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Practicing Ser and Estar, in all tenses

Let’s get lots of quizzing practice with Ser and Estar, in every commonly used tense and mood! We’ll also learn the prepositions del and al.

Full Podcast Episode


Let’s polish Ser and Estar.

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to use a huge quiz to practice Ser and Estar, including every commonly used tense and mood, from the imperfect to the subjunctive to the conditional.

But first, I’d like to point something out about the prepositions de and a. So far, we’ve been practicing putting these before feminine nouns, such as de la chica or a la casa. But we’ve intentionally avoided putting them before the word lugar, which is a masculine noun. So for example we haven’t practiced saying “to the place” or “from the place”.

The thing is, you might think that to say “from the place”, you should say de el lugar. But in Spanish, the words de and el blend together into one new word: del, spelled D-E-L. Let’s practice with a couple of examples.

We went from the place to the house.

We went del lugar a la casa.

Fuimos del lugar a la casa.

We are at the guy’s house.

Estamos en la casa del chico.

This also happens with a el, or “to the”. So for example, “to the place” is not a el lugar, it’s al lugar. This word is spelled A-L: al. And in fact, this isn’t optional; it’s a rule! You’re not allowed to say de el as separate words, or a el as separate words; they’re always blended together like this. Of course, this only happens in cases where you would otherwise use el (or “the”). But we should practice this; whenever you use a or de right before el, you have to change it to al or del.

Let’s practice with a few more examples.

I want to go to the place.

I want to go al lugar.

Quiero ir al lugar.

They have gone from the place to the house.

They have gone del lugar a la casa.

Han ido del lugar a la casa.

I said that to the guy.

I said eso al chico.

Le dije eso al chico.

Before we get to our quiz, there’s one example that I need to explain in some detail. In today’s quiz, you’re going to see the sentence “our friend(m) or our friend(f) would be here”. Of course, we’ll start this sentence with nuestro amigo o nuestra amiga. And then you would expect estaría aquí, using the singular conjugation estaría, because only one of them is going to do the action. But for some reason, in Spanish, when you say that one person or another person is going to do something, you usually use a plural verb form afterwards. That’s weird for English, because after all, only one of them is going to do it. But in Spanish, it’s natural to use plural (panda) conjugations in these situations instead of singular conjugations. So we have

Our friend(m) or our friend(f) would be here.

Nuestro amigo o nuestra amiga estarían aquí.

Nuestro amigo o nuestra amiga estarían aquí.

All right, now it’s time for our big quiz to practice all the things we’ve been working on recently. Watch for a few examples of del and al as we go through this.

This thing has been here, but that one hasn't.

Esta cosa has estado aquí, pero esa no.

Esta cosa ha estado aquí, pero esa no.

The things that you had that day were from the guy.

Las cosas que you had ese día eran del chico.

Las cosas que tenías ese día eran del chico.

It would be good, but you aren't where I was.

Sería bueno, pero no estás donde estuve.

That day she was at that place with her friend(m).

Ese día estuvo en ese lugar con su amigo.

The days when we are here are good, but that day won't be.

Los días cuando estamos aquí son buenos, pero ese día no lo será.

Our friend(m) or our friend(f) would be here.

Nuestro amigo o nuestra amiga estarían aquí.

This is the boy's.

Esto es del chico.

I didn't go to the place.

No I went al lugar.

No fui al lugar.

I'll be a good guy with your friends.

Seré un buen chico con tus amigos.

I would be in this house with this boy.

Estaría en esta casa con este chico.

It isn't the boy's, but he is going to his house.

No es del chico, pero he is going a su casa.

No es del chico, pero va a ir a su casa.

He is going to the place where he will be.

He is going al lugar donde estará.

Va al lugar donde estará.

You aren't being good(m) or you would be here.

No estás siendo bueno o estarías aquí.

That boy has his friends(m) and that girl has her friends(f).

Ese chico has sus amigos y esa chica has sus amigas.

Ese chico tiene sus amigos y esa chica tiene sus amigas.

If that thing is here, that boy will be here.

Si esa cosa está aquí, ese chico estará aquí.

My friends and I would be in that place.

Mis amigos y yo estaríamos en ese lugar.

We don't want to go to the place where you are.

No we want to go al lugar where tú estás.

No queremos ir al lugar donde tú estás.

She wouldn't be with this one (m).

No estaría con este.

This one (m) hasn't been my best work.

Este no ha sido mi best work.

Este no ha sido mi mejor trabajo.

It would be good if your friend came from Mexico.

Sería bueno si tu amigo came de México.

Sería bueno si tu amigo viniera de México.

I'm going from the store(f) to the house.

I’m going de la store a la casa.

Voy de la tienda a la casa.

For access to the flashcards so that you can practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/35.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was provided by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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