Catalan verbs "ser y estar" -

Catalan verbs “ser y estar”

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The use of the verbs ser and estar raises some doubts, especially when it comes to expressing the situation. If this is the first time that you study them, take a good look because these verbs in Catalan act differently from Spanish. The problem is that Portuguese, Galician and Spanish took different paths than those followed by French, Italian, and Catalan.

I think that what we will discuss now will also help you a lot. Exactly we will talk about the differences between Catalan and Spanish so that they are not translated the same.

The verb “to be”

To indicate place (punctual)

Where are the keys?.On són les claus.
Pedro is in class.En Pere és a classe.
The police are next to …La policia és al costat de…
The book is in the drawer.El llibre és al calaix.
The cat is on the roofLa gata és al teulat.
The cherries are inside the bowl.Les cireres són dins el bol.
At nine we will be at the top.A les nou serem al cim.
Where is the child? He is in his room.On és el nen? És a la seva habitació.

To indicate time (punctual)

The excursion will be next Tuesday.L’excursió serà dimarts vinent.
The party is in a restaurant.La festa és en un restaurant

Permanent Qualities

Maria is brunette.La Maria és morena.
Nuria is very whiteLa Núria és molt blanca
Ramón is cheerful.En Ramon és alegre.

Belonging or origin

This book is yours.Aquest llibre is teu.
The drawing is of the Rat.El dibuix és de la Rat.
Ana is from Roses.L’Anna és de Roses.

Civil Status

The cat is dead.El gat és mort.
That man is/is married.Aquell home és/està casat.
Pablo is/is single.En Pau és/està solter.


The coffee is cold.El cafè és fred.
Cod is salty.El bacallà és salat.

Essential qualities

Snow is white.La neu és blanca.
The cane is crooked.El bastó és tort.
The bar is dirty.El bar és brut.
The vase is made of glass.
El gerro és de vidre.
The box is made of cardboard.La capsa és de cartró.
The book is cheap.El llibre és barat.

What about the verb “estar?

Permanence or duration in a place, stay

I have been in Olot since 1994.Estic a Olot des del 1994.
I’ll be in the office for two hours.Estaré dues hores al despatx.
I was at the beach for two hours.Vaig estar dues hores a la platja.

Non-permanent qualities / states: Non-permanent qualitats / estats

Maria is dark.La Maria està morena.
Nuria is very white.La Núria està molt blanca.
Ramón is happy.En Ramon està alegre.

Some marital statuses (by the influence of Castilian)

Is married.Està casat.
He is singleEstà solter.

Combination with prepositions

It is three months old.Està de tres mesos.
We are about to finish.Estem a punt d’acabar.
My cousin is from Girona.La meva cosina és de Girona.

To differentiate states

The frame is crooked.El quadre està tort.
The bar is dirty.El bar està brut.


Generally, the verb ser is used to express the mere situation of someone or something in a place, but if you want to add a nuance of permanence or duration, the verb estar is usually used.

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Bienvenidos a todos los amantes de las lenguas, las diferentes culturas que nos rodean, rincones secretos del mundo, curiosidades y aprendizaje. Todo reunido en este bonito espacio en el que disfrutamos comunicando y dando buenas vibras a todos nuestros queridos viajer@s.

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