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Estar Conjugation: The Ultimate Guide to Conjugating Estar in Spanish

In this lesson, you will learn everything you need to know about estar conjugation in Spanish and how to conjugate the verb estar in all Spanish verb tenses. The conjugation of estar is irregular because it does not follow an established pattern of conjugation. We will also pay special attention to the conjugation of estar in the imperative mood since it’s different from many Spanish verbs.

How to Conjugate Estar in Spanish

There are 16 verb tenses in Spanish according to RAE, the royal institution that oversees the Spanish language. Today we will conjugate for you the verb estar in all its forms!  Let’s start with verbals. 

Spanish Verbals of Estar

Verbals are not verbs. They are words that derive from verbs and function as nouns or modifiers. These are the Spanish verbals of the verb estar.

Infinitive: estar

Gerund: estando  

Participle: estado  

Indicative Mood

The Spanish indicative mood contains 10 Spanish tenses. “Tiempos simples” refers to all those Spanish verb tenses in which the verb “haber” is not used, and “tiempos compuestos” refers to all those tenses in which the auxiliary verb “haber” is used.

Tiempos Simples – Simple Tenses

Presente – Present Tense
  • yo estoy – I am
  •  estás – you are
  • vos estás – you (South American) are
  • él/ella/usted está – he/she/you (formal) are
  • nosotros/as estamos – we are
  • vosotros/as estáis – you (plural) are
  • ustedes están – you (plural) are
  • ellos/as están – they are
Pretérito Imperfecto – Imperfect Tense
  • yo estaba – I was
  • tú estaba – you were
  • vos estabas – you (South American) were
  • él/ella/usted estaba – he/she/you (formal) were
  • nosotros/as estábamos – we were
  • vosotros/as estaban – you (plural) were
  • ustedes estaban – you (plural) were
  • ellos/as estaban – they were
Pretérito Perfecto – Preterite Tense
  • yo estuve– I was
  • tú estuviste – you were
  • vos estuvo  – you (South American) were
  • él/ella/usted estuvo – he/she/you (formal) were
  • nosotros/as estuvimos – we were
  • vosotros/as estuvisteis – you (plural) were
  • ustedes estuvieron – you (plural) were
  • ellos/as estuvieron – they were
Futuro – Future Tense
  • yo estaré – I will be
  • tú estarás – you will be
  • vos estarás – you (South American) will be
  • él/ella/usted estará – he/she/you (formal) will be 
  • nosotros/as estaremos – we will be
  • vosotros/as estaréis – you (plural) will be 
  • ustedes estarán – you (plural) will be 
  • ellos/as estarán – they will be
Condicional – Conditional Tense
  • yo estaría – I would be 
  • tú estarías – you would be
  • vos estarías – you (South American) would be
  • él/ella/usted estaría – he/she/you (formal) would be 
  • nosotros/as estaríamos – we would be
  • vosotros/as estaríais – you (plural) would be
  • ustedes estarían – you (plural) would be
  • ellos/as estarían – they would be

Tiempos Compuestos – Compound Tenses

Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto – Preterit (Present) Perfect Tense
  • yo he estado – I have been 
  • tú has estado – you have been
  • vos has estado – you (South American) have been
  • él/ella/usted ha estado – he/she/you (formal) have been
  • nosotros/as hemos estado – we have been
  • vosotros/as habéis estado – you (plural) have been
  • ustedes han estado – you (plural) have been
  • ellos/as han estado – they have been
Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto – Pluperfect Tense
  • yo había estado – I had been 
  • tú habías estado – you had been
  • vos habías estado – you (South American) had been
  • él/ella/usted había estado – he/she/you (formal) had been
  • nosotros/as habíamos estado – we had been
  • vosotros/as habíais estado – you (plural) had been
  • ustedes habían estado – you (plural) had been
  • ellos/as habían estado – they had been
Pretérito Anterior – Preterit Perfect Tense
  • yo hube estado – I had been 
  • tú hubiste estado – you had been
  • vos hubiste estado – you (South American) had been
  • él/ella/usted hubo estado – he/she/you (formal) had been
  • nosotros/as hubimos estado – we had been
  • vosotros/as hubisteis estado – you (plural) had been
  • ustedes hubieron estado – you (plural) had been
  • ellos/as hubieron estado – they had been
Futuro Compuesto – Future Perfect Tense
  • yo habré estado – I will have been 
  • tú habrás estado – you will have been
  • vos habrás estado – you (South American) will have been
  • él/ella/usted habrá estado – he/she/you (formal) will have been
  • nosotros/as habremos estado – we will have been
  • vosotros/as habréis estado – you (plural) will have been
  • ustedes habrán estado – you (plural) will have been
  • ellos/as habrán estado – they will have been
Condicional Compuesto – Conditional Perfect Tense
  • yo habría estado – I would have been 
  • tú habrías estado – you would have been
  • vos habrías estado – you (South American) would have been
  • él/ella/usted habría estado – he/she/you (formal) would have been
  • nosotros/as habríamos estado – we would have been
  • vosotros/as habríais estado – you (plural) would have been
  • ustedes habrían estado – you (plural) would have been
  • ellos/as habrían estado – they would have been

