"Do you want to be my boyfriend?"
Translation:¿Quieres ser mi novio?
Because the word 'ser' means 'to be' adding a in front of ser would be like asking "Do you want to to be my boyfriend?".
The personal "a" is mainly only needed when someone is doing something to someone else (basically if the verb is describing an action and if the direct object is receiving the action). You don't make someone "be" at/to someone/something... I'm not sure if that makes sense. I hope it does! Basically the direct object is not receiving an action of any sort since "ser" does not describe action, so the personal "a" isn't needed. http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/persa.htm
TIL. Duo gave this to me as a multiple choice, and included a version with the word "pololo", which I'd never seen before. Apparently it's an archaic word for something like "knickers", but is colloquially used for "boyfriend" in Chilean Spanish, with a matching verb "pololear" meaning "to date".
Came here to say something about this, because I also looked it up, with Google Translate, and was delighted when I understood the Spanish definition I was presented with.
Why not estar? I keep forgetting the difference between the two. I know ser is used more often for emotional matters. But is estar really incorrect?
ser is for what you actually 'are' and estar is for things that may be passing or unusual: sickness, fatigue, and the like. "emotional" and other matters may be either, depending if a person is sad at the moment, or a person characterized by sadness.
Here is a good way to remeber this: For how you feel and where you are, always use the verb "estar". For occupation and characteristics, use "ser". Estoy feliz: I feel happy. (Emotion) Soy alto: I am tall. (Characteristic)
¿Quieres (tú) ser mi novio? = Do you want to be my boyfriend? (informal)
¿Quiere (usted) ser mi novio? = Do you want to be my boyfriend? (formal)
Ser doesn't require a conjugation because it already means "to be."
The sentence is:
Quieres (Do you want)
ser (to be)
You could also always use 'Saldres conmigo/a," because it translates to "Will you go out with me?"