Ser listo vs Estar listo: What’s the difference?

Transcript of the video lesson:

Hey, this is Joel from In this lesson, I want to talk about the word “listo.”

The word “listo” can have a couple different meanings depending on the context. When you’re using it with the verb “ser,” “listo” means cleaver or smart. And it changes depending on if it’s masculine or feminine.

So, I can say, “My mom is a smart woman.” – “Mi mama es una mujer lista”

Or I can say, “My best friend is very clever” – “Mi mejor amigo es muy listo”

Okay, so with the verb “ser,” “listo” means smart or clever. Now, with the verb “estar,” it has a different meaning, which means ready, prepared or finished.

So, I can say, “Are you ready?” – “¿Estás listo?”

I can say, “My sister is not ready” – “Mi hermana no está lista”

I can say, “Is the project finished?” – “¿El proyecto está listo?”

I hope that you see the difference between “estar listo” and “ser listo.” So, “ser listo” is to be clever and “estar listo” is to be ready, to be prepared, or to be finished.

Well, I hope you can incorporate this into your Spanish practice. And don’t forget to check out my website for more lessons, my mp3 conversational course for download, and native Spanish speakers who you can practice your Spanish with.

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