Estar conjugation Made Easier

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How to Conjugate Estar

Estar is an irregular verb. The conjugations  of Estar are:

  1. Yo  →  estoy
  2. Tú (you informal) → estás
  3. Èl/Ella/ Ud (you formal) → está
  4. Nosotros (nosotras) → estamos
  5. Vosotros (vosotras) → estáis
  6. Ellos/Ellas/Uds. → están

What does estar mean

ESTAR means “to be” but it has different uses than SER which also means “to be”. Estar is a bit of an irregular so pay close attention. Don’t forget to apply those accents where they belong.Yo

Estar conjugation video lesson

The conjugations of  ESTAR are

Estar conjugation Chart

Yo  →  estoy

Since the conjugation for yo is only for that subject pronoun, we could omit the subject pronoun and simply say “estoy” to say I am. 

Tú (you informal) → estás

Tú eres means: You are.

In this case you can also omit the subject pronoun and simply say “estas” to say you are. 

Èl/Ella/ Ud (you formal) → está

Since él/ella/Ud. share the same conjugation, it is important to use the subject pronoun to make sure we know who we are all talking about. Once the subject is established

you don’t have to continue using the subject pronoun.

Nosotros (nosotras) → estamos

Nosotros estamos means: We are.  Remember that nosotros includes you and it is in regards to a group you are part of in which is mixed or ALL males. 

Nosotras estamos means: We are. Remember that nosotras includes you and it is in regards to a group you are part of in which ALL are females. 

The conjugation nosotros DOES NOT change in gender. Verbs do not change. 

Vosotros (vosotras) → estáis

Vosotros estáis means: You (plural in Spain) are. Vosotros and vosotras are used when talking TO a group of people. Do remember that we have to think about gender here.

Vosotras estáis means: You (plural in Spain) are. Vosotras is used when talking TO a group of ONLY females.

The subject pronoun can also be omitted. 

Ellos/Ellas/Uds. → están

Since ellos/ellas/Uds. share the same conjugation, it is important to use the subject pronoun to make sure we know who we are all talking about. Once the subject is established you don’t have to continue using the subject pronoun. 

Ellos están means: They are. Remember that Ellos is used to talk ABOUT a group of males OR a mixed group of males and females (regardless of the ratio).

Ellas están means: They are. Remember that Ellas is used to talk ABOUT  a group of females ONLY.

Uds. están means: You (plural) are.

Using the Verb Estar (To be) – (Present Tense)

The verb estar means to be. The verb ser means to be. The reality is that in Spanish we have two verbs that mean to be (ser & estar). We use them for different things. The good news is that you already know and have used some of the conjugations of the verb estar. 

For example, when I say:

Hola ¿Cómo estás? I am using the form of the verb estar

When you answer the question, you use the yo form of the verb estar
You would say:

Estoy bien. Estoy mal. 

Let’s focus on using estar to talk about emotions and the location of people or things. Emotions are generally temporary conditions. For example: Estoy feliz or estoy triste.

Estar + Vocabulary to talk about the way you feel

Here are some words (adjectives) that you can use to talk about the way you feel and using the verb estar. You may want to say I feel happy, I feel sad, I feel angry, confused, etc. 

Remember you will use the correct conjugation of the verb estar followed by one of these adjectives. Make sure you take a look at them so you know what they mean and also if there is a gender change. To review adjectives (number & gender) be sure to click here.

Remember you may have to change the gender depending on whether you are a male or a female and if the adjective has a change in gender. This also applies if you are talking about a male or female. Remember that the adjective has to match in gender and number to the noun they describe.

Here are some examples in regards to emotions:  

Let’s start: Since I’m a female and in this case I am talking about myself I would say …

  • Estoy nerviosa.
  • Estoy feliz.  Feliz does not change in gender. If you need to review when to change the gender check here and here. 
  • Estoy aburrida.
  • Estoy contenta. 
  • Estoy muy emocionada.

