Spanish Copular Verbs

Quick Answer

A copular verb, also called a linking verb, is a verb that links the subject of a sentence with the predicate, equating one with the other. Spanish has two main copulative verbs, serand estar, both of which correspond to the English to be.


Ser is used to describe the essential characteristics of someone or something. These include nationality, profession, religion, size, shape, and color.

Él es alto.
He is tall.
Yo soy peruana.
I am Peruvian.
El mar es azul.
The sea is blue.
Nosotros somos doctores.
We are doctors.


Estar is used to describe temporary states or conditions. These include physical, mental, and emotional states.

Los niños están cansados.
The kids are tired.
La sopa está fría.
The soup is cold.
Mi prima está triste.
My cousin is sad.
La comida está sabrosa.
The food is tasty.

Want to learn more about the differences between ser and estar? Check out our Ser vs. Estar article!