Spanish Vocabulary

Learn 10 Spanish words per day and know 2,500 words after one year!

Many words in Spanish and English are similar, but similar words can have very different meanings, so be careful.

Here are words 21 to 30 to know in Spanish:

por  for (via, through, in exchange for, per) [i.e., means]; around; through; along

para  for (towards, for the purpose of, in order to) [i.e., ends]

su  his, her, your(formal), their  [one possessed object]

sus  his, her, your(formal), their  [two or more possessed objects]

es  he is, she is, it is, you(formal) are

son  they are, you all(formal) are

ser  to be [essence], being [essence]

está  he is, she is, it is, you(formal) are

están  they are, you all(formal) are

estar  to be [stage], being [stage]

'Por' and 'para' are often translatable into English as 'for,' but 'por' is used to express reasons, exchanges, and 'during,' 'through,' or 'by means of' [i.e., means or methods], and 'para' is used to express end-states, goals, purposes, and direction [i.e., ends or destinations]. 'Por' is the journey, and 'para' (maybe because it is a little longer) is the destination.

'Ser' (es, son, etc.) describes how something or someone inherently 'is'—its essence, its defining characteristics:

el profesor es aburrido  the professor is boring (it is just 'how he is')

es difícil  it is difficult (it is an inherently difficult thing)

el cielo es azul  the sky is blue (blue is the normal color of the sky)

¿Ser o no ser?, la pregunta es esta.  To be, or not to be, that is the question. [usual formulation: Ser o no ser, esa es la cuestión.]

ser humano  human being

los seres humanos  human beings

'Estar' (está, están, etc.) describes how something or someone 'is' at a given moment. You can often think of it as a stage the subject is going through at a particular time (or place):

el profesor está aburrido  the professor is bored (it is how he is at the moment)

está difícil  it is difficult (it is difficult right now)

los cielos están nublados  the skies are cloudy (the skies are currently cloudy)

¿Está Luisa?  Is Luisa (here [or there])?

No, no está.  No, she is not (here [or there]).

her dog  su perro

her dogs  sus perros

© 2017 Chris Marquardt, Spanish Pronto (this page)

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Created -- 2017-06-21
Revised -- 2017-08-22