For today’s expression I will slowly build up from things you might already know.
Let’s start with basic “ser de”, meaning being original of a place.
Yo soy de Coruña.
I am from Coruña.
There is also the sense of supporting a sports team, for example:
Yo soy del Dépor.
I am a supporter of Dépor.
(A long time ago there was an old commercial where people divided up in the streets shouting “yo soy de Kas naranja” / “yo soy de Kas limón”).
Relatedly, you can use “ser de” to refer to a specific kind of people:
Nosotros no somos de los que maltratamos animales.
We are not of those that abuse animals.
Ella es de las que toman notas a dos colores.
She’s one of those that take notes in two colours.
Now we get to the point I wanted to make. Expanding on this usage, you can use “ser de” for routines or things you like to do. It’s about frequency, in relation to enjoyment. It can be used with verbs or nouns, indistinctly.
Tú siempre fuiste de levantarte tarde los domingos.
You always had a tendency to wake up late on Sundays.
Nunca fui de café con leche, la verdad.
I never quite liked café latte, to be honest.
This can be used in a comparative manner, contraposed to another act:
En mi casa somos más de montaña que de playa.
In my family we prefer [going to] the mountains than [to] the beach.
It is very very often emphasized:
No soporto a Michael Bay, es muy de explosiones y fuego y diálogos tontos.
I can’t stand Michael Bay, he tends to use a lot of explosions and fire and absurd dialog.
Pay attention for advanced usage: all of the above applies when the subject is a person. If it is an object or action, the relation is reversed: “ser de” is followed by the very people that like it or do it!
El J-Pop no es que sea malo, es que es muy de frikis.
It’s not that J-Pop is bad, it’s just that it’s too much of a nerd thing.
Ir al cine y hablar todo el rato es muy de niñato.
Speaking all the time while at the movies means you’re a brat.
Originally published in Talk like a Spaniard.