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What’s the Difference Between “Ser” and “Ir”? (Explained)

What’s the Difference Between “Ser” and “Ir”? (Explained)

Quick Answer: “Ser” and “ir” are the Spanish verbs. “Ser” means “to be” and “ir” means “to go”.

Spanish is a pretty difficult language for someone who doesn’t know how to speak, read, and write in Spanish. There are different words and verbs in Spanish that confuse us.

“Ser” and “ir” are two commonly used Spanish verbs. In this article, I will tell you what is the difference between “ser” and “ir” and how can you use them in your sentences.

What’s the Difference Between “Ser” and “Ir”?

People tend to get confused between “ser” and “ir” since they have the same conjugations in the preterite tense. “Ser” means “to be” and “Ir” means “to go”. So you could use “I went” or “I was,” for “ir” depending on the context.

What Type of Verb Are “Ser” and “Ir”?

Ser” and “ir” are irregular preterite verb conjugations

Subject“Ser” (to be)“Ir” (to go)
fuistefuiste
él, Ella, ustedfuefue
nosotrosfuimosfuimos
vosotrosfuisteisfuisteis
Irregular Preterite Verb Conjugations

Are “Ser” and “Ir” Similar?

The verb “Ser” is simple in the preterite because it is totally uneven and is completely the same as the verb “ir” (to go): fue,fuimos,fui,fuiste,fueron,fuisteis.

Whenever both of these verbs “ir” and “ser” are used in the preterite, we must have to check first which of the two verbs (“ir” or “ser”) has been applied.

How is “Ir” Used in Spanish?

Ir” is the most commonly used Spanish verb, it means “to go”. It can be used in every sentence from announcing where you’re going and what are you going to do.

Although similar to the verb “ser”, “ir” happens to be a highly irregular verb since it doesn’t follow the normal patterns for verb conjugal.

How is “Ser” Used?

The verb “ser” is basically used in certain circumstances to implicit persistence, similarities, various aspects, and recognition like the following:

  • My phone is better than her
  • He is in France
  • She is Russian

The verb “ser” is basically an irregular verb.

What are the Different Forms of “Ir”?

The basic forms of “ir” conjugation are:

SubjectPresentPreterite
yovoyfui
vasfuiste
él, ella, Ustedvafue
nosotrosvamosfuimos
Different Forms of Ir Conjugation

Forms of “Ser” in Imperfect Tense

The imperfect tense in the “ser” verb is irregular.

Imperfect TenseVerb “ser”Means (to be) in English
ud./él/ellaerayou/he/she used to be
nosotros/aséramoswe used to be
vosotros/aseraisyou guys used to be
Uds./ellos/ellaseranyou all/they used to be
Imperfect Tense
The Meaning of Spanish Word Ser
“Ser” is a Spanish verb that means to be

How Do You Use “Ser” in a Sentence?

Here’s a table that shows sentences using “Ser” and their meaning:

SentencesMeaning
Yo soy rubia.I am blonde.
Tú eres médico.You are a doctor.
Él es alto.He is tall.
Nosotros somos hermanos.We are brothers.
Mis hermanos son irlandeses.My brothers are Irish.
Laura y Sarah son francesas.Laura and Sarah are French.
Ustedes son enfermeros. You are nurses.
Sentences in Spanish using Ser

For other examples of “ser” and “ir”, here’s a video explaining both of them:

Understanding “Ser” and “Ir” Verbs in Past Tense | The Language Tutor *Lesson 32*

How Do You Conjugate “Ser”?

Ser” is an irregular verb, it doesn’t follow most normal ending patterns, so your best bet is to just memorize its conjugation. The present tense of “ser” are:

ConjugationTranslation
yo soyI am
eresyou (informal) are
él/ella/ello eshe/she is
usted esyou (formal) are
Conjugate the Verb “ser” in Spanish

What Are Spanish “Ir” Verbs?

Some of the irregular verbs are Decir (to say) “ir” (to go) Seguir (to follow. Here’s a table that shows Spanish “ir” verbs:

yo fuinosotros fuimos
tú fuistevosotros fuisteis
él, ella, Ud. fueellos, ellas, Uds. fuiste
Spanis “ir” Verbs

What Does “Ir” Mean in the Past Tense?

Ir is a Spanish verb that means “to go”. It’s conjugated as an irregular verb in the preterite tense. “Ir” is one of the 100 most used Spanish preterite tense verbs and the second most used irregular verb.

"Ir" The Spanish Verb
“Ir” is a Spanish verb that means to go

What Do “Ser” and “Ir” Mean in the Preterite Tense?

The preterite of “ser” and “ir” is pretty similar so “fui” can mean I was or I went, “fuiste” can mean you (tú) were or you went, “fue” can mean you (usted) were, he/she was/went, etc.

Although all of these words seem to be quite confusing, in reality, it’s not so confusing because you can always tell from the context of the sentence what it means.

When to Use “Ser” and “Ir”?

Ser” is used when someone is talking about personality attributes, date and time, characteristics, physical appearances, possession, professions, and nationality since it means to be.

On the other hand, “ir” means to go. It’s commonly used when someone is announcing that he’s going somewhere or when someone is asking to go.

Do “Ir” and “Ser” Have the Same Past Tense?

The verb “ser” preterite approaches directly from Latin preterite of esse: fui, fruit, fuisti, etc. On the other hand, the verb “ir” is actually synchronically powered up by more than one verb: It grabs its present tense from Latin vadere: Vado, Vadis, vadit.

Is “Ser” a Real Word?

Ser” is a gender-neutral word. It can be used for any gender. However, there’s a possibility that “ser” can be the previous version of “sir”. (like many words that have changed over time) so “ser” would be the correct spelling version of “sir”.

Mistakes to Avoid While Learning Spanish Verbs

Although Spanish is a tough language to learn, if someone wants to learn then there are many ways. There are some mistakes that should be avoided for learning Spanish verbs:

  • Ignoring the use of prepositions
  • Following the English word order
  • Transcribing phrases in the same words
  • Ignoring the use of the articles
  • Avoiding the imperative-mood
  • Neglecting the actual pronunciation
  • Emphasizing mostly on the textbook
  • Terrified of making mistakes

Easy Steps for Learning Spanish

There are some ways to learn Spanish easily:

  • Just try to sing a song in Spanish along with the music
  • Start watching Spanish movies
  • Spend time studying everything
  • Increase your commutation
  • Try to translate words
  • Discover a Spanish-speaking companion

Summary

Ser” means “to be” and “ir” means “to go”. Both of these words are common Spanish verbs. Although these words are different from one other and have different meanings there’s one thing similar to these words they have the same conjugations in the preterite tense.

The verb “ser” is well-used when someone is talking about personalities, physical characteristics, date, and time. The other main Spanish verb which can be used is “estar” having the same meaning as “ser”, but it can be used differently.  
On the other hand, the verb “ir” can also be used when some person is declaring to go around somewhere. But it is not only used to go somewhere physically rather can be utilized in sense of moving out mentally or emotionally.

You can use both of these verbs in different ways, as mentioned above. Also, these verbs can be used in the present tense and in the past tense as well.

Other Articles

A web story that differentiates “Ser” and “Ir” can be found here.