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The Difference Between The Verbs Ser and Estar in Portuguese – Learn How to Use them

Today I’m going to teach you one of the most difficult things in Portuguese: when to use SER and ESTAR.

We use SER to describe the how someone or something is always:

 

We use ESTAR for transitory or not permanent conditions or characteristics, how a thing is at the moment.

That’s why we say, for example:-

– Ele está doente (He’s sick)

– But we can also say…

– Ele é doente (He’s sick)

 

What’s the difference?

– Ele está doente (He’s a healthy person, but he’s sick at the moment).

– Ele é doente (Probably he has an incurable disease or he’s mentally sick).

– More uses of the verbs ser and estar.

 

Ser

Nationality

– Eu sou brasileiro (I’m Brazilian)

Ocupation

– Ele é dentista (He’s dentist)

– Personal relationships

– Ele é meu pai (He’s my father)

Permanent location

– A escola é no centro da cidade (The school is the center city)

 

Estar

Movable location

– Eu estou em casa (I’m at home)

 

Mental states

– Eu estou feliz (I’m happy)

– Eu estou confuso (I’m confused)

 

Physical states

– Eu estou doente (I’m sick)

– Eu estou cansado (I’m tired)

 

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