Listen to an audio pronunciation
vs
Listen to an audio pronunciation
Quick answer
"Be" is a copular verb which is often translated as "ser", and "they were" is a phrase which is often translated as "fueron". Learn more about the difference between "be" and "they were" below.
be(
bi
)
A copular verb links the subject of a clause to the predicate (e.g. My brother is tall).
1. (used to indicate a permanent quality)
a. ser
The ocean is blue.El océano es azul.
2. (used to indicate a temporary state)
a. estar
I'm not in a good mood today.Hoy no estoy de buen humor.
The sky is cloudy.El cielo está nublado.
3. (followed by a noun)
a. ser
France is a member of the European Union.Francia es un miembro de la Unión Europea.
4. (used to indicate a profession or occupation)
a. ser
What do you do for a living? - I'm a doctor.¿A qué te dedicas? - Soy médico.
5. (used with dates)
a. ser
My birthday is July 26th.Mi cumpleaños es el 26 de julio.
b. estamos a (present day)
Today is Thursday.Hoy estamos a jueves.
6. (imperative mood)
a. ser
Be polite with guests.Sé educado con los invitados.
b. estar
Be quiet, and don't move!¡Estate callado y no te muevas!
7. (used to indicate age)
a. tener
My brother is 30 years old.Mi hermano tiene 30 años.
8. (to cost)
a. costar
One pizza and two drinks are $15.Una pizza y dos bebidas cuestan $15.
b. ser
Shipping is three dollars.El envío es tres dólares.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
9. (to take place)
a. ser
The party is at my place.La fiesta es en mi casa.
10. (to be present)
a. estar
My sister is in her room.Mi hermana está en su habitación.
11. (to visit; used with the present perfect)
a. estar
I've been to New York three times.He estado en Nueva York tres veces.
b. venir
The mailman has been here, but he didn't bring your package.El cartero ha venido, pero no trajo tu paquete.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
12. (to exist)
a. haber
There are no trees on our road.No hay árboles en nuestra calle.
13. (used to indicate time)
a. ser
It is bedtime.Es hora de ir a dormir.
14. (used to refer to the weather)
a. hacer
It's too windy to go up in a balloon.Hace demasiado viento para ir en globo.
An auxiliary verb, or helper verb, is a conjugated verb that comes before a main verb and determines the main verb's tense, mood, or aspect (e.g. I have gone.).
15. (with tenses of continuous action)
a. estar
I am reading a book.Estoy leyendo un libro.
16. (with the passive voice)
a. ser
The church was built in 1900.La iglesia fue construida en 1900.
17. (when substituting a verb)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I'm going to the party. - So am I.Voy a la fiesta. - Yo también.
It is a lovely day, isn't it?Es un día precioso, ¿verdad?
18. (with infinitive constructions)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
I don't know how much salt is to be added to the sauce.No sé cuánta sal hay que añadir a la salsa.
The assignment is to be done by next Thursday.La tarea tiene que estar para el jueves que viene.
19. (used to indicate the future)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
My baby is due in three months.Mi bebé nacerá dentro de tres meses.
Tomorrow, I'm going to the dentist.Mañana voy al dentista.
20. (in conditional sentences)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Had it not been for his family, he would have never become an artist.Si no fuera por su familia, nunca habría sido artista.
If I were you, I would not go.Yo en tu lugar, no iría.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
they were(
they
 
wuhr
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (used to express a permanent quality; short or defined period of time)
a. fueron
Of course I know Alicia and Ryan. They were my neighbors for five years.Claro que conozco a Alicia y Ryan. Fueron mis vecinos durante cinco años.
2. (used to express a temporary state; short or defined period of time)
a. estuvieron
Alex and Virginia had a wonderful time in Italy. They were there for two weeks.Alex y Virginia lo pasaron de maravilla en Italia. Estuvieron allá dos semanas.
3. (used to express a permanent quality; long or undefined period of time)
a. eran
The pilgrims left for the New World because they were outcasts where they were living.Los peregrinos partieron para el Nuevo Mundo porque eran marginados donde vivían.
4. (used to express a temporary state; long or undefined period of time)
a. estaban
They were mad because they weren't invited to the party.Estaban enojados porque no los invitaron a la fiesta.
Copyright © Curiosity Media Inc.
SpanishDict is the world's most popular Spanish-English dictionary, translation, and learning website.
© Curiosity Media Inc.  |  Ver en español
SOCIAL NETWORKS
APPS