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Esto es or éste es

 

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  #1  
Old June 14, 2017, 10:46 PM
mikeinstlouis mikeinstlouis is offline
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Esto es or éste es

Hi all!
Quick question... Why is it that when I ask a question like ¿qué es eso? , the response is Eso es una silla or esto es una lampara regardless of the gender. But you would answer Éste es Señor Molina. It seems like when you talk about objects, it's eso es something but people are esté or está.
I hope this makes sense!
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  #2  
Old June 14, 2017, 11:04 PM
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'Eso' or 'esto' are neuter demonstrative pronouns, used when an idea or some abstract thing is being talked about OR when asking what something is (the gender not being known).
When you're asking what something is, the response will not contain 'eso' or 'esto', because adequate wording that expresses the gender will be used.

¿Qué es eso/esto? = What is that/this (I don't know the word for it)?
- (Ese) es un/(Esa) es una/(Este) es un/(Esta) es una .... (the demonstrative pronoun doesn't need to be included in the response)

You don't need the accent mark on 'éste', by the way. The demonstrative pronouns used to have an accent mark, but no longer do.

Using 'esté' or 'está' would be incorrect, as these are not demonstrative pronouns; they're conjugations of the verb 'estar'.
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Old June 14, 2017, 11:07 PM
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Esto and eso are gender neutral. You use them when you can't even identify the gender of the object you are asking about.
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Old June 15, 2017, 11:06 PM
mikeinstlouis mikeinstlouis is offline
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My FSI text book specifically answers the question.. Eso es una silla or esto es una pluma in several places. I always thought it took the other forms too but I have seen the former also expressed on several websites. Thank you!
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Old June 16, 2017, 04:13 PM
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I agree with Rusty, and these examples are not the most common use of "esto"/"eso". Could you please provide more examples you've found, so we can explain a little more?
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