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BE / L/C
 
BE   -noun abbreviation   (finance)   bill of exchange   L/C
 
be / ser
 
be   [bi:]
am, is, are   present
was, were   past tense
been   past participle
A. -intransitive verb
1. (linking nouns, noun phrases, pronouns)   ser
·he'noun a pianist
·es pianista
·he wants to be a doctor
·quiere ser masculineédico
·Monday'noun a holiday
·el lunes es fiesta
·two and two are four
·dos y dos son cuatro
·it'noun me!
·¡soy yo!
·it was me
·fui yo
·who wants to be Hamlet?
·¿quiénoun quiere hacer de or ser Hamlet?
·you be the patient and I'll be the doctor
· eres el enfermo y yo seré el masculineédico
·if I were you ...
·yo en tu lugar ...,   yo que ... *
2. (possession)   ser
·she'noun his sister
·es su hermana
·it'noun mine
·es masculineío
3. (characteristics seen as inherent)   ser
·the sky is blue
·el cielo es azul
·it'noun (made of) plastic
·es de pluralástico
·they're English
·son ingleses
·he'noun tall
·es alto
·it'noun round/enormous
·es redondo/enorme
·she is boring
·es aburrida
·I used to be poor but now I'masculine rich
·antes era pobre pero ahora soy rico
·if I were rich
·si fuera rico
·I'masculine [from] the south
·soy del sur
·the book is [in] French
·el libro es en francénoun
Use [estar] with past participles used as adjectives describing the results of an action or process:
·it'noun broken
·está roto
·he'noun dead
·está muerto
4. (changeable or temporary state)   estar
·it'noun dirty
·está sucio
·she'noun bored/ill
·está aburrida/enferma
·how are you?
·¿cómo estánoun?,   ¿qué tal estánoun?
·how are you now?
·¿qué tal te encuentras ahora?
·I'masculine very well, thanks
·estoy muy bien, gracias
In certain expressions where English uses [be] + adjective to describe feelings ([be cold]/[hot]/[hungry]/[thirsty]), Spanish uses [tener] with a noun:
·I'masculine cold/hot
·tengo frío/calor
·my feet are cold
·tengo los pies fríos
·I'masculine hungry/thirsty
·tengo hambre/sed
·be [good]!
·¡pórtate bien!
·you're [late]
·llegas tarde
5. (age)
·"how old is she?" -- "she'noun nine"
·--¿cuántos años tiene? --tiene nueve años
·she will be two tomorrow
·mañana cumple dos años
·when I'masculine [old]
·cuando sea viejo
·when I was [young]
·cuando era joven
6. (=take place)   ser
·the meeting'noun today
·la reuniónoun es hoy
·the service will be at St Ninian'noun Church
·el oficio será en la iglesia de San Ninian
7. (=be situated)   estar
·Edinburgh is in Scotland
·Edimburgo está en Escocia
·it'noun on the table
·está sobre or en la mesa
·where is the Town Hall?
·¿dónde está or queda el ayuntamiento?
·it'noun 5 km to the village
·el pueblo está or queda a 5 kilómetros
·he won't be here tomorrow
·mañana no estará aquí
·we've been here [for] ages
·hace mucho tiempo que estamos aquí,   llevamos aquí mucho tiempo,   estamos aquí desde hace mucho tiempo
a. [here] you are, (take it) =   aquí tienes, (tómalo)
b. [there'noun] the church =   ahí está la iglesia
8. (impersonal use)
8.1. (referring to weather)   hacer
·it'noun hot/cold
·hace calor/frío
·it'noun too hot
·hace demasiado calor
·it'noun fine
·hace buen tiempo
8.2. (referring to time, date etcetera)   ser
·it'noun eight o'clock
·son las ocho
·it'noun [morning] in New York now
·en Nueva York ahora es por la mañana
·wake up, it'noun morning
·despierta, es de día
·what'noun the [date] (today)?
·¿qué fecha es hoy?
·it'noun the 3rd of May
·es 3 de mayo
·it'noun Thursday today
·hoy es jueves
but note the following alternatives with [estar]:
·it'noun the 3rd of May
·estamos a 3 de mayo
·it'noun Thursday today
·hoy estamos a jueves
8.3. (asking and giving opinion)   ser
·is it [certain] that ...?
·¿es verdad or cierto que ...?
