Ente is a Spanish noun that means ‘a being, body, organization, entity,’ with that last English translation being clearly a cognate. The Spanish form comes from ent-, the stem of the present participle of the Latin verb esse ‘to be.’ The English form is based on the suffixed Medieval Latin form entitas, with stem entitat-, that meant literally ‘beingness.’ Spanish likewise has entidad in addition to the simpler ente.
From est, the third person present singular of Latin esse, came Spanish es. The English equivalent, is, is indeed a native cognate, with both forms tracing back to the Indo-European root *es- that meant ‘be.’ The American Heritage Dictionary finds it probable that that root also appears in English yes, which in Old English was the interjection gse ‘so be it!‘ That would have been a compound of ga ‘so’ and the subjunctive se ‘may it be.’
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman