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Quick answer
"Un poco" is a phrase which is often translated as "a little", and "ser" is a copular verb which is often translated as "to be". Learn more about the difference between "un poco" and "ser" below.
un poco(
oom
 
poh
-
koh
)
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
1. (not a big amount)
a. a little
¿Le pones azúcar al café? - Solo ponle un poco.Do you want sugar in your coffee? - Just add a little.
b. some
Ha sobrado un poco. Lo podemos cenar esta noche.There's some left. We can have it for dinner tonight.
c. a bit
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
La conocía un poco del colegio.I knew her a bit from school.
2. (not excessively)
a. a little
¿Te sentó mal lo que te dijo? - Un poco.Were you hurt by what she said? - A little.
b. a bit
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
¿Todavía te duele la cabeza? - Un poco, pero ya me siento mejor.Does your head still hurt? - A bit, but I'm feeling better now.
3. (fairly)
a. a little
Estoy un poco cansado, así que me voy a dormir la siesta.I'm a little tired, so I'm going to have a siesta.
b. a bit
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
Es un poco tarde para llamar, ¿no crees?It's a bit late to call, don't you think?
4. (to a certain extent)
a. partly
Al final no se lo dije. Un poco porque pensé que no era el momento.I didn't tell him in the end. Partly because I thought it wasn't the right time.
b. a little
Es un poco lo que pasó en España también.It's a little like what happened in Spain too.
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ser(
sehr
)
A copular verb links the subject of a clause to the predicate (e.g. My brother is tall).
1. (used to talk about characteristics)
a. to be
Sus ojos son azules.Her eyes are blue.
Mi abuelo es profesor.My grandpa is a teacher.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
2. (used to indicate origin)
a. to be
Soy de Nueva York.I'm from New York.
3. (to serve as)
a. to be
El lápiz es para escribir, no para lanzar.Pencils are for writing, not for throwing.
4. (used to talk about prices)
a. to be
¿Cuánto quiere por este cuadro? - Son diez dólares.How much do you want for this picture? - It's ten dollars.
5. (to be composed of)
a. to be made of
El casillero antiguo de mi abuela es de roble.My grandma's antique dresser is made of oak.
6. (used to indicate possession)
a. to be
Este reloj es de mi madre.This watch is my mother's.
7. (to take place)
a. to be
La fiesta será en mi casa.The party will be at my place.
8. (to be associated with; used with "de")
a. to root for
Yo soy del mejor equipo del mundo: FC Barcelona.I root for the best team in the world: FC Barcelona.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
9. (used to express time)
a. to be
Son las siete de la mañana.It is seven in the morning.
Era de noche cuando llegaron.It was night when they arrived.
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.).
10. (with the passive voice)
a. to be
El edificio fue diseñado por un equipo de arquitectos.The building was built by a team of architects.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
11. (entity)
a. being
Hay un ser vivo en el lago, pero no sé qué es.There's a living being in the lake, but I don't know what it is.
12. (human)
a. person
Su papá es un ser muy agradable.Her dad is a very nice person.
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