Using ser (not estar) to express an essential or permanent characteristic

When we want to describe a permanent/essential characteristic of something or someone we use the verb ser (not estar). 

For example:

España es un país europeo.
Spain is a European country.

Read and listen to other examples with the verb ser:

Yo soy bajo.
I am short.

¿Tú eres alta?
Are you tall?

In the examples above, we use ser to talk about physical descriptions.

Antonio es un chico muy trabajador.
Antonio is a very hard working guy.

Nosotras somos estudiosas.
We are studious.

Vosotros dos no sois sensatos.
You two are not sensible.

¡Mis hermanos son fantásticos!
My brothers are fantastic!

In the examples above, we use ser to talk about the character/personality.

See also Conjugate ser in El Presente (present tense) 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Yo soy bajo.
I am short.


España es un país europeo.
Spain is a European country.


¿Tú eres alta?
Are you tall?


¡Mis hermanos son fantásticos!
My brothers are fantastic!


Vosotros dos no sois sensatos.
You two are not sensible.


Antonio es un chico muy trabajador.
Antonio is a very hard working guy.


Nosotras somos estudiosas.
We are studious.


Q&A

Mitchell

Kwiziq community member

9 February 2019

1 reply

Is perezoso a more common use for the meaning of lazy?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

10 February 2019

10/02/19

Hola Mitchell

Perezoso/-a, vago/-a, and flojo/-a are three words for "lazy". I would say the three of them are used equally. Maybe it depends on the region in Spain one is more used than the other. I am from the south and I tend to use flojo/-a more than the others.

Un saludo

Inma

How has your day been?