Ser vs. Estar – How to Use Ser 2

Building on what you learned in Ser vs. Estar – How to Use Estar, “Ser” is also used for…

Time of Day

If you need to tell the time, “Ser” is your go-to verb. Examples:
São duas horas. It is two o’clock.
É meia-noite. It is midnight.


“Ser” is what you use to describe what you do or what you are. Example:
Elas são professoras. They are teachers.

Determining Something’s Purpose

Do you need to describe what something is used for? “Ser” is what you need here. Example:
A pá é para escavar. The shovel is for digging.


“Ser” is used to describe where something is or stands. Example:
O estádio é ali. The stadium is over there.

Physical and Psychological Traits

“Ser” is used to describe someone’s general temperament or traits. Example:
Nós somos simpáticos. We are nice.

Conveying Affiliations

If you need to talk about a group or entity you belong to, you’ll use “Ser”. Examples:
Vocês são escuteiros. You are scouts.
Tu és budista. You are a Buddhist.
And there we go! There are a few other ways of using “Ser”, of course, but these should help get you started. The rule to remember is: “Ser” is usually used for permanent conditions, traits, or things.

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