Inspired Beginners Spanish Podcast 23 – Ser y Estar

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It’s time to tackle Ser and Estar! This is your definitive guide to why and when we use each of the Spanish verbs for ‘to be’. Also in this podcast, extra listening practice for the Past Tenses, making this one of the most useful podcasts we have ever produced!

Saludos desde Madrid!

Ben y Marina
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10 thoughts on “Inspired Beginners Spanish Podcast 23 – Ser y Estar

  1. Michael Curtin

    Many thanks for the continuing episodes!!

    However, straightaway you have me a bit confused about the use of ser and estar in their past participial forms.

    I have learned the idiom: “estar de vacaciones”

    So, please explain why in lesson 22 and this one, you translate the phrase: “Where have you been on vacation?” with a form of the verb “ser”. If I heard correctly, the translation was: “?Donde ha sido de vacaciones?”

    Presumably, the person was only temporarily in a particular place for or during their vacation. So why isn’t it: ?Donde ha estado de vacaciones?

    Maybe you could consider a whole lesson on this topic of “been…”

    Many thanks,

    P.S. Sobre la recomendacion…Voy a escribirla y mandarles tan pronto como se acaban mis vacaciones.

  2. ben Post author


    I’m pretty certain we would have said “¿Donde has estado de vacaciones?” – that is certainly how I would say it right now!

  3. Michael Curtin

    Thank you very much for your quick reply…I listened again…it’s the first question you ask of Marina in this podcast (23) as a mini-review from Podcast 22 and the audio is very clear…it truly sounds like you both say “ha sido—(3rd person)”.

    The only reason I ask is that listening to both of your over many hours of podcasts, I’m impressed at how precise Marina always is (as you know, she always corrects you within milliseconds of an error).

    So my question I guess is, do very correct speakers sometimes just use either sido or estado in this situation?…

    or delving deeper into a possible grammatical explanation for her having used ser/sido is she invoking the rule about the use of ser for specific events (thus interpreting being on vacation as referring to a specific event that happened?

    Well, maybe this is all too fine a point but I’d appreciate Marina weighing in on this as well after a re-listen to the first 45 seconds or so of #23.

    Many thanks, again,
    Michael Curtin

  4. marina

    Hi Michael,

    There is no problem at all, it is much better to ask than to remain confused about something, and on the other hand Ben and me are delighted to help as much as we can.

    Ben and me have been listening to that bit of podcast 23 and what I say is
    “¿Dónde has ido the vacaciones?” – Which is correct, but maybe is not the best translation for what Ben asked me. Note that “ido” is from the verb “ir” and “has ido” sounds very similar to what you hear “has sido”.

    Ben asked me: “Where have you been on holiday?” – And as you said “¿Dónde has estado de vacaciones?” would be the best translation.

    On the other hand if Ben had asked me: “Where have you gone on holiday?” – Then I should use “¿Dónde has ido de vacaciones?”

    I hope this clears everything but if you have more questions you know where to find us;-)

    Saludos desde Madrid,


  5. Michael Curtin

    Hi Marina,
    Many thanks for your thoughtful and thorough explanation. I understand perfectly now and appreciate what you were answering and the distinction between: where have you been (has estado) and where have you gone (has ido).

  6. Susan Dunnett

    The podcast cut out half way through – I tried it twice unsuccessfully. I was hoping you could help!

    I really enjoy listening to your podcasts.


  7. Ben Post author

    Hi Susan, it works here OK, can you try refreshing the page, or maybe use the download link to get it all onto your desktop. Ben

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