Subjunctive Mood

As we learned before, the subjunctive mood, reveals the point of view of the person who speaks. The Spanish subjunctive mood has 6 Spanish verb tenses. Here they are!

Tiempos Simples – Simple Tenses

Presente – Present Tense
  • yo esté – I be 
  • tú estés – you be
  • vos estés – you (South American) be
  • él/ella/usted esté – he/she/you (formal) be
  • nosotros/as estemos – we be
  • vosotros/as estéis – you (plural) be
  • ustedes estén – you (plural) be
  • ellos/as estén– they be
Pretérito Imperfecto – Imperfect Tense
  • yo estuviera (or estuviese) – I were 
  • tú estuvieras (or estuvieses) – you were
  • vos estuvieras (or estuvieses) – you (South American) were
  • él/ella/usted estuviera (or estuviese) – he/she/you (formal) were
  • nosotros/as estuviéramos (or estuviésemos) – we were
  • vosotros/as estuvierais (or estuvieseis) – you (plural) were
  • ustedes estuvieran (or estuviesen) – you (plural) were
  • ellos/as estuvieran (or estuviesen) – they were
Futuro – Future Tense
  • yo estuviere (no direct English translation) 
  • tú estuvieres
  • vos estuvieres
  • él/ella/usted estuviere
  • nosotros/as estuviéremos
  • vosotros/as estuviereis
  • ustedes estuvieren
  • ellos/as estuvieren

Tiempos Compuestos – Compound Tenses

Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto – Preterit (Present) Perfect Tense
  • yo haya estado – I have been
  • tú hayas estado – you have been
  • vos hayas estado – you (South American) have been
  • él/ella/usted haya estado – he/she/you (formal) have been
  • nosotros/as hayamos estado – we have been
  • vosotros/as hayáis estado – you (plural) have been
  • ustedes hayan estado – you (plural) have been
  • ellos/as hayan estado – they have been
Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto – Pluperfect Tense
  • yo hubiera (or hubiese) estado – I had been
  • tú hubieras (or hubieses) estado – you had been
  • vos hubieras (or hubieses) estado – you (South American) had been
  • él/ella/usted hubiera (or hubiese) estado – he/she/you (formal) had been
  • nosotros/as hubiéramos (or hubiésemos) estado – we had been
  • vosotros/as hubierais (or hubieseis) estado – you (plural) had been
  • ustedes hubieran (or hubiesen) estado – you (plural) had been
  • ellos/as hubieran (or hubiesen) estado – they had been
Futuro Compuesto – Future Perfect Tense
  • yo hubiere estado (no direct English translation) 
  • tú hubieres estado
  • vos hubieres estado
  • él/ella/usted hubiere estado
  • nosotros/as hubiéremos estado
  • vosotros/as hubiereis estado
  • ustedes hubieren estado
  • ellos/as hubieren estado

Imperative Mood

The forms of the verb estar found in the Spanish imperative mood express an order. You can form negative and positive statements in the Spanish imperative mood. Let’s learn more about it! 

Positive Imperative Statements with Estar

The imperative mood of the verb estar is used with Spanish reflexive pronouns. What does it mean? Let’s conjugate estar in the imperative mood to find out!  

