Ser vs. Estar – How to Use Ser 1

We know, we know: no matter how essential they are, Ser and Estar are two difficult verbs. If the simplified distinction in the previous lesson wasn’t enough for you, you’re in luck. In this lesson, we’ll have a more detailed look at how to use the verb ser to be permanent state , with plenty of examples to help you. So, what is “ser” used for? Well…

For Names

“Ser” is most often used in presenting ourselves to others. Example:
O meu nome é Daniela. My name is Daniela.

For Addresses and Telephone Numbers

“Ser” is a very handy verb when you need to tell someone your personal details. Examples:
O endereço dele é Rua Afonso Henriques, nº 20. His address is Rua Afonso Henriques, no. 20.
O número deles é o 276 123 456. Their number is 276 123 456.

For Countries and Nationalities

“Ser” is needed when expressing someone’s nationality. Examples:
Ela é da Holanda. She is from the Netherlands.
Ele é samoano. He is Samoan.

For the Days of the Week

When you need to know what day it is, “Ser” is essential. Example:
Hoje é Sexta-feira. Today is Friday.

For Expressing Ownership

“Ser” is used to help convey who owns what. Example:
Esta é a casa deles. This is their house.

For Identifying Things

Point to what you see! “Ser” will help you say it. Example:
Isto é uma mesa. This is a table.

For Identifying Substances or Materials

“Ser” is used along with “de” when discussing what material or substance something is made of. Example:
A mesa é de madeira. The table is wooden.

For Tastes

“Ser” is used to talk about the flavors of food or what it’s made with. Examples:
Este bolo é de limão. This is a lemon cake.
Estes rissóis são de camarão. These are shrimp rissoles.

For Colours

“Ser” is also used when indicating the colour of something. Example:
O caderno é azul. The notebook is blue.
There are many more uses for “ser”, so head on to the next lesson!

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