Estar Conjugation | How to Conjugate Estar in Spanish

María José Escobar Last updated on January 31, 2023

If you’re learning Spanish, you’ve most likely come across the verb estar. It’s one of the most commonly used verbs in Spanish. In this article, I’ll cover every conjugation for estar and give you a description of the tenses. I’ve broken down all of the information into sections and you’ll have a conjugation chart for each tense, as well as example sentences to help you practice.

In Spanish, the verb to be has two different meanings. Estar talks about how something is, while ser talks about what something is. To help you differentiate both, think of estar as a verb that describes a temporary condition or circumstance. We use it to describe actions, emotions, or situations. For instance: “I am happy!” (¡Yo estoy feliz!) or “I am working out” (Estoy haciendo ejercicio).

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As an irregular verb, estar doesn't follow a strict conjugation pattern. Instead, you’ll have to understand the context and the noun or pronoun before it to help you conjugate the verb. Take a look at the table below to see the three common forms of the verb estar: the infinitive, the gerund, and the past participle.

Part of SpeechEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
Infinitiveestarto be
Past Participleestadobeen

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Infinitive: Mañana vamos a estar recorriendo Paris. (Tomorrow we are going to be touring Paris.)
  • Gerund: No puedo trabajar estando enfermo. (I can’t work being sick.)
  • Past Participle: He estado más ocupado de lo usual. (I have been busier than usual.)

Now that you’ve seen the three main forms of estar, let's take a look at the conjugations in each verb tense. To see how the verb is conjugated, click on the specific tense you want to learn.

IndicativePerfectSubjunctivePerfect SubjunctiveImperative
PresentPresent PerfectPresent SubjunctivePresent Perfect SubjunctiveImperative
FutureFuture PerfectFuture SubjunctiveFuture Perfect Subjunctive
PreteritePast Perfect
Imperfect SubjunctivePluperfect Subjunctive
ImperfectConditional Perfect
ConditionalPreterite Perfect
(Past Anterior)

How to Conjugate Estar in Indicative Tense

Verb conjugations in Spanish have four moods which all tenses belong to. The first mood is the Indicative. We use it to talk about factual situations or statements. This tense has a past, present, future, and conditional form.

Indicative Present

The indicative present is one of the most widely used and versatile verb tenses for estar in Spanish. We commonly use it to describe situations, events, or emotions that are taking place at the moment. We can also use it to talk about descriptions, frequent events, or facts.

Below is a conjugation table with the verb estar in indicative present:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstoyI am 
EstásYou are
VosEstásYou are
Él/Ella/UstedEstáHe/She is, You are
NosotrosEstamosWe are
VosotrosEstáisYou are 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEstánThey are, You are 

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Ellos están jugando afuera. (They are playing outside.)
  • ¡Nosotros estamos felices de escuchar la noticia! (We are happy to hear the news!)
  • Estoy en camino. (I’m on my way.)

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Indicative Future

The indicative future helps us describe events, situations, or emotions that will happen in the future. It's also used to talk about intentions, wishes, or predictions of future events.

In the table below, you can see the conjugation chart for estar in indicative future:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstaréI will be
EstarásYou will be 
VosEstarásYou will be 
Él/Ella/UstedEstaráHe/She/You will be
NosotrosEstaremosWe will be 
VosotrosEstaréisYou will be 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEstaránThey will be, You will be

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • En pocos días estaré de viaje por Europa. (In a few days I’ll be traveling through Europe.)
  • ¡Estaremos felices de tenerlos en casa! (We’ll be happy to have you at home!)
  • ¡Vosotros estaréis encantados de conocer a mi familia! (You will be thrilled to meet my family!)

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Indicative Preterite

We use the indicative preterite form to talk about past actions or events that have already been completed. This tense commonly indicates a specific point in time in which the situation or event happened. For instance, when saying “Yo estuve” you’d translate it to “I was.”

The conjugation chart below shows how to conjugate estar in this tense:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstuveI was 
EstuvisteYou were 
VosEstuviste You were 
Él/Ella/UstedEstuvoHe/She was, You were
NosotrosEstuvimos We were 
VosotrosEstuvisteis You were 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEstuvieronThey were, You were 

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Estuve jugando en la playa hasta las cinco de la tarde. (I was playing on the beach until five in the afternoon.)
  • Mientras estuviste de vacaciones reorganizamos la casa. (While you were on vacation, we reorganized the house.)
  • Nosotros estuvimos en la fiesta hasta tarde. (We were at the party until late.)

