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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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