To be or not to be – part 2 – The verb “ESTAR”

Portuguese lesson nº10 on Tomorrow Algarve:

This is the second part of our lesson on ‘To Be or Not to Be’.

There are two possible translations in Portuguese for the verb ‘to be’. As we saw last week “Ser” is the word we use for permanent things and situations, “Estar” is the one we use to talk about things or situations, which are not so permanent.


I am Eu sou
You are Tu estás
You are Você está
He is Ele está
She is Ela está
It is ———–
We are Nós estamos
You are Vocês estão
They are Eles estão (masculine)/Elas estão (feminine)

The first syllable is a very soft one, sounding a bit like the first sound of the English word “shoe” and, sometimes, when people speak they even cut the first syllable out, saying “Tar” instead of “Estar” or “Tou” instead of “Estou”. “Tou” is also a very popular way to pick up the phone in Portuguese.

So, we use “Estar” to talk about:

• Location or Spatial relationships
The chair is next to the wall. (A cadeira está ao lado da parede.)

• Health
He’s ill. (Ele está doente.)

• Physical states and conditions
He’s hungry. (Ele está com fome).

• Emotional states
We are very happy today. (Estamos muitos contentes hoje.)

• Weather
It’s raining! (Está a chover!)

• Ongoing actions (progressive tenses)
They are reading a book. (Eles estão a ler um livro.)

• Results of actions (past participles)
The work is done. (O trabalho está feito).

Let’s practise!

Complete the sentences with “SER” or “ESTAR” (choose the correct form):

• Eu _____________________ em Portugal.
• Tu _____________________ italiano.
• Você ___________________ alto.
• Ele_____________________ arquiteto.
• Ela _____________________ muito contente hoje.
• Hoje ___________________ um dia muito bonito.
• Nós ____________________ de Paris.
• Vocês ___________________ muito simpáticos.

Send your answers to and I will answer you back!

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