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Indicative Imperfect

We use the indicative imperfect tense to talk about a past action or event that was completed at an undetermined point in time or that was recurrent. This tense is also helpful when describing past emotions or the state of being of a subject. For instance, to say “I was there yesterday,” you’d use this tense to say “Yo estaba ahí ayer.”

In the following table, you’ll see the imperfect indicative conjugations of estar:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstaba I was 
EstabasYou were 
VosEstabasYou were 
Él/Ella/UstedEstabaHe/She was, You were
NosotrosEstabámosWe were 
VosotrosEstabais You were 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEstabanThey were, you were 

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Estaba muy cansado cuando llegué a casa de trabajar. (I was very tired when I got home from work.)
  • Yo estaba ahí cuando ocurrió. (I was there when it happened.)
  • Él estaba de viaje cuando le llamé. (He was traveling when I called him.)

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Indicative Conditional

The indicative conditional tense is mostly used to talk about something that might happen in the future. This can be a possibility or a speculation. We can also use it to describe an event or situation that depends on another event happening first. It’s quite common to find this verb after a conditional phrase following the conjunction “if.”

Below, you can find a conjugation chart of estar for this tense:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstaríaI would be 
EstaríasYou would be 
VosEstaríasYou would be 
Él/Ella/UstedEstaríanHe/She/You would be
NosotrosEstaríamosWe would be 
VosotrosEstaríais  You would be
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEstarían They would be, You would be

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • ¡Estoy segura de que ella estaría feliz de ayudar! (I’m sure she would be happy to help!)
  • Ellos ya estarían aquí de no ser for el mal clima en la carretera. (They would already be here if it wasn’t for the bad weather on the road.)
  • Él estaría feliz de verte. (He would be happy to see you.)

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How to Conjugate Estar in Perfect Tense

In Spanish, perfect tenses describe events that have happened or will happen. To identify when this verb tense is being used, notice that its conjugation is composed of a form of the verb haber and the past participle of the verb estar, which is estado. Like with most moods, you’ll find that there are present, past, future, and conditional forms for the perfect tense.

Present Perfect

In Spanish, we use the present perfect tense to describe ongoing or recently completed events. It can also be used to express the state of being or emotions of a subject in recent times. For instance, “I have been tired lately” you’d use this tense and say “Yo he estado cansado últimamente.”

In the table below, you can see how to conjugate the verb estar in present perfect:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHe estadoI have been
Has estado You have been
VosHas estado You have been
Él/Ella/UstedHa estado He/She has been, You have been
NosotrosHemos estado We have been
VosotrosHabéis estado You have been
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHan estado They have been, You have been

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Ellos han estado jugando toda la mañana. (They have been playing all morning.)
  • Nosotros hemos estado entrenando para correr una maratón por años. (We have been training to run a marathon for years.)
  • Ella ha estado practicando piano por meses. (She has been practicing piano for months.)

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Future Perfect

We use the future perfect form when talking about an action that will be completed in the future. It’s helpful when expressing predictions, plans, or projections. Normally, it’s used with a time marker indicating when the action will have taken place.

Below, you can see all of the verb forms of estar in the future perfect tense:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabré estadoI will have been
Habrás estado You will have been
VosHabrás estado You will have been
Él/Ella/UstedHabrá estado He/She/You will have been
NosotrosHabremos estado We will have been 
VosotrosHabréis estado You will have been
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabrán estadoThey will have been, You will have been

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Yo habré estado aquí por tres semanas el 5 de Enero. (I will have been here for three weeks on January 5th.)
  • Este diciembre, el habrá estado trabajando conmigo por seis años. (This December, he will have been working with me for six years.)
  • Ellos habrán estado esperando unas horas para cuando lleguemos. (They will have been waiting for a few hours by the time we get there.)

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Past perfect (Pluperfect)

In Spanish, the pluperfect form talks about a past action or situation that happened before another past action or situation. As with the future perfect, you’ll commonly see this verb used along with a time marker of when the action or event took place.

Below is a chart with the estar pluperfect conjugation for every pronoun:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabía estado I had been 
Habías estado You had been 
VosHabías estado You had been 
Él/Ella/UstedHabía estado He/She had been, You had been 
NosotrosHabíamos estado We had been 
VosotrosHabíais estado You had been 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabían estado They had been, You had been

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Había estado esperando una hora cuando tú llegaste. (I had been waiting for an hour when you arrived.)
  • Ella había estado jugando diez minutos cuando metió gol. (She had been playing for ten minutes when she scored a goal.)
  • Vosotros habríais estado allí antes de que todo sucediera. (You had been there before it all happened.)

