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When to use the verb "Ser" and when to use "Estar"

 

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  #61  
Old January 22, 2012, 05:29 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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I've just noticed this peculiar statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacomartin123 View Post
The close spelling of the Spanish verb "es" and the English word "is", is purely coincidence.
The online etymological dictionary gives for is:

Quote:
third person singular present of be, O.E. is, from Germanic stem *es- (cf. O.H.G., Ger., Goth. ist, O.N. es, er), from PIE *es-ti- (cf. Skt. asti, Gk. esti, L. est, Lith. esti, O.C.S. jesti), from PIE base *es- "to be." O.E. lost the final -t-. See be.
This to me indicates that is and es are directly related, and is no coincidence. Moveover, to be and ser are the same verb. Estar derives from Latin stare., cognate with Greek istemi, meaning something like to set up.

Perhaps I'm missing something.
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  #62  
Old January 28, 2012, 12:46 PM
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Gracias Rusty & Perikles por su ayuda.
A veces se dice que Ser es para características permanentes. ¿Pero que' pasa con joven y viejo? No sé es joven para siempre (¡Ojalá!) ¿Cómo podría explicar eso?
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  #63  
Old January 28, 2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky View Post
Gracias Rusty & Perikles por su ayuda.
A veces se dice que Ser es para características permanentes. ¿Pero que' pasa con joven y viejo? No sé es joven para siempre (¡Ojalá!) ¿Cómo podría explicar eso?
Como característica es permanente y "cambia" gradualmente, tampoco es algo "temporal" como cuando uno dice "te ves/está joven hoy" donde se subentiende que la persona es mayor pero hoy se ve particularmente "joven"
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  #64  
Old January 28, 2012, 07:47 PM
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@Becky: Make a little effort in reading... that answer is just two or three pages behind.
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  #65  
Old February 28, 2012, 05:49 AM
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Great tutorial, thanks so much, it really cleared up a lot of confusion
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  #66  
Old August 07, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelicaDeAlquezar View Post
You don't always say "estar calvo". If you use attributes like "calvo", "gordo", "flaco", "viejo", etc., the choice between "ser" or "estar" depend on what you mean. If you say "Juan es calvo", you're describing Juan as having a characteristic all bald people do, and include him in such group. If you say "Juan está calvo", you're talking about Juan as having endured a process in which he lost his hair (implying you know he hasn't been bald all his life).


To be dead is the result of an action or a process (a murder, an accident, an illness...).
Same case for:

·El policía está herido; el ladrón le disparó.
The policeman is wounded; the thief shot him. -> His current situation is given by the fact he's been shot
·El canario está lastimado de una pata
The canary has an injured leg. -> Something happened to the canary that brought him to this situation
·Mi muñeca está rota. Alguien jugó con ella.
My doll is broken; someone has been playing with it. -> Transformation was caused by careless manipulation.

And I'll quote myself in this same thread:
Thanks Angelica, I like your explanation regarding the use of "ser" or "estar" related to being dead (muerto).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomisimo View Post
A quick comparison between Ser and Estar
Disclaimer: This is basically off the top of my head so some things could be missing. If you see something that should be here and it's not, please post it. In any case, it's a good start for learning when to use ser and when to use estar.


Ser is used for:
  • Professions - Soy carpintero - I'm a carpenter
  • Permanent conditions - La ciudad es muy sucia - The city is really dirty (A fact of life, unlikely to change)
  • Permanent characteristics - Soy bajita - I'm short; El martillo es pesado - The hammer is heavy
  • Definitive characteristics even if they're not permanent - El es nuevo aquí. - He's new around here.
  • Where someone is from - Soy de España - I'm from Spain
  • Telling time - Son las 3 de la tarde - It's 3 PM
  • Saying what the date is - Es el tres de octubre - It's October 3rd
  • Saying what day of the week it is - Es lunes - It's Monday
  • Nationalities - Ella es francesa - She's French
  • Possesion - La cámara es de Miguel - The camera is Michael's
  • What something is made of - La pared es de ladrillo - The wall is made of/from brick
  • Religion - Es católica - She's Catholic
  • Size & Length - El palo es largo - The stick is long; El bolígrafo es pequño - the pen is small
  • Colors - Las rosas son rojas - Roses are red
  • To specify one of several object don't confuse this with the location criteria below - ¿Cuál es la casa de Juan? Es la casa de la esquina. - Which house is Juan's? It's the house on the corner.

Estar is used for:
  • Changeable conditions - La calle está sucia - The street's really dirty (It just rained and there's mud everywhere, not a permanent condition)
  • Changeable characteristics - Está enojado - He's angry
  • Location/position of people/things Even if it's something permanent - Está en la recámara - It's in the bedroom; Londres está en Inglaterra - London is in England
  • Temporary state of something - La luz está prendida - The light is on; La puerta está abierta - The door's open
  • Used to form the "-ing" form of verbs - Estoy caminando - I'm walking
You can use either ser or estar for certain things, both are correct, but have different meanings:
There are many more examples of this. As I think of them, I'll try to add them.

Juan es aburrido - Juan is boring
Juan está aburrido - Juan is bored

María es nerviosa - Mary is a nervous person
María está nerviosa - Mary is nervous (right now, but not always)

El mango es bueno - Mangoes are good
El mango está bueno - This mango tastes good or The mango is good (as in not rotten or spoiled)

Es buena - She's a good person
Está buena - She's hot
Thanks for this thread!
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Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; August 07, 2012 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Merged back-to-back posts
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  #67  
Old December 20, 2012, 11:41 AM
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When ser and estar are used with a past participle, you use ESTAR when you want to emphasize the result of an action and SER when you want to emphasize the action itself.

Las mesas fueron hechas en nuestra casa. The tables were made in our house.
Las mesas están hechas de madera. The tables are made of word.

La estatua está dedicada al antiguo director. The state is dedicated to the former director.
La estatua fue enviada a Brazil. The statue was sent to Brazil.
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  #68  
Old December 21, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMolly View Post
When ser and estar are used with a past participle, you use ESTAR when you want to emphasize the result of an action and SER when you want to emphasize the action itself.

Las mesas fueron hechas en nuestra casa. The tables were made in our house.
Las mesas están hechas de madera. The tables are made of word.

La estatua está dedicada al antiguo director. The state is dedicated to the former director.
La estatua fue enviada a Brazil. The statue was sent to Brazil.
That works.
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  #69  
Old December 21, 2012, 12:47 PM
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It does work, but I'd just like to underline a little thing: although both structures seem to be equivalent, the one with "ser" it's passive voice, which cannot be constructed with "estar".
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  #70  
Old March 20, 2013, 05:17 PM
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This is very useful, thank you.
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