·it is easy to make a mistake
·es feminineácil cometer un fallo
·is it [fair] that she should be punished while ...?
·¿es justo que se la castigue mientras que ...?
·it is possible that he'll come
·es posible que venga,   puede (ser) que venga
·it is [impossible] to study all the time
·es imposible estar siempre estudiando
·it is [unbelievable] that ...
·es increíble que ...
·it'noun not clear [whether] ...
·no está claro si ...
·it would be [wrong] for us to do that
·no estaría bien que nosotros hiciésemos eso
8.4. (emphatic)   ser
·it'noun me who does all the work
·soy yo quien hace todo el trabajo
·it was Peter who phoned
·fue Peter quien llamó
·why is it that she'noun so successful?
·¿cómo es que tiene tanto éxito?,   ¿por qué tiene tanto éxito?
·it was then that ...
·fue entonces cuando ...
9. (=exist)   haber
·[there] is/are
·hay
·what is (there) in that room?
·¿qué hay en esa habitaciónoun?
·there is nothing more beautiful
·no hay nada masculineánoun bello
·is there anyone at home?
·¿hay alguien en casa?
·there were six road accidents here last year
·el año pasado hubo seis accidentes de tráfico aquí
·there must be an explanation
·debe de haber una explicaciónoun
·there being no alternative solution ...
·al no haber or no habiendo otra soluciónoun ...
·let there be light!
·¡hágase la luz!
·there are three of us
·somos tres
·there were three of them
·eran tres
·after the shop there'noun the bus station
·despuénoun de la tienda está la estaciónoun de autobuses
THERE
10. (=cost)
·how much was it?
·¿cuánto costó?
·the book is £20
·el libro vale or cuesta 20 libras
·how much is it?
·¿cuánto es?
(when paying)   ¿qué le debo? formal usage
11. (=visit)
·has the postman been?
·¿ha venido el cartero?
·he has been and gone
·vino y se fue
·I have been to see my aunt
·he ido a ver a mi tía
·have you ever been to Glasgow?
·¿has estado en Glasgow alguna vez?
·I've been [to] China
·he estado en China
12. (in noun compounds)   futuro
a. [mother] to be =   futura madre or mamá (f)
b. my [wife] to be =   mi futura esposa
13. (in set expressions)
·to be or not to be
·ser o no ser
a. been [and]   *
·you've been and done it now!
¡buena la has hecho! *
·that dog of yours has been and dug up my flowers!
·¡tu perro ha ido y me ha destrozado las flores!
b. you're busy enough [as] it is =   estánoun bastante ocupado ya con lo que tienes,   ya tienes suficiente trabajo
·[as things are]
·tal como estánoun las cosas
·[be that as it may]
·sea como fuere
c. if it hadn't been [for] ...
·if it hadn't been for you or > had it not been for you, we would have lost
formal usage   si no hubiera sido por ti or de no haber sido por ti, habríamos perdido
d. [let] me be! =   ¡déjame en paz!
e. if that'noun what you want to do, then [so] be it =   si eso es lo que quieres hacer, adelante
f. what is it [to] you?   *   ¿a ti qué te importa?
g. [what'noun] it to be?   (in bar etcetera)   ¿qué va a ser?,   ¿qué vas a tomar?
B. -auxiliary verb
1. (forming passive)   ser
·the house was destroyed by an earthquake
·la casa fue destruida por un terremoto
The passive is not used as often in Spanish as in English, active and reflexive constructions often being preferred:
·the box had been opened
·habían abierto la caja
·these cars are produced in Spain
·estos coches se fabrican en España
·it is said that ...
·dicen que ...,   se dice que ...
·he was killed by a terrorist
·lo mató un terrorista
·she was killed in a car crash
·murió en un accidente de coche,   resultó muerta en un accidente de coche formal usage
·what'noun to be done?
·¿qué hay que hacer?
a. it'noun a film [not] to be missed =   es una película que no hay que perderse
b. we searched everywhere for him, but he was [nowhere] to be seen =   lo buscamos por todas partes pero no lo encontramos en ningúnoun sitio
2. (forming continuous)   estar
·it'noun raining
·está lloviendo
·what are you doing?
·¿qué estánoun haciendo?,   ¿qué haces?
