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Week 2 Day 4: More About Ser

What’s in store for you today: Working with the verb ser

Today’s goals are:

●     To learn more about ser

●     To learn vocabulary to describe people (personality)

Listen to Track 2.4.1


In the track below, listen to a woman briefly describe herself and a friend.

Hola. Yo soy Lucía. Soy muy tímida. Mi amigo César no es tímido. Es muy extrovertido. Yo soy de Barcelona. César es mexicano. Yo soy abogada. César es médico. Somos muy amigos. (Hello, I am Lucía. I am very shy. My friend César is not shy. He is very outgoing. I am from Barcelona. César is Mexican. I am a lawyer. César is a doctor. We are very good friends.)

In today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on the verb ser. As you remember, we already discussed how ser is used with intrinsic qualities (i.e. permanent characteristics). Today, we’re going to expand on that.

Before we get too far ahead, let’s review the conjugation of the verb ser.

Listen to Track 2.4.2

Yo soy

Nosotros/as somos

Tú eres

Vosotros/as sois

Él/Ella/Usted es

Ellos/as/Ustedes son


Doctor! Doctor! Give me a clue…

Yesterday, we looked at a fun little acronym for when we should use the verb ser. Here it is:

  • Date
  • Occupation (a job title, like “doctor,” for example)
  • Characteristic (Is he tall? Are they nice people? Is she funny?)
  • Time
  • Origin (Where are you from?)
  • Relation (How do you know this person? Friend? Family? Co-worker?)

For today’s lesson, we’re going to expand on two of these points specifically: occupation and characteristics. We’ve already discussed origin (I am from…). And we have seen relation used throughout a lot of our lessons (“Él es mi hermano” [He is my brother.] although we will talk more about this in a few days). Date and time we will look at later on.


Yo soy médico…

Listen to Track 2.4.3


First, let’s talk about occupations. Here is a list of some of the most common occupations in Spanish. (Be warned! This is a long list. But you’ll notice that an awful lot of these words look and sound pretty similar to words in English. So some of them shouldn’t be too difficult.)

  • Abogado/a – Lawyer
  • Arquitecto/a – Architect
  • Bombero/a – Firefighter
  • Camarero/a – Waiter/Waitress
  • Científico/a – Scientist
  • Cocinero/a – Chef
  • Contable – Accountant
  • Electricista – Electrician
  • Enfermero/a – Nurse
  • Estudiante – Student
  • Fontanero/a – Plumber
  • Granjero/a – Farmer
  • Médico/a – Doctor
  • Oficinista – Office worker
  • Periodista – Journalist
  • Piloto* – Pilot
  • Policía – Police officer
  • Profesor/Profesora – Teacher
  • Recepcionista – Receptionist
  • Secretario/a – Secretary
  • Soldado* – Soldier
  • Taxista – Taxi driver
  • Vendedor/Vendedora – Salesperson
  • Veterinario/a – Vet

Note: Don’t see your profession listed here? Let us know so we can add it to our list!

Am I a “dentista” or a “dentisto”?

Listen to Track 2.4.4


Let’s take a moment to talk about a few grammar points that we’re going to want to remember when talking about professions.

  • First, some of our professions will change gender based on if the speaker is a man or a woman.
    • Yo soy veterinario. Yo soy veterinaria.
    • Yo soy profesor. Yo soy profesora.
  • Professions that end in -o, or a consonant, will change.
    • -o becomes an -a
      • Bombero
      • Bombera
    • If it ends in a consonant, add an -a to the end.
      • Vendedor
      • Vendedora
    • *There are exceptions to this rule:
      • Piloto will not change (only the article).
        • El piloto
        • La piloto
      • Soldado will not change (only the article).
        • El soldado
        • La soldado
      • Professions that end in -ista, –ia, and -e, will not change (gender).
        • Mi hermano es dentista.
        • Mi hermana es dentista.
        • Nosotros somos policías.
        • Ellos son taxistas.
        • Tú eres estudiante.
      • Lastly, unlike in English, we will not use an indefinite article when talking about our profession.
        • Yo soy profesora. (NOT Yo soy una profesora.)
        • Nosotras somos granjeras.
        • Él es bombero.

¿Cómo soy? What am I like?

One of the times you’ll find yourself using ser the most is to describe yourself, other people, and the places around you. We already have a good list of adjectives going that we can use to accomplish this. But today, let’s grow that list just a little, shall we?

Listen to Track 2.5.6


  • Interesante – Interesting
  • Trabajador/a – Hardworking
  • Valiente – Brave
  • Cobarde – Cowardly
  • Generoso/a – Generous
  • Honesto/a – Honest
  • Callado/a – Quiet
  • Hablador/a – Talkative
  • Contento – Content/Happy
  • Infeliz – Discontented
  • Joven –Young
  • Mayor – Old
  • Tímido/a – Shy
  • Extrovertido/a – Outgoing

Rules to remember

Listen to Track 2.4.7


  • Like with the adjectives we saw before, we need to make sure that our adjectives agree with the subject in number and
  • Nosotros somos tímidos. (We are shy.)
  • Ellos son valientes. (They are brave.)
  • Nosotras somos trabajadoras. (We are hardworking.)


Today, we talked about using ser to describe permanent qualities:

  • Professions:

     We talked about making the profession agree with the person being talked about:

                      Bombero  bombera (Firefighter – masculine and feminine)

                      Fontanero  Fontanera (Plumber – masculine and feminine)

     We also talked about how we will not use an indirect article with professions:

                      Yo soy oficinista. (I am an office worker.)

                      Tú eres camarero. (You are a waiter.)

  • Personality:

      We learned some new adjectives to describe people.