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Conditional Perfect

The conditional perfect tense is frequently used to describe something that would have taken place in the future but didn’t. We also use it to talk about something that could’ve happened in the past but didn’t. For instance, you’d say “Habría estado” to say “I would have been.” You’ll notice this verb form is often used in conditional sentences.

In the table below you can see the verb estar conjugation chart for this tense:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHabría estado I would have been
Habrías estado You would have been 
VosHabrías estado You would have been 
Él/Ella/UstedHabría estado He/She/You would have been 
NosotrosHabríamos estado We would have been 
VosotrosHabríais estado You would have been 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHabrían estado They would have been, You would have been 

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • ¡Habría estado feliz de ayudarte si me hubieras preguntado! (I would have been happy to help you if you’d asked!)
  • ¡Habríamos estado encantados de conocerlo! (We would have been thrilled to meet him!)
  • Habrías estado jugando ahora si hubieras hecho la tarea más temprano. (You would have been playing by now if you had done your homework earlier.)

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Preterite Perfect (Past Anterior)

In Spanish, the preterite perfect form of the verb estar helps us describe situations that happened immediately after another situation in the past. Note that this is one of the least used past tense conjugations in spoken language. You’ll occasionally find it in older academic literature.

Below is a table of how to conjugate this verb for each pronoun:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHube estado I was
Hubiste estadoYou were
VosHubiste estadoYou were
Él/Ella/UstedHubo estadoHe/She was, You were
NosotrosHubimos estado We were
VosotrosHubisteis estadoYou were
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieron estadoThey were, You were

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Tan pronto como hube estado ahí, corrí a saludar. (As soon as I was there, I ran to say hi.)
  • Cuando hubimos estado en Francia, lo primero que vimos fue la Torre Eiffel. (When we were in France, the first thing we saw was the Eiffel Tower.)
  • Apenas hubiste estado en casa, empezó a llover. (As soon as you were home, it started raining.)

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How to Conjugate Estar in Subjunctive Tense

We use the subjunctive tense to communicate uncertainty. It’ll come in handy when talking about possibilities, desires, and unreal situations. We’ll take a look at the three tenses that make up this mood: the present subjunctive, future subjunctive, and imperfect subjunctive.

Present Subjunctive

We commonly use the present subjunctive when speaking of possible circumstances in the future such as events, emotions, or wishes. However, we can also use it to describe the current state of being of another or of oneself (expressing it in the third person). I know this may sound confusing, but don’t worry. I’ll give you some example sentences below for both cases!

Here’s the estar conjugation chart for the present subjunctive:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstéI am
EstésYou are 
VosEstés You are 
Él/Ella/UstedEstéHe/She is, You are
NosotrosEstemos We are 
VosotrosEstéisYou are 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEsténThey are, You are

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • ¡Cuánto me alegra que estés con nosotros! (I am so happy that you are here with us!)
  • Avisáme cuando ella esté allí. (Let me know when she is there.)
  • Cuando los niños estén dormidos podremos salir. (When the kids are asleep we’ll be able to go out.)

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Future Subjunctive

The future subjunctive is a verb form used to describe an unlikely, hypothetical situation in the future. We can also use it when describing an action that results from another one in the future. Note that this verb tense has become mostly obsolete, but can be found in academic or law-related texts.

In the table below, can find the estar Spanish conjugation in future subjunctive:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstuviereI am
EstuvieresYou are 
VosEstuvieresYou are 
Él/Ella/UstedEstuvierenHe/She is, You are
NosotrosEstuviéremosWe are 
VosotrosEstuviereis You are 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEstuvierenThey are, You are

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • El que yo estuviere ahí, no significa que deba participar. (The fact that I am there doesn’t mean I am supposed to participate.)
  • Quienes estuvieren por fuera después de las 8:00 p.m, no podrán entrar. (Those who are outside after 8:00 p.m won’t be able to enter.)
  • Quieren estuvieren ahí recibirán un descuento especial. (Those who are there will get a special discount.)

