Estar Conjugation: Free Spanish Lesson, Exercises, and PDF
Estar is one of the most common verbs in the Spanish language. It’s one of the translations of the verb “to be” in English, so it’s actually really important to understand how the estar conjugation works in Spanish.
If you have been studying Spanish for a while, you know that conjugations in this language can be quite a challenge. With three moods, six subjects, irregular verbs, and plenty of tenses, learning all the possible conjugations sometimes feels like a massive undertaking.
In all honesty, it’s not like that. Yes, there are a lot of conjugations, but they are not hard to learn once you understand their logic.
The Spanish Verb Estar
Even though estar translates as “to be”, it’s helpful to think of this verb as an action that expresses a status or condition. It usually refers to temporary states that will probably change in the near future. (Get a better understanding of when it’s appropriate to use estar.)
Here at Homeschool Spanish Academy, we have discussed estar at length—both its characteristics and its unique relationship with another Spanish verb: ser. Now it’s the time to focus on the estar conjugations.
Estar: An Irregular Verb
One of the peculiarities of the verb estar is that it’s an irregular verb. This means that it doesn’t follow the same pattern as most verbs in Spanish. It has its own set of conjugations and that’s why it’s so important to study them.
Estar is an irregular yo verb, which means that the first person singular is the one that suffers the big change in conjugation compared to regular verbs. As irregular as estar is, it follows the same pattern of conjugation as two other important Spanish verbs: ir (to go) and dar (to give).
|Subject||Estar (to be)||Ir (to go)||Dar (to give)|
In Spanish, there are three different moods and many more tenses. On one hand, you have the indicative, the subjunctive, and the imperative mood. On the other, you have a series of present, past, and future tenses that we’ll see below.
The key to mastering the estar conjugation, or any other irregular verb set of conjugations, resides in understanding what each mood and tense allows you to express. Then, at least for irregular verbs, there is no other solution but to memorize the conjugations and start practicing with them as much as possible. This way, you will stop trying to remember which conjugation to use, and it will come naturally to you.
However, before starting with the proper estar conjugation let’s see its verbals.
Verbals are words derived from a verb that work as nouns or modifiers in sentences. In Spanish, there are three verbals: infinitive, gerund, and participle. It’s important to remember that verbals aren’t conjugated according to person, number, and tense.
|Infinitive||estar (to be)||Tenía que estar aquí.||I had to be here.|
|Gerund||estando (being)||Me lastimé estando dormido.||I hurt myself while (being) asleep.|
|Participle||estado (been)||¿Has estado en Guatemala?||Have you been to Guatemala?|
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Estar Conjugation: Indicative Mood
The indicative mood in Spanish has 10 different tenses divided into simple and compound. The latter tenses include the auxiliary verb haber (to have).
Estar Conjugation: Simple Tenses of the Indicative Mood
|(am/is/are)||(was/were)||(was/were)||(would be)||(will be)|
Estar Conjugation: Compound Tenses of the Indicative Mood
|Subject||Present Perfect||Preterite Perfect||Past Perfect (Pluperfect)||Conditional Perfect||Future Perfect|
|(have/has been)||(had been)||(had been)||(would have been)||(will have been)|
|yo||he estado||hube estado||había estado||habría estado||habré estado|
|tú||has estado||hubiste estado||habías estado||habrías estado||habrás estado|
|él/ella||ha estado||hubo estado||había estado||habría estado||habrá estado|
|nosotros||hemos estado||hubimos estado||habíamos estado||habríamos estado||habremos estado|
|ustedes||han estado||hubieron estado||habían estado||habrían estado||habrán estado|
|ellos/ellas||han estado||hubieron estado||habían estado||habrían estado||habrán estado|
Estar Conjugation: Subjunctive Mood
In Spanish, the subjunctive mood has six tenses, three simple and three compound. However, the imperfect has two conjugations, which brings our total subjunctive estar conjugations to eight:
Estar Conjugation: Simple Tenses of the Subjunctive Mood
Estar Conjugation: Compound Tenses of the Subjunctive Mood
|Subject||Present Perfect||Past Perfect (Pluperfect)||Past Perfect 2 (Pluperfect 2)||Future Perfect|
|yo||haya estado||hubiera estado||hubiese estado||hubiere estado|
|tú||hayas estado||hubieras estado||hubieses estado||hubieres estado|
|él/ella||haya estado||hubiera estado||hubiese estado||hubiere estado|
|nosotros||hayamos estado||hubiéramos estado||hubiésemos estado||hubiéremos estado|
|ustedes||hayan estado||hubieran estado||hubiesen estado||hubieren estado|
|ellos/ellas||hayan estado||hubieran estado||hubiesen estado||hubieren estado|
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Estar Conjugation: Imperative Mood
With the imperative mood in Spanish, you can form affirmative and negative commands. As it’s impossible to give an order or command to oneself or to a third person, those subjects aren’t conjugated in this mood. However, the first person plural does have a conjugation, because it is possible to give a command to a group of people that includes yourself.
Estar Conjugation: Imperative Mood
|(be/let’s be)||(don’t be/let’s not be)|
Estar Conjugation: Exercises
Fill in the blank using the right conjugation of estar:
- ________________ listo para el juego de mañana. – I’ll be ready for tomorrow’s game.
- ¿ Dónde ________________ ? – Where have you been?
- Nunca _______________ en Argentina antes. – I had never been in Argentina before.
- Ojalá que _____________ aquí cuando esto termine. – I wish you would be here when this is over.
- Si ________________ presentes, nos entenderían. – If you all had been present, you would understand us.
- ¿________________ dispuesto a irte de viaje conmigo?- Would you be willing to go on a trip with me?
- ________________ callados hasta que regrese.- Let’s stay quiet until he comes back.
- Si _______________aquí todo sería más fácil.- If you were here, everything would be easier.
- ________________ en casa. – I was at home.
- Mis hermanos_____________ muy enojados conmigo.- My brothers are really mad at me.
Check out the answer key here!
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Test your knowledge!
Check out this youtube video with mini-quizzes to test your new knowledge!
Now that you have every estar conjugation at hand, it’s time to practice them in a real conversation in Spanish! Homeschool Spanish Academy offers fun and flexible classes with native Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala who are waiting to meet you and challenge you with these tricky conjugations. Sign up for a free trial lesson today and take your Spanish skills to the next level by talking to a certified Spanish teacher!
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