How to Say “He is” in Spanish: Formal and Informal Ways

When learning a new language, it’s crucial to understand how to properly express commonly used phrases. One such phrase is “He is” in Spanish. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to say “He is” in Spanish, providing you with tips, examples, and regional variations as needed.

Formal Ways to Say “He is” in Spanish

Formal speech is typically used in professional settings or when addressing someone with a higher social status. Here are some formal ways to say “He is” in Spanish:

1. Él es

The most straightforward and commonly used way to say “He is” in Spanish is by using the phrase “Él es.” This phrase is widely understood across different Spanish-speaking regions, making it a safe choice for formal situations.

Example: Él es un abogado reconocido. (He is a renowned lawyer.)

2. Él está

While “Él es” is the more common option, another way to say “He is” formally is by using “Él está.” This phrase is mainly used when describing temporary states or conditions.

Example: Él está ocupado en una reunión. (He is busy in a meeting.)

3. Él se llama

In some cases, when introducing someone formally, you can use the phrase “Él se llama,” which translates to “His name is.” This allows you to provide additional information along with stating his name.

Example: Él se llama Alejandro y es el nuevo director de la empresa. (His name is Alejandro, and he is the new company director.)

Informal Ways to Say “He is” in Spanish

Informal speech is used among friends, family, or in casual settings. Here are some informal ways to say “He is” in Spanish:

1. Él es

Similar to formal speech, “Él es” can also be used in informal situations. It’s important to note that in colloquial Spanish, some words or syllables might be dropped, resulting in a more relaxed pronunciation.

Example: Él es mi mejor amigo. (He is my best friend.)

2. Él está

“Él está” can also be used when expressing someone’s temporary state or condition during informal conversations.

Example: Él está cansado después de trabajar todo el día. (He is tired after working all day.)

3. Él se llama

Just like in formal speech, “Él se llama” can be used in informal contexts as well to introduce someone and provide additional information.

Example: ¿Sabes quién es? Él se llama Marco y es muy divertido. (Do you know who he is? His name is Marco, and he is very funny.)

Regional Variations

Spanish is spoken across various regions, each with its own unique vocabulary, accents, and expressions. While the previously mentioned phrases are widely understood, regional variations may exist. Below, we explore some notable regional differences:


In Spain, instead of “Él es,” you might hear “Él está” more often to express someone’s profession or occupation.

Example: Él está profesor de matemáticas. (He is a math teacher.)

Latin America

In Latin America, “Él es” is the most common way to express someone’s identity or profession.

Example: Él es médico y trabaja en un hospital. (He is a doctor and works at a hospital.)


In Mexico, the word “es” is sometimes replaced with “está” when expressing someone’s occupation.

Example: Él está ingeniero civil. (He is a civil engineer.)

Tips for Proper Usage

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using these phrases:

  • Pay attention to gender: Spanish nouns and adjectives are gendered, so make sure to use the appropriate form (“Él es” for masculine and “Ella es” for feminine).
  • Context matters: Consider the context in which you are using the phrase. Sometimes, other verb forms like estar (to be) may be more appropriate, especially when describing temporary states.
  • Practice pronunciation: Familiarize yourself with the pronunciation of each phrase to ensure clear communication and to better connect with native Spanish speakers.

Remember: Practicing regularly with native speakers is the key to improving your language skills. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it’s all part of the learning process!


Mastering how to say “He is” in Spanish is an essential step in becoming fluent in the language. Whether you’re using formal or informal speech, understanding the appropriate phrases and regional variations will help you communicate effectively. Remember to follow the tips, practice pronunciation, and embrace opportunities to practice your newly acquired language skills. ¡Buena suerte!

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