  • tú estate – you be
  • vos estate – you (South American) be
  • usted estese– you (formal) be
  • ustedes estense – you (plural) be
  • vosotros estad (no reflexive pronoun needed)

The endings “te” and “se” are Spanish reflexive pronouns. Don’t forget to add them when you use estar to give commands. Now let’s see how the imperative mood of estar is used in common expressions. 

  • Karen, estate callada. (Karen, be silent.)
    Karen, está callada. (incorrect)
  • Señor, estese tranquilo. (Sir, be calm.)
    Señor, esté tranquilo. (incorrect.)
  • Chicos, estense alerta. (Guys, be alert.)
    Chicos, estén alerta. (incorrect)
  • Por favor, (vosotros) estad a tiempo. (Please, be on time.)

Negative Imperative Statements with Estar

To give negative commands, you need to use the following forms of estar. You don’t need to use reflexive pronouns to create negative sentences.

  • tú no estés – you do not be 
  • vos no estés – you (South American) do not be 
  • usted no esté – you (formal) do not be 
  • ustedes no estén – you (plural) do not be 
  • vosotros no estéis – you (pluaral) do not be 

We have talked a lot about the conjugation of estar, but there is something else you need to know about this popular Spanish verb. Let’s find out. 

Verb Phrases with Estar

The Spanish language has something called “perífrasis verbal” (verb phrase). The verb estar appears in two different types of verb phrases only, in verb phrases that contain Spanish present participles and in verb phrases that have Spanish past participles. Let’s see.  

Estar + Spanish present participles  

This particular verb phrase expresses a continuous action. Many call it the Spanish progressive tense. To form this phrase, you need the verb estar and a Spanish present participle.

  • Yo estoy corriendo. (I am running.)
  • estuviste corriendo. (You were running.)
  • Él estará corriendo.  (He will be running.)

Yes, you can use any Spanish verb tense to form this particular verb phrase. Shall we practice? Translate the following English expressions into Spanish. Use the correct verb form of estar.

  • I am drinking coffee right now.
  • I was writing a letter yesterday at 8 o’clock.  
  • I have been studying Spanish.

How was that? You can check your answers here.

  • Estoy bebiendo café en este momento.
  • Estaba escribiendo una carta ayer a las 8 en punto.
  • He estado estudiando español.  

Estar + Spanish past participles

This verb phrase is formed with the verb estar and a Spanish past participle. Spanish past participles are verbs that end in “ado” or “ido”. Some common expressions with this particular verb phrase are these.

  • Estoy perdido. (I’m lost.)
  • El carro está arruinado.  (The car is ruined.)
  • Él está acostado. (He is lying down.)

You can also use this Spanish verb phrase with different tenses in Spanish! Let’s see some examples of this verb phrase in present, past and future tenses.

  • Ella está arrepentida. (She is sorry.)
  • Ellos estaban preocupados. (They were worried.)
  • Tu madre estará impresionada cuando escuche las noticias. (Your mother will be impressed when she hears the news.)

Practice the Conjugation of Estar

If you want to be able to conjugate the verb estar correctly in Spanish, you need regular practice. That’s where Clozemaster can help. Complete the following sentences with the correct form of the verb estar.

Common Questions About Estar

1. What does the verb estar mean?

Two Spanish verbs are equivalent to the English verb to be. Estar is one of those equivalents. Yo estoy means I am. Estar, however, is used in different contexts, and sometimes it can even mean “look” or “taste”.

2. How is the past participle of estar used?

The past participle of estar is estado. Estado appears in all Spanish perfect tenses. In Spanish, these tenses are called “tiempos compuestos”, and they are all the tenses that have the auxiliary verb haber. 

3. Is estar a regular or irregular verb?

Estar is an irregular verb. It is irregular because it does not follow an established pattern of conjugation to form its different tenses.

Click here to read our comprehensive guide to all Spanish tenses!

Learn More About Estar

Now you know all there is to know about the conjugation of estar,  but do you know how to use it? Don’t forget to check out the uses of estar if you don’t know them yet.

Practice estar conjugation and conjugating hundreds of other Spanish verbs in context with Clozemaster!


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