If I am talking about my dog, and I want to say:

He is big and angry.

In Spanish, using "enojado" and "grande", what should I do?

"Enojado" uses estar, while "grande" uses ser.

How can I say this?

3 Answers 3


El perro es grande y está enojado.

The verb ser is (among other things) for defining a feature. So the dog is big is

el perro es grande

because it is "permanently big". Permanently doesn't mean forever, but for a long time.

The dog cannot be therefore permanently angry (can it?) so then you use

el perro está enojado

because it's a feeling it is experiencing at the moment.

Now, if you want to say that the dog is permanently angry in the meaning that it's part of its "personality" (Can we talk about personality for referring to an animal?), then you could use other words. Probably in english you would rather say "irritable" or something like that. So you could say for example:

el perro es grande y enfadadizo


el perro es grande y enojón

(Not sure if the last word is widely used, but at least in Chile, and maybe Mexico, it is).

So you cannot mix ser and estar because they are used for difference purposes.

El vecino de la esquina es enojón, pero sorprendentemente hoy no estaba enojado e incluso esbozó una sonrisa. (The neighbour who lives in (the house in) the corner is tetchy, but surprisingly he wasn't angry today and even gave me a smile).

So you use ser for something that is more permanent and estar for something that is temporal. And when you have both things in a sentence you have to use both verbs. Don't think of them as if they were the same verb like in English and always treat them as two different verbs.

  • I recommend not using quote blocks like that, just as emphasis; I've heard that some screen readers read each letter in them individually. Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 14:38
  • @Stormblessed I have updated the answer accordingly. Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 14:41
  • I support el perro es grande y enojón -- this is the solution I'd go for. // You could strengthen this answer by posing a different, more challenging example. OP wanted to know what to do more generally, I think. Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 18:14
  • enojón es una condición permanente.
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:28

I support the answer by Vladimir for your example. But I would like to give you an algorithm to use in general.

Sometimes one can combine the two phrases if one of the phrases allows for a flexible choice of verb, e.g. ser elegante/estar elegante, ser calvo/estar calvo.

Sometimes one can rework the sentence, e.g. Es grande y enojón.

More generally, the answer is no, you can't combine, and you must preserve the two phrases as separate, complete clauses. For example:

  • El libro que estoy buscando es pequeño y está un poco mojado.

This can't be made more compact. It has to stand as is.

  • 1
    I think using enojón forces Spanish to be like English. It is not. The best solution is El perro es grande y está enojado [ahora]. perro enójon=angry dog,
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 18:30
  • @Lambie - Well, you don't have to rework. What I said, and I believe Vladimir too, was that sometimes one can. Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 20:47

As you already know, to be represents two distinct verbs in Spanish —for ser [permanent state] and estar[transient state]. Therefore the most literal and straightforward translation for your phrase, talking about your big and angry dog, would be:

Es grande y está enojado

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