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Imperfect Subjunctive

In Spanish, the imperfect subjunctive tense serves two main purposes. It can either be used to describe uncertain situations in the past or to talk about a conditional situation. You’ll likely see it used along with the conjunctions “if” or “when.”

Here’s the imperfect tense conjugation chart for estar next:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoEstuviera/EstuvieseI was 
Estuvieras/EstuviesesYou were
VosEstuvieras/EstuviesesYou were 
Él/Ella/UstedEstuviera/EstuvieseHe/She was, You were 
NosotrosEstuviéramos/EstuviésemosWe were
VosotrosEstuvierais/EstuviesesYou were 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesEstuvieran/EstuviesenThey were, You were 

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Si estuvieras aquí, veríamos una película. (If you were here, we would watch a movie.)
  • Me gustaría que estuviéramos juntos, pero sé que no es posible. (I’d like it if we were together but I know that’s not possible.)
  • Ojalá vosotros estuviéses aquí para ver el atardecer con nosotros. (I wish you guys were here to watch the sunset with us.)

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How to Conjugate Estar in Perfect Subjunctive Tense

We use this tense when speaking of events or situations that have a specific endpoint in time. It’s used for past, present, future, or conditional events alike. We’ll cover the following three tenses for this mood: the present perfect subjunctive, future perfect subjunctive, and pluperfect subjunctive.

Present Perfect Subjunctive

The present perfect subjunctive tense is one of the most commonly used and versatile verb forms of estar. We use it to describe past actions that are ongoing or happening in the present. It’s also used to talk about future situations that will take place at a specific time or conditional events.

In the table below, you can see the conjugation of estar in the present perfect subjunctive tense:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHaya estadoI have been
Hayas estadoYou have been
VosHayas estadoYou have been 
Él/Ella/UstedHaya estadoHe/She has been, You have been 
NosotrosHayamos estado We have been
VosotrosHayáis estadoYou have been 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHayan estadoThey have been, You have been

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Aunque hayas estado en todas las clases tienes que estudiar para el examen final. (Even if you have been to all the classes, you have to study for the final exam.)
  • Cuando hayáis estado haciendo ejercicio todos los días vuestra salud mejorará. (When you have been exercising every day your health will improve.)
  • El que tú hayas estado allí para mí significa mucho. (The fact that you have been there for me means a lot.)

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Future Perfect Subjunctive

We use the future perfect subjunctive to describe a future situation that will happen given that another one occurs. It is often used to talk about unreal situations that may or may not happen. Note that this is one of the least used verb tenses in Spanish and you’ll rarely see it in the day-to-day use of the language.

Below, is a chart that shows how estar is conjugated in this tense:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHubiere estadoI have been
Hubieres estadoYou have been
VosHubieres estadoYou have been 
Él/Ella/UstedHubiere estadoHe/She has been, You have been 
NosotrosHubiéremos estado We have been
VosotrosHubiereis estado You have been 
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieren estadoThey have been, You have been

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Quien hubiere estado en el lugar de los hechos será testigo en la audiencia. (Whoever has been at the scene will be a witness at the hearing.)
  • La condena podrá reducirse siempre que él hubiere estado cumpliendo con sus deberes. (The sentence can be reduced as long as he has been fulfilling his duties.)
  • Si ellos hubieren estado involucrados, serán suspendidos. (If they have been involved, they will be suspended.)

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Pluperfect Subjunctive

In Spanish, we commonly use the pluperfect subjunctive tense to describe a past situation that happened immediately before another. However, it can also be used to describe emotions, wishes or reactions with respect to a situation. I’ll give you some example sentences for both cases below!

This is how you conjugate estar in the pluperfect subjunctive tense:

PronounEstar ConjugationEnglish Meaning
YoHubiera/Hubiese estadoI had been
Hubieras/Hubieses estado You had been
VosHubieras/Hubieses estado You had been
Él/Ella/UstedHubiera/Hubiese estado He/She had been, You had been
NosotrosHubiéramos/Hubiésemos estado We had been
VosotrosHubierais/Hubieseis estado You had been
Ellos/Ellas/ UstedesHubieran/Hubiesen estadoThey had been, You had been

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • Me extrañó que tú no hubieras estado ahí. (I was surprised you had not been there.)
  • Creo que ustedes hubieran disfrutado la obra si hubiesen estado allí. (I think you guys would have enjoyed the play if you had been there.)
  • Si vosotros hubieseis estado allí, nos habríamos devuelto a casa juntos. (If you had been there, we would have returned home together.)

