Using ser (not estar) to describe relationships

When we want to talk about relationships, such as family ties, friendship or romantic relationships, we use the verb ser (not estar).

For example:

María es mi madre.María is my mother.

Él es mi hermano.He is my brother.

In the examples above, we use ser to talk about family ties.

Laura es su amiga.Laura is his friend.

Ramón y Marcos son mis amigos.Ramón and Marcos are my friends.

As you can see above, we use ser to talk about friendships.

Marta es mi novia.Marta is my girlfriend.

Daniel es tu marido.Daniel is your husband.

In the examples above, we use ser to talk about romantic relationships.

See also:

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

María es mi madre.María is my mother.
Daniel es tu marido.Daniel is your husband.
Marta es mi novia.Marta is my girlfriend.
Ramón y Marcos son mis amigos.Ramón and Marcos are my friends.
Él es mi hermano.He is my brother.
Laura es su amiga.Laura is his friend.

Q&A Forum 2 questions, 2 answers

PaulA2Kwiziq community member

Ella esta mi esposa?

Hello, I use several sources to learn Spanish, and the other ones suggest using Estar for relationships with husband and wife, is there any reason why they would be incorrect?  Thanks

Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Paul,

It depends on what exactly you want to say. To say what relationship you have with someone we use "ser" as explained in the lesson, "Ella es mi esposa", "Manuel es mi primo"...

But to say for example you are married to someone you'd say:

"Estoy casado con María"

Here is a different lesson that will clarify it for you:

Have a look here.

Saludos

Inma

Ella esta mi esposa?

Hello, I use several sources to learn Spanish, and the other ones suggest using Estar for relationships with husband and wife, is there any reason why they would be incorrect?  Thanks

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MitchA0Kwiziq community member

The lesson doesn't go into much depth on vosotros & sois.

Asked 7 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Mitch,

As it is a lesson about a specific use of "ser", we haven't used all pronouns in the examples. We tend to use the most natural sentences. This is not the case in conjugation lessons though, where we make sure all pronouns are used as it is important to see the whole conjugation.

Saludos, 

Inma

The lesson doesn't go into much depth on vosotros & sois.

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