Quick answer
"Was" is a form of "be", a copular verb which is often translated as "ser". "Did" is a form of "do", a transitive verb which is often translated as "hacer". Learn more about the difference between "was" and "did" 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.
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do(
du
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to perform)
a. hacer
Don't think about it, just do it.No lo pienses, hazlo.
I haven't done my homework yet.Aún no hice los deberes.
2. (to study)
a. hacer
I'm going to do Spanish next year.Voy a hacer español el año que viene.
3. (to work as)
a. dedicarse a
What do you do for a living?¿A qué te dedicas?
4. (film, theater, television)
a. poner (play)
The school did Macbeth this year.Pusieron Macbeth en el colegio este año.
b. hacer de (role)
I did Romeo in a high-school production.Hice de Romeo en una producción del colegio.
5. (a distance)
a. hacer
We did the whole distance in less than two hours.Hicimos toda la distancia en menos de dos horas.
6. (a speed)
a. ir a
She was doing more than 100 miles an hour when she crashed.Iba a más de 100 millas por hora cuando chocó.
7. (to visit)
a. visitar
We did Riviera Maya last summer.Visitamos la Riviera Maya el verano pasado.
8. (to cook)
a. hacer
Are you doing turkey for Thanksgiving?¿Vas a hacer pavo para el Día de Acción de Gracias?
b. preparar
The chef did an amazing seven-layer cake.El chef preparó un pastel impresionante de siete pisos.
9. (to fix)
a. arreglar
I need to get someone to come and do the kitchen ceiling.Necesito contratar a alguien que venga a arreglar el techo de la cocina.
b. peinar (hair)
Where do you have your hair done?¿Dónde te peinan?
c. hacer (nails)
I have to do my nails before going out.Tengo que hacerme las uñas antes de salir.
10. (to achieve)
a. lograr
He did it!¡Lo logró!
11. (to impersonate)
a. imitar
The comedienne who hosts the show does a mean Hillary Clinton.La humorista que presenta el programa imita de maravilla a Hillary Clinton.
12. (products or goods)
a. hacer
Can you do me a discount for cash?¿Me puede hacer un descuento por pago en efectivo?
b. tener (in a store)
Do you do this in black?¿Tienen esto en negro?
c. servir (in a bar or restaurant)
We don't do evening meals.No servimos cenas.
13. (a period of time)
a. pasar
I did five years in a boarding school.Pasé cinco años en un internado.
b. cumplir (a sentence)
He did ten years for armed robbery.Cumplió diez años por robo a mano armada.
14. (harm, damage or good)
a. hacer
A vacation will do you good.Unas vacaciones te harán bien.
15. (an effort)
a. hacer
I did my best.Hice todo lo que pude.
16.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(drugs)
a. consumir
Do you do drugs?¿Consumes drogas?
b. tomar
No thanks, I don't do drugs.No gracias, no tomo drogas.
17.
A very informal word or phrase used by a particular group or community as a substitute for standard language (e.g. joint, john).
(slang)
A word or phrase that is crude, indecent, and generally rejected by society (e.g. fuck).
(vulgar)
(to have sex with)
a. coger
A very informal word or phrase used by a particular group or community as a substitute for standard language (e.g. joint, john).
(slang)
A word or phrase that is crude, indecent, and generally rejected by society (e.g. fuck).
(vulgar)
Regionalism used in Latin America: all the countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Does not include Spain.
(Latin America)
I'd do Jim's sister, wouldn't you?Yo cogería la hermana de Jim, ¿tú no?
b. follar
A very informal word or phrase used by a particular group or community as a substitute for standard language (e.g. joint, john).
(slang)
A word or phrase that is crude, indecent, and generally rejected by society (e.g. fuck).
(vulgar)
Regionalism used in Spain
(Spain)
I don't know about you, but I'd do him!No sé lo que harías tú, ¡pero yo lo follaría!
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
18. (to get on)
a. ir
She was doing well in her new job.Le iba bien en su nuevo trabajo.
19. (to behave)
a. hacer
Be good and do as mommy says.Sé bueno y haz lo que te dice mami.
20. (to be satisfactory or enough)
a. valer
There are no pears left, but apples will do.No quedan peras, pero las manzanas valdrán.
b. ser suficiente
About a dozen should do.Una docena más o menos será suficiente.
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.).
21. (to form questions)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Did she leave?¿Se marchó?
Do you want to play with me?¿Quieres jugar conmigo?
22. (to form negatives)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
He doesn't care.No le importa.
We didn't make it.No lo conseguimos.
23. (in tag questions)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
He never apologized, did he?Nunca se disculpó, ¿no?
You know her, don't you?La conoces, ¿verdad?
24. (for emphasis)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Do sit down!¡Tome asiento, por favor!
I do like the ring, honest. It's beautiful!De veras que me gusta el anillo. ¡Es muy lindo!
25. (to replace a verb)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Did he ask her out? - No, he didn't.¿Le pidió salir? - No.
Does she work at home? - Yes, she does.¿Trabaja en casa? - Sí.
A noun is a word referring to a person, animal, place, thing, feeling or idea (e.g. man, dog, house).
26.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(party)
a. la fiesta
(f) means that a noun is feminine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
They are having a birthday do next Saturday.Van a celebrar una fiesta de cumpleaños el sábado que viene.
27.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(hairdo)
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
a. el peinado
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
A gust of wind messed up her do.Una ráfaga de viento le estropeó el peinado.
28. (music)
a. el do
(m) means that a noun is masculine. Spanish nouns have a gender, which is either feminine (like la mujer or la luna) or masculine (like el hombre or el sol).
Do is the first note of the musical scale.Do es la primera nota de la escala musical.
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