Take the 2-minute tour ×
Spanish Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Spanish language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Can any one please explain to me when should I use está in place of es?

As far as my understanding goes es translates to is and está translates to this.

But sometimes I see that está is translating to is, too.

share|improve this question
    
You wrote it incorrectly. Es comes from the verb ser, and está is a form of estar. Ésta can be translated to this, but it does not need the tilde anymore (i.e., it can always be written as esta). –  hisuin May 26 at 16:04
    
the answer there could help you spanish.stackexchange.com/questions/5617/… –  Emilio Gort May 27 at 19:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are two verbs representing English to be: ser and estar.

Es and está are conjugated forms of ser and estar, respectively. Precisely, it's the third person singular. Está is also the spelling for second person (tú) in imperative mood (cf RAE).

The difference of these verbs is discussed a lot in every beginner book and in hundreds of tutorials on the Internet; for instance on about.com.
There are also a lot of question on that topic on this site. Search for "ser estar".

That said, ésta (with the accent in the beginning) is also the spelling for the singular feminine demonstrative pronoun representing this.

It just happens to be like that. But there's no confusion because the demonstrative pronoun represents a noun (or–when used as an adjective–it precedes a noun) and the conjugated verb form is part of the predicate.

Ex.:

With an adjective: Esta mujer está loca. (This woman is crazy.)
With a pronoun: Ésta está loca. (This one is crazy.)

share|improve this answer
    
The singular feminine demonstrative adjective is esta, and the singular feminine demonstrative adjective is ésta. They can never be confused with está neither in written nor in oral form. In your example it would be: Esta mujer está loca. –  rsanchez May 26 at 15:33
    
You only put and accent on the a when it is conjugated, not when it's a pronoun. Then, if that pronoun doesn't proceed a noun at all, it requires an accent on the E. Esta mujer está loca and Ésta está loca –  dockeryz May 26 at 17:54
    
My bad. Thank you guys for the hint. –  Em1 May 26 at 20:34
2  
@Em1 No, you are right. The second person imperative is "está" (RAE conjugation table), or "esté" for the formal use (usted). Now, I think I've never heard "está" used like that, but it's quite common in its pronominal(?) form: estate. Some examples: estate quieto, estate seguro de que [...], estate tranquilo... –  MikMik May 28 at 6:18
    
@Em1: My mistake, you are correct. –  Flimzy May 28 at 13:33

"es" (verbo ser) is pretty much forever, part of the object.

Él es ingeniero.

"está" (verbo estar) is temporary.

Juan está en África. El Cairo es en África.

I can think of very few cases in which you have to decide which one to use:

Él es enfermo de SIDA. Él está enfermo, con un resfriado.

Lex Luthor es un científico loco. ¡Cómo? ¿Estás loco?

La pared de la casa es roja. Mi cara está roja de la vergüenza.

Jorge es calvo. ¿Viste a Jorge? Está casi completamente calvo.

Marte es un planeta muy frío. El agua para cocinar ya está caliente.

share|improve this answer
    
Some usages of "es" in this answer are not mainstream. We say "El Cairo está en África", because this is the norm for places. We say "Él está enfermo de SIDA", because it is temporary (It does not matter it is forever, being infected with AIDS is in no way part of the essence of a person). –  Envite May 28 at 8:28

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.