Why the conjugations of verb Estar are used with food-items like sopa está caliente

I've been taught to use the conjugations of estar with the temporary state of things.

  • The question might be closed as duplicated but let me say that you have to be careful with the accent because "esta" is different to "está". In your example "está sopa caliente" is wrong while "esta sopa caliente" means "this hot soup". @spiral answer shows the use of both words in the same sentence.
    – DGaleano
    Feb 27, 2018 at 13:27
  • "I've been taught to use the conjugations of estar with the permanent location of things." Are you sure about that, Robert? That word "permanent" bothers me. Could you check your textbook or your class notes on that? Mar 1, 2018 at 4:27
  • @aparente001 - edited. Thanks for pointing it out. Mar 5, 2018 at 9:41
  • @RobertLangdon - Whew. Much better now. Mar 5, 2018 at 12:34

2 Answers 2


The usage of estar (because it's a auxiliar verb, as ser and haber) is quite different than the other verbs.

Estar it is common useful to express a quality that has been changed as a result of another action. In your case, the soup is hot because has been heated.

For more information about different usages take a look at:


In very broad terms, estar refers to a temporary state, while ser refers to a permanent one. So, to give you some food examples:

Esta sopa está caliente.

This soup is (now) hot. It might be cold later.

Esta sopa es caliente

This soup is hot. It is a dish that is traditionally served hot.

  • So Ser and Estar can be used depending on the state. If a dish is always served hot for example, I can use Esto plato es caliente. Right? Feb 27, 2018 at 9:25
  • 2
    In the right context, yes. if you just say "la sopa es caliente" it probably won't be clear what you mean. "El gazpacho es una sopa fría" would be clear though.
    – spiral
    Feb 27, 2018 at 13:01
  • 2
    @RobertLangdon - For things that are by nature transitory, it's generally best to use estar, and soup is a great example of that. It cools off so quickly! So, in general, one will be describing the momentary state of the soup. If, however, you are planning a menu and get into a discussion about whether avocado soup is of the hot or cold type, you would be more likely to use a different verb entirely, such as "La sopa de aguacate se sirve fría." However, it is possible to say, e.g., "Parihuela es una sopa caliente típica del Perú." (An example sentence google found.) Mar 5, 2018 at 12:36

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