La Profesión/El Empleo
We all have a profession or occupation. Paid or not. We all
do something. Words that explain what we do all have a name—
and those names, when said in Spanish, use Ser. Sure, we may
switch jobs now and again, but we do not use Estar just because
our jobs or professions changed from last week to this week. This is
the reason I explained at the beginning of my book that we just
cannot trust the acronyms DOCTOR and PLACE 100%. It just
doesn’t work all the time, does it?
The “DOCTOR and PLACE” rule is just not good enough.
Here is something that is taught in the Spanish learning
world that you may have come across:
“The uses of Ser and Estar can be memorized using the
acronyms DOCTOR and PLACE.”
Don’t get me wrong – acronyms can surely be of some help.
But the problem that I have with these two lists is that they are
incomplete. Here’s what I’m talking about, just in case you haven’t
run into this before:
Here are some examples of using Ser when talking about
Antonio fue a la universidad muchos años porque siempre
quería ser abogado. Y ahora lo es.
Antonio went to university many years because he wanted to
be a lawyer. And now he is one.
Para ser cocinero, hay que saber mucho sobre la
In order to be a cook, you have to know a lot about food.
Lourdes no quiere que su hija sea recepcionista como ella,
sino que sea psicóloga.
Lourdes doesn’t want her daughter to be a receptionist like
her, but rather that she be a psychologist.
Side Note: You may have noticed that in Spanish
we don’t always use the indefinite article (un, una) with occupations
in Spanish unless we’re describing it, specifically, for example:
Él es un buen dentista.
He is a good dentist.
But if we are just expressing the idea of what he is without
any additional information, we say:
Él es dentista.
He is a dentist.
Ella será churrera durante toda su vida porque no sabe
hacer nada más.
She will be a churro maker her whole life because she
doesn’t know how to do anything else.
Side Note: If someone is in a job temporarily, we
can use this expression with Estar:
Estar de + job.
In the following example, we are talking about the fact that
Adrian normally works as a translator, but he has been working as a
waiter for the last two weeks to make ends meet:
Adrián está de camerero ahora, pero ya sabemos que era
Adrian is working as a a waiter right now, but we know he
was a translator.
By the way, if you would like a free copy of the book “Ripping Apart The Spanish Language: Ser & Estar”, it just so happens that this week I will send you one for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up for the newsletter on this site (on the right side of this page). All I ask in return is an honest review on the book’s Amazon page, which is right here.