Difficulties in learning Spanish for English speakers I
Spanish language has two verbs, Ser and Estar, to communicate what is said in English with the verb TO BE
And it makes things very difficult. I know.
TIP. It’s not a trick, it’s an advice: don’t worry too much about it.
When you say: Yo aquí estoy muy bien, you’re using the right verb (estar). ¡Bravo!
But if you say: Yo aquí soy muy bien, you’re doing a mistake. And…? A spanish speaker understands you perfectly. And do you know the reason why learning a new language? To communicate. In Escribe en Español we repeat it many times: the reason to learn Spanish (or any other language) is to communicate with others
Once this mysterious trick has been discovered, we will learn how to use SER y ESTAR properly.
In general, we can say that the verb SER is used to refer to permanent features and the verb ESTAR is used to refer to temporal features.
María es guapa (she’s always beautiful, every day)
María está guapa (she’s beautiful today because she’s dressed nicely, with make up on and a great hairstyle…)
La piedra es dura (always)
La manzana está dura (that particular apple, although apples are usually soft)
This rule is true but very generic. Let’s see specific examples of the use of SER and ESTAR.
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To be from
Somos ingleses We are English
Yo soy de Londres I’m from London
Este bolso es de Marta This is Marta’s bag
¿Quién es esa chica? Who’s that girl?
Es la profesora de español She’s the Spanish teacher
Matemáticas es una asignatura Math is a school subject
Esta mesa es de madera This table is made of wood
Son las 7 de la tarde It’s 7:00 p.m.
Time and place of an event
El concierto es a las 7 de la tarde The concert is at 7 p.m.
La canción es muy mala The song is so bad
La botella está en el armario The bottle is in the cupboard
John está de vacaciones John is on holidays
El pescado está bueno The fish is good
Description of a condition
Estoy muy cansado I’m very tired
Adjectives that have different meanings with the verb SER and with the verb ESTAR
John es listo (intelligent, clever)
John está listo (ready)
John es aburrido (boring)
John está aburrido (bored)
John es despierto (smart, alert)
John está despierto (awoken)