Using ser (not estar) to express an essential or permanent characteristic

When we want to describe a permanent/essential characteristic of something or someone we use the verb ser (not estar). 

For example:

España es un país europeo.
Spain is a European country.

Read and listen to other examples with the verb ser:

Yo soy bajo.
I am short.

¿Tú eres alta?
Are you tall?

In the examples above, we use ser to talk about physical descriptions.

Antonio es un chico muy trabajador.
Antonio is a very hard working guy.

Nosotras somos estudiosas.
We are studious.

Vosotros dos no sois sensatos.
You two are not sensible.

¡Mis hermanos son fantásticos!
My brothers are fantastic!

In the examples above, we use ser to talk about the character/personality.

See also Conjugate ser in El Presente (present tense) 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Vosotros dos no sois sensatos.
You two are not sensible.


Antonio es un chico muy trabajador.
Antonio is a very hard working guy.


Nosotras somos estudiosas.
We are studious.


Yo soy bajo.
I am short.


España es un país europeo.
Spain is a European country.


¿Tú eres alta?
Are you tall?


¡Mis hermanos son fantásticos!
My brothers are fantastic!


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