·don't distract me when I'masculine driving
·no me distraigas cuando estoy conduciendo
·he'noun always grumbling
·siempre está quejándose
·he was studying until the early hours
·estuvo estudiando hasta la madrugada
Use the present simple to talk about planned future events and the {ir a} construction to talk about intention:
·they're coming tomorrow
·vienen mañana
·"it'noun a pity you aren't coming with us" -- "but I am coming!"
·--¡qué pena que no vengas con nosotros! --¡nouní que voy!
·will you be seeing her tomorrow?
·¿la veránoun or la vas a ver mañana?
·will you be needing more?
·¿vas a necesitar masculineánoun?
·I shall be seeing him
·voy a verlo
·I'll be seeing you
·hasta luego,   nos vemos especially Latin America   The imperfect tense can be used for continuous action in the past:
·he was driving too fast
·conducía demasiado rápido
3. (verb substitute)
3.1. ·he'noun older than you are
·es mayor que
·he isn't as happy as he was
·no está tan contento como antes
·"he'noun going to complain about you" -- "oh, is he?"
·--va a quejarse de ti --¿ah, nouní?
·"I'masculine worried" -- "so am I"
·--estoy preocupado --yo tambiénoun
·"I'masculine not ready" -- "neither am I"
·--no estoy listo --yo tampoco
·"you're tired" -- "no, I'masculine not"
·--estánoun cansado --no, ¡qué va!
·"you're not eating enough" -- "yes I am"
·--no comes lo suficiente --que nouní
·"they're getting married" -- "oh, are they?"
(showing surprise)   --se casan --¿ah, nouní? or --¡no me digas!
·"he isn't very happy" -- "oh, isn't he?"
·--no está muy contento --¿ah, no?
·"he'noun always late, isn't he?" -- "yes, he is"
·--siempre llega tarde, ¿verdad? --(pues) nouní
·"is it what you expected?" -- "no, it isn't"
·--¿es esto lo que esperabas? --(pues) no
·"she'noun pretty" -- "no, she isn't"
·--es guapa --¡qué va!
3.2. (in question tags)
·he'noun handsome, isn't he?
·es guapo, ¿verdad?,   es guapo, ¿no?,   es guapo, ¿no es cierto?
·it was fun, wasn't it?
·fue divertido, ¿verdad?,   fue divertido, ¿no?
·she wasn't happy, was she?
·no era feliz, ¿verdad?
·so he'noun back again, is he?
·así que ha vuelto, ¿eh?
·you're not ill, are you?
·¿no estaránoun enfermo?
C. -modal verb
(with infinitive construction)
1. (=must, have to)
·you're to put on your shoes
·tienes que ponerte los zapatos
·he'noun not to open it
·no debe abrirlo,   que no lo abra
·I am to do it
·he de hacerlo yo,   soy yo el que debe hacerlo
·I am not to speak to him
·no tengo permiso para hablar con él
·I wasn't to tell you his name
·no podía or debía decirte su nombre
2. (=should)   deber
·he is to be congratulated on his work
·debemos felicitarlo por su trabajo
·am I to understand that ...?
·¿debo entender que ...?
·she wrote "My Life", not to be confused with Bernstein'noun book of the same name
·escribió "Mi Vida", que no debe confundirse con la obra de Bernstein que lleva el mismo título
·he was to have come yesterday
·tenía que or debía haber venido ayer
·he is to be pitied
·es digno de lástima
3. (=will)
·the talks are to start tomorrow
·las conversaciones daránoun comienzo mañana
·her house is to be sold
·su casa se pondrá a la venta
·they are to be married in the summer
·se casaránoun en el verano
4. (=can)
·these birds are to be found all over the world
·estos pájaros se encuentran por todo el mundo
·little traffic was to be seen
·había poco tráfico
·you weren't to know
·no tenías por qué saberlo
5. (expressing destiny)
·this was to have serious repercussions
·esto iba a tener serias repercusiones
·they were never to return
·jamánoun regresaron
·it was not to be
·no quiso el destino que así fuera
6. (in conditional sentences)
·you must work harder if you are to succeed
·debes esforzarte masculineánoun si quieres triunfar
·if it was or were to snow ...
·si nevase or nevara ...
·if I were to leave the job, would you replace me?
·si yo dejara el puesto, ¿me sustituirías?
 
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged and Audio Headword Pronunciation (Spanish) 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co Ltd. 1971,1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992,1993,1996,1997,2000,2003,2005.
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