-moss seen-seh-rosspoɾ faˈβoɾ | ˈes ˈoɾa ðe ðeˈxaɾ ðe menˈtiɾ ‖ seˈamos sinˈθeɾos ‖
You almost make it to the finish line, be patient!Ya casi llegas a la meta, ¡ paciente!ya cah-see yeh-gass ah lah meh-tah, seh pah-see-ehn-tehʝa ˈkasi ˈʎeɣas a la ˈmeta | ˈse paˈθjente ‖

Negative imperative (imperativo negativo)

The negative imperative, known as el imperativo negativo (elle eem-peh-rah-tee-vo neh-ga-tee-voh), is used to give negative commands and recommendations to people. If you have a dog or any other animals at home, you’re probably going to welcome a new way of giving negative commands in Spanish!

You are¡No seas!¡No estés!
You are (formal)¡No sea!¡No esté!
We are¡No seamos!¡No estemos!
You all are
(Latin American)
¡No sean!¡No estén!
You all are
(European Spanish)
¡No seáis!¡No estéis!

Examples of negative imperative Spanish conjugations for “to be”

Don’t be a coward!¡No seas cobarde!noh seh-ahs coh-bar-dehˈno ˈseas koˈβaɾðe ‖
Stop screaming!¡No estés gritando!noh ehs-tehs gree-tahn-dohˈno esˈtez ɣɾiˈtando ‖
Don’t be rude!¡No sean groseros!noh seh-ahn groh-seh-rossˈno ˈsean ɡɾoˈseɾos ‖
Stop bothering!¡No estén molestando!noh ehs-tehn moh-less-tahn-doeˈno esˈtem molesˈtando ‖
Rex! Stop barking!¡Rex! No estés ladrando!rex! no ehs-tehs lah-drahn-doeˈreks ‖ ˈno esˈtez laˈðɾando ‖
Please help her, don’t be mean!Por favor ayúdenla, ¡no sean malos!pore fah-vore ah-you-dehn-la, no seh-ahn mah-losspoɾ faˈβoɾ aˈʝuðenla | ˈno ˈseam ˈmalos ‖

Ser conjugation cheat sheets

If you’re already familiar with conjugation rules and just need to double-check that you got it right, then the cheat sheets below are for you!


Él / ella / ustedes erafueserásería
Nosotros / nosotrassomoséramosfuimosseremosseríamos
Vosotros / vosotrassoiseraisfuisteisseréisseríais
Ellos / ellas / ustedessoneranfueronseránserían

Complex tenses

PerfectoPluscuamperfectoFuturo perfectoCondicional perfecto
Yohe sidohabía sidohabré sidohabría sido
has sidohabías sidohabrás sidohabrías sido
Él / ella / ustedha sidohabía sidohabrá sidohabría sido
Nosotros / nosotrashemos sidohabíamos sidohabremos sidohabríamos sido
Vosotros / vosotrashabéis sidohabíais sidohabréis sidohabríais sido
Ellos / ellas / ustedeshan sidohabían sidohabrán sidohabrían sido


Yoseafuera / fuesefuere
seasfueras / fuesesfueres
Él / ella / ustedseafuera / fuesefuere
Nosotros / nosotrasseamosfuéramos / fuésemosfuéremos
Vosotros / vosotrasseáisfuerais / fueseisfuereis
Ellos / ellas / ustedesseanfueran / fuesenfueren

Complex subjunctive

Pretérito perfectoPluscuamperfecto
Yohaya sidohubiera / hubiese sido
hayas sidohubieras / hubieses sido
Él / ella / ustedhaya sidohubiera / hubiese sido
Nosotros / nosotrashayamos sidohubiéramos o hubiésemos sido
Vosotros / vosotrashayáis sidohubierais o hubieseis sido
Ellos / ellas / ustedeshayan sidohubieran o hubiesen sido


¡sé!¡no seas!
Él / ella / usted¡sea!¡no sea!
Nosotros / nosotras¡seamos!¡no seamos!
Vosotros / vosotras¡sed!¡no seáis!
Ellos / ellas / ustedes¡sean!¡no sean!

Estar conjugation cheat sheets


Él / ella / ustedestáestabaestuvoestaráestaría
Nosotros / nosotrasestamosestábamosestuvimosestaremosestaríamos
Vosotros / vosotrasestáisestabaisestuvisteisestaréisestaríais
Ellos / ellas / ustedesestánestabanestuvieronestaránestarían

Complex tenses

PerfectoPluscuamperfectoFuturo perfectoCondicional perfecto
Yohe estadohabía estadohabré estadohabría estado
has estadohabías estadohabrás estadohabrías estado
Él / ella / ustedha estadohabía estadohabrá estadohabría estado
Nosotros / nosotrashemos estadohabíamos estadohabremos estadohabríamos estado
Vosotros / vosotrashabéis estadohabíais estadohabréis estadohabríais estado
Ellos / ellas / ustedeshan estadohabían estadohabrán estadohabrían estado


Yoestéestuviera / estuvieseestuviere
estésestuvieras / estuviesesestuvieres
Él / ella / ustedestéestuviera / estuvieseestuviere
Nosotros / nosotrasestemosestuviéramos / estuviésemosestuviéremos
Vosotros / vosotrasestéisestuvierais / estuvieseisestuviereis
Ellos / ellas / ustedesesténestuvieran / estuviesenestuvieren

Complex subjunctive

Pretérito perfectoPluscuamperfecto
Yohaya estadohubiera o hubiese estado
hayas estadohubieras o hubieses estado
Él / ella / ustedhaya estadohubiera o hubiese estado
Nosotros / nosotrashayamos estadohubiéramos o hubiésemos estado
Vosotros / vosotrashayáis estadohubierais o hubieseis estado
Ellos / ellas / ustedeshayan estadohubieran o hubiesen estado


¡está!¡no estés!
Él / ella / usted¡esté!¡no esté!
Nosotros / nosotras¡estemos!¡no estemos!
Vosotros / vosotras¡estad!¡no estéis!
Ellos / ellas / ustedes¡estén!¡no estén!

FAQs about the verb to be in Spanish

How do you introduce yourself in Spanish?

You typically do not use the verbs “ser” or “estar” when introducing yourself in Spanish. Unlike English, where you would say “I am” when introducing yourself, Spanish uses the verb “llamar,” which is similar to “to be called.” To introduce yourself in Spanish, you want to say “Me llamo ____” (I am called _____).

What is the difference between “soy” and “estoy”?

In Spanish, “soy” represents traits or characteristics that are impossible or very difficult to change, whereas “estoy” represents those that could change very easily. For example, you would use “soy” to describe physical attributes, your nationality, or your profession, while you’d use “estoy” to describe your mood, location, or what you’re doing at the moment.

Do you say “yo soy” or just “soy” in Spanish?

Spanish is a null-subject language, meaning that you can safely ignore specifying the subject in most cases as the conjugation of the verb will make it clear who the subject is. However, you can still say “yo soy” instead of just “soy” if you want to emphasize who is doing the action.

Slow and steady wins the conjugation race

There are thousands and thousands of possible conjugations in Spanish, so don’t try to force yourself to learn too many of them in a short amount of time! While spending some time memorizing the conjugation of important verbs like “to be” is certainly worthwhile, there’s no need to freak out over having to learn countless conjugations all at once.

Our best recommendation is to find an immersive program that will allow you to maximize your exposure to native-language content. And if you’ve got other commitments that prevent you from committing to an immersive experience, then check out our Spanish blog! We publish guides on helpful grammar and vocabulary topics, like the Spanish possessive adjectives and Spanish vowels and diphthongs.

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