Spanish Language Blog

Spanish Lesson Beginner 37 Spanish adjectives used with Ser and Estar Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Learning, Spanish Grammar, Spanish Vocabulary, Videos

Hola ¿Qué tal?

In this beginner level Spanish video lesson we will look at the way that some Spanish adjectives mean completely different things depending on whether they are used with the Spanish verbs Ser or Estar.

The Spanish adjective “Listo”, for example, means “Clever” when used with Ser and “Ready” when used with Estar. As you will appreciate it is easy therefore to make mistakes when using Ser or Estar and we have to be completely clear and well practised in the use of both Spanish verbs.

So let’s take a look at more Spanish adjectives that change their meanings when used with either Ser or Estar:

• Ser bueno/a: To be good (quality of objects/personality of people)
Mi teléfono es muy bueno: My telephone is very good
María es muy buena: María is a very good person

• Estar bueno/a: To be tasty (food) / to be attractive (people/colloquial)
La paella está buena: Paella is tasty
Antonio está muy bueno: Antonio is very attractive

• Ser listo/a: To be intelligent or clever
Mi hermano es muy listo: My brother is very clever/intelligent

• Estar listo/a: To be ready
Estoy lista para salir: I am ready to go out

• Ser verde: To be green (colour)
Mi coche es verde: My car is green

• Estar verde: To be unripe (food)/to be new to a situation (people)
Estos plátanos están verdes: These bananas are green

• Ser claro/a: To be obvious
Es claro que tenemos que estudiar más: It´s obvious that we have to study more

• Estar claro/a: To be simple/clear
No está claro qué debemos hacer: It is not clear what we have to do

• Ser malo/a: To be bad (quality of objects / personality of people)
Este libro es muy malo: This book is very badç
Mi vecino es muy malo: My neighbour is a very bad person

• Estar malo/a: To be bad (taste of food) / ill (people)
Esta comida está mala: This food tastes bad
Mi primo está malo: My cousin is ill

• Ser abierto/a: To be extroverted and sociable
Carmen es muy abierta: Carmen is very sociable

• Estar abierto/a: To be open
La puerta está abierta: The door is open

• Ser rico/a: To be rich (people)
Ese hombre es muy rico: That man is very rich

• Estar rico/a: To be tasty
La tarta está muy rica: The cake is very tasty

• Ser cerrado/a: To be introverted
Carla es muy cerrada: Carla is very introverted

• Estar cerrado/a: To be closed
La ventana está cerrada: The window is closed

• Ser negro/a: To be black (colour)
Mi moto es negra: My motorbike is black

• Estar negro/a: To be tanned / to be angry or fed up / to be dirty (for objects)
Mi padre está negro: My dad is very angry
Tengo que lavar el coche, está negro: I have to wash the car, it is very dirty

The Spanish verbs Ser and Estar are critical verbs in the Spanish language. We have already studied them in some detail earlier in this course and I recommend going back over those other Spanish lessons on Ser and Estar if you have time and to also start working on your repertoire of Spanish adjectives.

When you have a long list of Spanish adjectives and verbs up your sleeve you are in a much better position to handle yourself in a Spanish conversation. Work on ten to fifteen new Spanish adjectives every day and practice with them in lots of example sentences so that they are stored in your head rather than just in your books.

Enjoy your Spanish studies and see you next time with another Spanish video lesson.

¡Hasta luego!

I hope you are enjoying my weekly Spanish lessons. Follow this link for many more great resources to help you learn Spanish.

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About the Author: Laura & Adam

Laura & Adam have been blogging and creating online Spanish courses for Transparent Language since 2010. Laura is from Bilbao in northern Spain and Adam is from Devon in the south of England. They lived together in Spain for over 10 years, where their 2 daughters were born, and now they live in Scotland. Both Laura & Adam qualified as foreign language teachers in 2004 and since have been teaching Spanish in Spain, the UK, and online.


  1. Myona:

    Hello Laura, Im Myona. I’ve been taking spanish for 5 years now and the material is getting more familiar with me but i want to be able to speak it fluently instead of just learning it for a class. Do you have some tips for me,..they would be greatly appreciated! Thank You for your time! This video really helped!