Ser Expressions

Spanish expressions to be

Ser is one of two Spanish verbs that mean "to be" (learn more), and is used in a number of common expressions.

ser   to be
     
ser + past participle   to be + past participle (passive voice)
     
ser de   to be from (a city, country)
    to be made of
    to belong to
ser de buena pasta   to be a good/nice person
ser de película   to be sensational
ser de poca monta   to be of little value
ser el colmo   to be the limit
ser el ojo derecho de uno   to be the apple of one's eye
ser en todo con alguien   to be in complete agreement with someone
ser harina de otro costal   to be a horse of a different color (literally, to be flour from a different bag)
ser la flor de la canela   to be the very best
ser otro cantar   to be a horse of a different color
ser pan comido   to be as easy as pie
ser para chuparse los dedos   to taste delicious
ser todo oídos   to be all ears
ser todos ojos   to be all eyes
ser un cero a la izquierda   to be worthless, count for nothing
ser una flor de estufa   to be very delicate (literally, to be a hothouse flower)
ser una lata   to be annoying
ser un mirlo blanco   to be an impossible dream (literally, to be a white blackbird)
ser una perla   to be a jewel/treasure
ser uña y carne   to be as close as can be
     
a no ser que   unless
a no ser por   if it weren't for
no ser cosa del otro jueves   to be nothing out of the ordinary
     
     
¡Ahi fue ella!   You should have heard it (the fuss)!
Así era   That's the way it was, that's what it was like
Así es   That is so, that's the way it is
Así es la vida.   Such is life.
Así es que + subject/verb   That's why…, So…
Así sea   So be it
¿Cómo es que…?   How is it that…?
¡Cómo ha de ser!   What do you expect!
Érase que se era (una vez)   Once upon a time
Esa manera de hablar no es de una dama.   That's no way for a lady to talk.
Es que no pude.   But I couldn't.
Es que no quiero.   But I don't want to.
Hizo como quien es.   He did what could be expected.
¿No es así?   Isn't it?
¡No es nada lo del ojo!   There's a lot more to it than that!
no sea que   in case, for fear that
no vaya a ser que…   unless
o sea   or rather, in other words
¡O somos o no somos! (inf)   Make up your mind! Let's get on with it!
¿Qué ha sido de él?   What has become of him?
¿Qué será de mí?   What will become of me?
Qué será será   What will be, will be
¡Sea!   Agreed!
sea… sea   either… or
Sea lo que sea   Be that as it may
¿Será posible?   Is it possible?
     
el ser   being, life, essence
el ser humano   human being
el ser imaginario   imaginary being
el ser vivo   living creature, organism
en lo más íntimo de su ser   in one's inmost being, deep within oneself
Telling time    
es la una   it's one o'clock
son las dos, tres   it's two o'clock, three o'clock

Ser conjugations

Lesson on ser and estar