Ser vs Estar in Spanish: nationalities
One of the uses of ser (not estar) is to express origin or nationality. Have a look and listen to these examples:
Soy de Vitoria.I am from Vitoria.
Andrea es de Cádiz.Andrea is from Cadiz.
¿Eres de Inglaterra?Are you from England? (you=tú)
Vicente y yo somos de las Islas Canarias.Vicente and I are from the Canary Islands.
In the examples above, it is compulsory to use the preposition de to express origin with towns, cities, countries or islands.
Ser (conjugated) + de + [origin]
Now read and listen to these examples:
Soy español.I am Spanish.
Peter es irlandés.Peter is Irish.
Nosotras somos canadienses.We are Canadian.
Ustedes son australianos.You are Australian. (you=ustedes)
In the examples above, we do not use the preposition de when talking about nationalities.
- With nationalities: Soy de español. Soy español. (I am Spanish).
- Remember that nationalities are never capitalised in Spanish!
See also Ser vs Estar in Spanish: Using ser in Spanish (not estar) to express an essential or permanent characteristic.
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