How to Conjugate Ser, the Spanish Verb, in the Present Tense and the Preterit Tense

Every beginning student of the Spanish language should learn to conjugate ser, one of two Spanish verbs meaning “to be.” The student must master the conjugation of this verb in both the present and past tenses before moving on to conjugating this action word in other tenses.

In a previous Spanish lesson, I showed you when to use the verb “ser” vs. “be”. In this lesson, I will not discuss when to use this verb. Instead, I’ll just discuss how to conjugate it.

Here is a chart to help conjugate ser in the present tense:

(I) soy
(You are
(He / she / you
(We, we) are
(they, they, you) son

If you are learning European Spanish, as opposed to Latin American Spanish, you can add “you are” to the list. Now we will use the word in a couple of sentences in Spanish.

The computer belongs to my sister.
The computer belongs to my brother.

I’m andrea.
I’m andrea

We are students at the same school.
We are students at the same school.

Here is a chart to help conjugate ser in the past tense:

(I went
(you went
(He, she, you) was
(We, we) went
(they, they, you) were

If you are learning European Spanish, as opposed to Latin American Spanish, you can add “fuisteis” to the list. We saw how to conjugate ser in the present tense, now let’s see how to conjugate ser in the past tense:

When I was little I liked to play in the park.
When I was little, I liked to play in the park.

She was a nurse.
She used to be a nurse.

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