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How to Conjugate Estar in the Imperative Tense

Just as in English, the imperative form of a verb in Spanish we typically use to give commands or orders. You also use it when giving recommendations or advice. When using this tense, there is an affirmative form and a negative form. You’ll use the conjugated verb alone when using it in an affirmative way, and add “No” (don’t) in front when using it in a negative way.

The table below is a chart for the Spanish estar conjugations in the imperative form:

PronounsEstar Conjugation (Affirmative)Estar Conjugation (Negative)English Meaning
¡Está!¡No estés!(You) Be/Don’t be!
Vos¡Estés!¡No estés!(You) Be/Don’t be!
Él/Ella/Usted¡Esté!¡No esté!(You) Be/Don’t be!
Nosotros¡Estemos!¡No estemos!(Let’s) Be/Don’t be!
Vosotros¡Estad!¡No estéis!(You) Be/Don’t be!
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes¡Estén!¡No estén!(You) Be/Don’t be!

Here are three example sentences that use the conjugations of estar from the table above:

  • ¡No estés triste! (Don’t be sad!)
  • Estemos quietos para la foto. (Let’s be still for the picture.)
  • ¡Quisiera que ustedes estén felices! (I want you guys to be happy!)

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Tips for Conjugating Estar Correctly

Conjugating the Spanish verb estar can be challenging. Here are a few tips to keep in mind that will help in your learning process:

When going over the use of this verb, begin by learning the most commonly used tenses. There are some verb forms for estar that you’ll rarely use or see in day-to-day Spanish. You can learn these eventually, but start by focusing on the ones that you’ll use frequently! These tenses will help you understand most of what you read or hear and will help you express most of your ideas that require the use of the verb.

Remember that as an irregular verb, estar does not follow a common conjugation pattern. You’ll have to memorize the different tenses and conjugation forms. However, the key is to pay close attention to the context of the sentences. Analyzing the context will help you connect each tense to specific situations and help you remember different conjugations better. The use of the verb will eventually become second nature with practice, so don’t get frustrated if it’s hard at first!

Here are some colloquial expressions of estar so that you feel more familiar with the use of this verb. When referring to a living room, a place to be comfortable in or just to be in general, we call that a “sala de estar.” Another commonly used expression using estar is “¡eso está por verse!” which translates to “that remains to be seen!” Now you know two uses of estar in everyday Spanish!

Ways to Practice Conjugating Estar

Estar is one of the most used verbs in Spanish, so learning the conjugations is key. The best way to learn and remember is to practice. Luckily, there are many ways to practice Spanish based on your learning style. For example, a Spanish language app can help you practice in a fun and interactive way. If you prefer in-depth explanations, a Spanish book is a better way to go.

Whichever way you choose to practice, stick with it and don’t give up. Learning Spanish verb conjugations is often one of the most difficult aspects for English speakers to figure out. But with time and patience, you’ll have the verb estar down pat!

Estar Conjugation FAQ

How do you conjugate the verb Estar?

To conjugate the verb estar in Spanish, you can begin by identifying if it’s being used in its infinitive, gerund, or past participle form. From there, it’ll be easier to identify the appropriate verb mood and tense to communicate your idea.

What is the past tense of Estar?

The three most common conjugations of estar in the past tense are the indicative preterite, indicative imperfect, and pluperfect. Of these, the first two mean “I was” and the last one means “I had been.” The context in which they are used differs slightly, but once you’ve learned them you’ll be able to describe most situations that require the use of the verb in the past tense.

What verb is [estando]?

Estando is the gerund conjugation for the verb estar in Spanish. We use it to show a continuous action in the present, and it is equivalent to adding an -ing ending to a verb in English. When using the gerund of estar, you could express a current state of being like in the following sentence: “Estando lesionado no podré jugar,” which translates to “Being injured, I won’t be able to play.”

What does the verb Estar mean?

The Spanish verb estar means to be. We use this verb to describe how something or someone is. You’ll notice that this verb typically describes temporary states of being. We use it to express characteristics, emotions, or situations. For instance, to say “I am happy!” you would say “¡Yo estoy feliz!”.

María José Escobar

Maria is a Business Engineering student from Colombia who is passionate about learning. She loves traveling the world and connecting with different cultures. Her dream is to be a world citizen and help others learn about the things she loves, including Spanish, her native language, and her culture. Connect with Maria on LinkedIn.

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