Estar Verb Conjugation in Spanish

Estar is by far one of the most common verbs in the Spanish language. It usually translates to the English verb "to be", but there is a bit of a catch.

The school is far away. The school is far away.

If you already know some Spanish, you might be wondering about the difference between estar and ser. You're not alone, this difference is one of the trickiest for English learners.

You can learn more about ser in this article. Estar, on the other hand, is used in the following contexts:

  • Position: Estoy acostada (I'm lying down).
  • Location: La escuela está lejos (The school is far away).
  • Actions (ongoing): ¿Qué estás haciendo? (What are you doing?)
  • Conditions (physical and mental): Estoy cansado (I'm tired)/Está loco (He's crazy).
  • Emotions: Juana está emocionada (Juana is excited).

The acronym PLACE is often used to remember these uses of estar.

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Conjugations

As you might expect from such a common verb, estar is irregular, but there is good news. In some tenses, like the imperfect, the future and the conditional, the conjugation of estar is regular, so learning to conjugate this verb is not as hard as it might seem. Take a look at the following tables and examples to see this for yourself.

Present

Yo

estoy

Nosotros/Nosotras

estamos

Tú (Vos)

estás

Vosotros/Vosotras

estáis

Él/Ella/Usted

está

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

están

Examples:

  • Mis padres están enojados. - My parents are angry.
  • ¿Cómo estás? - How are you?

Imperfect

Yo

estaba

Nosotros/Nosotras

estábamos

Tú/Vos

estabas

Vosotros/Vosotras

estabais

Él/Ella/Usted

estaba

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

estaban

Examples:

  • El café estaba muy caliente. - The coffee was very hot.
  • En esa época estaba más flaco. - Back then I was thinner.

Preterite

Yo

estuve

Nosotros/Nosotras

estuvimos

Tú/Vos

estuviste

Vosotros/Vosotras

estuvisteis

Él/Ella/Usted

estuvo

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

estuvieron

Examples:

  • Estuve enfermo por tres días. - I was sick for three days.
  • Diana estuvo conmigo toda la tarde. - Diana was with me all afternoon.
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Future

Yo

estaré

Nosotros/Nosotras

estaremos

Tú/Vos

estarás

Vosotros/Vosotras

estaréis

Él/Ella/Usted

estará

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

estarán

Examples:

  • Estaré aquí esperándote. - I will be here waiting for you.
  • ¿Dónde crees que estaremos en 5 años? - Where do you think we'll be in 5 years?

Conditional

Yo

estaría

Nosotros/Nosotras

estaríamos

Tú/Vos

estarías

Vosotros/Vosotras

estaríais

Él/Ella/Usted

estaría

Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes

estarían

Examples:

  • De no ser por ti, no estaría aquí. - I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you
  • El equipo estaría feliz si ganara. - The team would be happy if they won.

Estar will pop up in conversation all the time, so it's worth taking the time to learn how to use it. Once you do, you can move on to learn even more irregular Spanish verbs.