While both ser and estar can translate to to be in English, they aren't interchangeable in Spanish.
If this general rule is too vague for you, think of the acronym DOT. Ser is used for:
- Descriptions of a person or thing
- Origins of a person or thing
In this article we'll take a look at the O in DOT: Origins. Let's get started!
Origins with Ser
Ser is used to describe the place a person is from or the material something is made of. You can use ser to answer the questions Where is this from? and What is this made of?.
In other words, ser is used to describe the essential origin of a person or thing. This can be either a place origin or a material origin.
In these cases, ser is used to talk about where a person or thing is from. It can refer to where a person was born or raised or where an item was made. To describe place origin, use the formula ser + de + location.
In these cases, ser is used to describe what something is made of. You can use the formula ser + de + material to talk about this sort of material origin.