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I want to write in Spanish "Is this girl happy?". What I came up with is "Está esta niña feliz?". It looks strange and sounds unclear, but I don't want to use "Es esta niña feliz?", because this is a temporary state. Is it a right translation? Is "está esta" ever correct in a sentence?

  • "Está esta niña ..." is totally grammatically correct. See here for example usage: eonline.com/mx/news/727217/… – brazofuerte Jul 5 '18 at 22:35
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    Normally, we would change the order and say: ¿Está feliz esta niña? – Gustavson Jul 6 '18 at 1:31
  • yes, also inverted is also correct esta está rota – Mike Jul 13 '18 at 18:32
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Your sentence might sound a little weird to your ear because this particular combination of verb and adjective isn't customary. Most often you'll find these two arrangements:

Estar contento/contenta

Ser feliz

In addition, "esta" isn't used as often as "this" is used in English. When it's clear from the context which girl we're talking about, we'll generally just use the definite article:

¿Está la niña contenta?

And if possible (in other words, when the context is clear enough), we'll omit "la niña" completely:

¿Está contenta?

Now, I'll tell you where one will see the demonstrative pronoun esta used on a regular basis -- when you're distinguishing between this and the other. (Note, "esa" [that] is generally avoided, see What does "ese" mean?, but that's okay, "the other" [la otra] works just fine when making comparisons.)

For example, suppose we are analyzing differences between two girls based on their demeanor in a videotape of a classroom lesson and activity. We might point out:

Esta niña está contenta, pero la otra no.

If A is wondering how B perceives the two girls, A might ask B:

¿Está esta niña contenta?

Or, more commonly:

¿Esta niña está contenta?

In this same scenario, perhaps B already pointed out

La niña al fondo no se ve muy contenta. [The girl at the back doesn't look very happy.]

And now, to point out the contrast, B might ask A's opinion:

¿Qué crees, está esta niña más contenta [que la del fondo]?

I had to work a bit to come up with a conceivable context for the question -- but it certainly is possible.

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  • i don't think is weird, i think is perfectly fine to use both esta está and está esta, but it is true that está esta is not that common – Mike Jul 13 '18 at 18:33
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Sure. Two examples in a single dialog:

  • Como está esta película? - Uff!!! Esta está buenísima!!!
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