Lesson 4 – Describing People, Places and Things in Spanish

Okay, it’s time to start forming sentences in Spanish! 🙂

In Spanish, when describing nouns (people, places and things) – the inherent characteristics of them – we use the verb Ser, which means “to be.” (** Note that in Spanish, there are two verbs that mean “to be,” something we will get into later.)

The Verb Ser is used for different purposes and one of them is for description.

For example:

Jane is nice, sociable and optimistic.
China is a communist country.
My dog is a German Shepard.

These are all descriptions.

In the previous lesson, you learned the Spanish subject pronouns. So now we are going to learn how to conjugate the verb Ser to correspond with each Spanish subject pronoun.

Conjugating the verb Ser:
Yo soy (I am)
Tú eres (You are)
Él/Ella/Usted es (He is/She is/You are)
Nosotros somos (We are)
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes son (They are/You all are)

When you want to ask someone in Spanish what someone, something or some place is like, you say the following:

Cómo + conjugated form of Ser?

And to answer the question of what someone is like, you reply with the same conjugated form of the verb + an adjective(s).
For example:

Cómo es Linda? (What is Linda like?)
Linda (Ella) es bonita y inteligente. (Linda (She) is pretty and intelligent.)

So there you go. You now know how to ask someone what someone , something or some place is like, and how to answer such questions.

** Note: to negate a sentence, just add “no” in front of the conjugated verb. (No eres inteligente – You are not intelligent).

To practice, do the following:

Make a list of your family members and closest friends, and include yourself. Now describe them in Spanish. Then describe the city you live in.

Start making a list of Spanish adjectives this way. Hopefully you have already purchased a Spanish dictionary! 🙂

For example:

Yo soy muy sociable. (I am very sociable.)
Ann Arbor no es grande. (Ann Arbor isn’t big.)

Some Spanish adjectives to get you started:

grande (big)
pequeño/a (small)
alto/a (tall)
bajo/a (short)
inteligente (intelligent)
sociable (sociable)
divertido/a (fun)
culto/a (educated)
optimista (optimist)
amable (nice)
hermoso/a (beautiful)
gordo/a (fat, chubby)
flaco/a (skinny)
delgado/a (slender)