If you are a male and you are talking about yourself you would say

  • Estoy nervioso.
  • Estoy feliz.  Feliz does not change in gender. 
  • Estoy aburrido.
  • Estoy contento. 
  • Estoy muy emocionad. 

Estar is not only used to talk about how you are but it is also used to talk about how you are feeling. 

If you are feeling ill, sick or not good you would say:

  • Estoy enferma.
  • Estoy enfermo.
  • Estamos enfermos if you are talking about a group of people you are part of.

Estar with prepositions

The verb Estar is also used to talk about where things are in relation to others.  For example, my pencil is next to the book. My backpack is underneath the table.  

When we talk about where things are in relation to others, we have to use prepositions. Prepositions are words that usually tell where or when something is in relation to something else. For example behind, next to, underneath etc. 

Here is a list of a few important prepositions:

Let’s look at a few examples:

El libro está al lado del bolígrafo. 

Did you notice the contraction “del”? 

de + el = del

This happens when the noun after the “de” is a masculine noun. In that case, we do not say El libro está al lado de el bolígrafo. We have to contact de into del. Therefore, the correct sentence is El libro está al lado del bolígrafo. 

Let’s look at the contraction “del” one more time:
El computador está encima del escritorio.

Escritorio is a masculine noun → el escritorio. 

Remember de +el + del.

Now, let’s say that the computer instead of being on top of “el escritorio” it is on top of “la cama”, the bed. Let’s look at how that is different. La cama is a feminine noun.

We would say: 

El computador está encima de la cama. 

In this case, we did not use the contraction “del” because there was no “el” after “de”

When we use estar with prepositions to talk about where things are we need to remember what is it that is performing the action. 

For example, if I want to say the marker is next to Teacher Catalina, the one that is next to, is the marker. Things in Spanish have gender therefore we treat it (the marker) as a he/she or them. So el marcador would be a he / él. 

El marcador está al lado de Teacher Catalina. 

What if instead of the marker I want to say I am next to the marker? Who is next to what? I am next to the marker . 

In that case: Yo estoy al lado del marcador. 

Don’t forget de + el = del

Don’t forget to review those prepositions to talk about where things are in regards to other things.

Estar & Location:

You can also use estar to talk about your current location or someone else’s current location. 
For example: Yo estoy en mi casa. I am in my house.

To ask “Where are you?” → ¿Dónde estás?

Possible answers: 

  • Estoy en la playa.

  • Estoy en mi casa.

  • Estoy en la cocina.

  • Estoy en la biblioteca. 

Always use the correct conjugation of estar en and then the location. 

  • Estoy en los Estados Unidos. 

  • Estoy en India. 

  • Estoy en Australia.

We’ve been using the verb estar to talk about our location.

What if we wanted to talk about a he/she?

In that case you would say: Él está en China. Pedro está en Japón. 

Remember that we can change the subject pronoun for a name too. 

Here is a little something to start thinking about. Although SER and ESTAR both mean to be in English, they are used for completely different situations in Spanish. 

For now, let me show you an example:

It is not the same thing to say …

Él es de Australia.

This is referring to a description.

Nationality. Not a temporary Condition.

Él está en Australia. 

This is referring to his current location.

Don’t get too stuck on the differences between ser and estar. We will work on that more later. For now, we know how to use ser to describe people & estar so far, to talk about emotions and location of people or things. 

If you want to dive straight into when to use ser and when to use estar please check out this lesson. Ser vs Estar

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  • I am Teacher Catalina.

  • I am a Spanish Teacher, a native Spanish speaker, and have been teaching Spanish in the USA for over 16 years, always teaching in a fun and engaging way. My passion ❤️ is to teach Spanish, share my expertise as an educator, and collaborate with people around the world 🌍.

  • Free handouts (Click to download from Google drive)

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    Yo → estoy
    Tú (you informal) → estás
    Èl/Ella/ Ud (you formal) → está
    Nosotros (nosotras) → estamos
    Vosotros (vosotras) → estáis
    Ellos/Ellas/Uds. → están

    Read More »

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