I realise the phrase"puede ser" means it may be /can or could be so.

Example: Person A)Juán es inteligente.
Person B) puede ser I wonder if a phrase "puede estar" exists for temporary states or for expressions with estar.

Example: Elena está lista para salir. Puede estar.

¿estos pantalones están de moda? Pueden estar. Also, does poder change to plural form? I have never seen it used with estar and I just wondered. Thanks

1 Answer 1


"Puede estar" it's not really common, but it's not wrong by itself. Let me explain. When you say "Puede ser", you should think of it as a short way of saying "Eso puede ser verdad/cierto" (That may be true).

So in:

Elena está lista para salir. Puede estar.

It's not something you would hear a native speaker saying, because, even though the translation is correct, "Puede estar" is not how you express in that kind of situation.

"Puede estar" is reserved for when you are replying to "where?".

¿Donde está el lapiz?

Puede estar (Or you can say "Podria estar") en la cocina o el estudio.

Again, it's not something people think much about. It's like why you say "nice big red apple" instead of "red big nice apple"

  • Great answer. I guess also, it is a little like in English when we always say: Salt and vinegar,thunder and lightning, and salt and pepper. We never say them the other way around.. One further question: in answer to a question, estos pantalones estan pasados de moda ? could you say , pueden ser. thanks
    – Bluelion7
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 14:25
  • 1
    @Bluelion7 It's not wrong, but it sounds weird. You should either stick (in this case) with "puede ser" (what you said may be true) or with "pueden estar" (.The pants may be trending). You should know if you either want to confirm the sentence the other person said (singular) or if you want to confirm WHAT the other person said (about the pants, which is plural)
    – Rararat
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 17:51

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