Estar – to be

Being a Spanish Verb

Estar is one of two Spanish verbs that mean "to be."* Estar is used to describe the current state of a noun – temporary, changeable attributes like

Por ejemplo …

¿Cómo estáis?   How are you?
¡Está contento hoy!   He’s happy today!
Estoy en Marruecos.   I’m in Morocco.
San José está en Costa Rica.**   San José is in Costa Rica.
¿Estás enfrente de la casa?   Are you in front of the house?
Estámos enfermos.   We’re sick.

Estar conjugations

Present tense

yo estoy    nosotros  estamos
estás vosotros estáis
él, ella, Ud. está ellos, Ud. están

All tenses
 

Spanish quizzes Estar Conjugations Quiz

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself:

* The other is ser. But also note that there are a number of idiomatic expressions in which the verb tener means "to be".

** In this example, estar is used even though the location of San José will never change. For locations, whether temporary or permanent, estar is always the verb to use.

Related lessons