Lesson 4 - ¿Cómo estás? (How are you?)
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Pages in this lesson: Question Words - estar - Dialogue - Reading - Quiz
This page: Learn the forms of the verb estar (to be) in Spanish.
As we explained in the previous grammar lesson, there are two forms of the verb "to be" - ser and estar. The verb ser tends to be used with more permanent features like descriptions of your physical appearance, personality or nationality. An exception to this is that ser is used to describe the time and date, something which obviously changes and is not permanent. We will practice more with describing time and dates in a future lesson. The verb estar is used with more temporary features such as how you feel today or your location. Click on the forms of the verb in the table below to hear the pronunciation and repeat.
|Subject pronouns||Form of estar||English translation|
|yo||► estoy||I am|
|tú||► estás||you are|
|usted, él, ella||► está||you are/he is/she is|
|nosotros, nosotras||► estamos||we are|
|vosotros, vosotras||► estáis||you are (used in Spain only)|
|ustedes, ellos, ellas||► están||you are/they are|
Note: Remember that the subject pronoun doesn't necessarily have to be used in a sentence if it is clear who the subject is based on the context or verb form. For example, with the verb estoy, it is obvious that the subject is yo so the subject is generally not used. The subject may still be used, however, for emphasis.
Select the correct form of the verb for the subject.
Fill in the blank with the correct verb form.
feliz = happy (singular) | felices = happy (plural)
To make a verb negative in Spanish you just add the word "no" before the verb. (en la casa = in the house)
Change the sentence to negative. Don't forget to use correct capitalization, accents and punctuation, or the computer will mark it as incorrect.
To form yes/no questions in Spanish, you just change the word order by putting the verb first. If there is no subject (the verb is already first), all you need is to put question marks. In Spanish an upside-down question mark (¿) is used at the beginning of the question as well as a regular question mark (?) at the end. In some sentences the subject can go right after the verb or at the end of the sentence. If a verb has an object or adverb, however, the subject usually goes after the object or adverb.
Often Spanish-speakers don't even change the word order for a question. They use the normal sentence word order and just add question marks (to written text) and question intonation (to spoken questions). We also do this in English when we are confirming something ("Maria is at home?").
To make questions with question words, the question word comes first, then the verb and then the subject (unless the question word is taking the place of the subject).
If a preposition is used with the question word, it goes in front of the question word.
Write the question in Spanish. Don't forget to use correct capitalization, accents and punctuation, or the computer will mark it as incorrect.
Find the mistake in the sentence and re-write it correctly in the space. Don't forget to use correct capitalization, accents and punctuation, or the computer will mark it as incorrect.
Write a few sentences with the forms of the verb estar to tell where people you know are at this moment.
Location ideas: en la casa = at home | en el trabajo = at work | en la escuela = at school | en la tienda = in the store | en la iglesia = at church
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