Questions tagged [cópulas]

Verbos copulativos: ser, estar y parecer. Words equivalent to English "to be", including "ser", "estar", and all their conjugated forms.

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33
votes
4answers
6k views

'Ser' and 'estar' for location

'Ser' and 'estar' for location The edge-cases of ser and estar still seem to get me. My understanding is that when speaking of a location, I should use estar. La biblioteca está aquí. However, a ...
33
votes
8answers
8k views

Why is 'estar muerto' used instead of 'ser muerto'?

I know it is rather rude to think of it this way and I don't want to offend anyone religiously, but being dead is usually thought of as a very permanent condition in the United States. So why does ...
29
votes
2answers
7k views

Etymologically, why do “ser” and “estar” exist? / Etimológicamente, ¿por qué existen “ser” y “estar”?

This is a canonical question / Esta es una pregunta canónica Ser and estar both mean "to be" in English. I understand this and also understand when to use each. Why, however, do these two ...
23
votes
4answers
9k views

“Está hecho de…” why not “es hecho de”?

I've seen "Está hecho de ..." used to mean "It's made of ...". Why is the verb estar and not ser? Isn't this an adjective that's permanent and not going to change? I can understand phrases like "la ...
22
votes
3answers
8k views

Why do we say “Qué hora es” instead of “Qué hora está”?

I was taught that está is used in certain contexts meaning a temporary state (like emotion). Isn't "time" always temporary in that it is constantly changing? If so, why don't we use está instead of es?...
20
votes
1answer
885 views

What are the differences between “ser” and “estar”? When to use each? // ¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre “ser” y “estar”? ¿Cuándo se usa cada uno?

This is a canonical question / Esta es una pregunta canónica This is a canonical question about the differences and usage of ser and estar. Feel free to collaborate both in the question as in the ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Using “ser” without “un/una”?

How come you can sometimes see phrases like “Es broma” or “Es muy linda ciudad”? Why is "un/una" left out?
12
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2answers
2k views

Translation of the phrase “I'm happy.”

In the phrase: I'm happy Which one of these is grammatically correct to translate the phrase, ser or estar? Soy feliz or Estoy feliz
11
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4answers
3k views

Why should we use “estar” over “ser” for being old or fat?

I can understand why we would use estar for temporary states. But there are conditions that people have that are not temporary, such as being old (or for some people, being fat). ¡qué gordo está! ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

“Ser” and “Estar”: Spanish vs. Portuguese

The English verb to be typically translates to either ser or estar in both Spanish and Portuguese. Is there any instance in which the ser /estar distinction is different between Spanish and ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the difference between “ser cierto” and “ser verdad”?

The English "to be true" can be translated to Spanish as either ser cierto or ser verdad. What is the difference between the two? When would you use one instead of the other?
10
votes
3answers
860 views

“De donde fue” instead of “De donde estaba”

In Nicaragua, addresses are usually given as directions from a landmark, for example: From the stadium, go 5 blocks south, then 3 blocks east Sometimes the landmark is a place that used to be ...
9
votes
4answers
209 views

Usage of plural in collective objects?

Even being a native speaker, I find it hard to know what's the correct way to announce in a sentence a thing that is a collection of other things, specifically in how to arrange adjectives and ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the difference between “ser casado” and “estar casado”?

I have read that both ser and estar can be used with casado to give different connotations to the phrase "to be married." What exactly are the differences, and when would you use each verb?
8
votes
1answer
355 views

Agreeing with the complement not the subject: esto son, eso son, lo mejor son

There are times in Spanish when a linking verb agrees in number not with its subject but with its predicate complement. Lo mejor de la televisión son los avisos. La mejor televisión son los avisos. ...
8
votes
3answers
404 views

Why is 'estoy' used when saying “I'm related to”

I understand I'm related to David, he's my grandad. translates as Estoy relacionado con David, él es mi abuelo. Why is estoy used and not soy? It seems to me that the relationship is ...
7
votes
4answers
320 views

“Mi esposo piensa que es un santo” - why is “un” necessary in this sentence?

This was a practice sentence on Languagezen.com. I thought the correct answer would be "Mi esposo piensa que es santo". I've read the following advice about using articles with ser: Don't ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

What should we use when it comes to employment, “soy” or “estoy”?

I'm listening to Michael Thomas Spanish (disc 3, episode 6) and learning Castilian Spanish. In this he explains the characteristics between ser and estar, which I thought I'd understood - ser is a ...
6
votes
3answers
350 views

Are there any rules governing when you can and cannot use a present tense form of “ser” + a past participle to form a passive sentence?

Primero mi pregunta en español: ¿Hay alguna regla que gobierna cuando se puede y cuando no se puede usar «ser» (en una forma de tiempo presente) + un participio pasado para formar una oración en la ...
6
votes
2answers
193 views

Why are “ser” and “estar” used in these two sentences?

Why does sentence one use the verb estar and sentence two use the verb ser? Both translations are from google translate. ¿Cómo estuvo tu fin de semana? = How was your weekend? ¿Que tal fue tu noche? =...
6
votes
1answer
626 views

When is it appropriate to use 'ser' versus 'estar' for 'nuevo' or 'barato'?

Below are Spanish-to-English translations from a lesson on Memrise.com: este está más barato (this one is cheaper) este es más nuevo (this one is newer) Why is estar used when describing something ...
6
votes
2answers
49k views

What is the difference between “es” and “está”?

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 translated ...
5
votes
3answers
111 views

If I'm saying that something is two adjectives and one uses “ser” but the other uses “estar”, what should I do?

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
209 views

¿Cuándo se usó el verbo “eser”? ¿Cómo se conjugaba?

En la pregunta ¿Tiene o ha tenido el verbo "ser" participio de presente? hemos descubierto una forma antigua del verbo ser: eser Del lat. *essĕre, de esse 'ser1'. ...
4
votes
3answers
858 views

What is the correct verb for temporary/transient color?

Color, generally, is ascribed with ser. In the mental model I'm assembling as I learn Spanish, this seems to be because it is, generally, a durable characteristic. El cielo es azul - the sky is blue. ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

When do you use 'tener' to replace 'estar' or 'ser' for am/is/are?

Is there a general structure for using tener in certain constructions in place of estar or ser? For example: Ser. For ' am 11 years old' we say: Yo tengo once años not Yo soy once años Estar....
4
votes
5answers
962 views

Should I use 'ser' or 'estar' to talk about when an event takes place?

I'm trying to say that recurring events are on certain days. Since its an event, should it be a phrase with ser? Or since the events fall on certain days, do I use estar?
4
votes
3answers
845 views

Ser and Estar Questions

I am aware of most of the basic usage of when to use ser vs estar and also that the meaning can change depending on which adjective is being used. However, there are a few instances where I am unsure ...
4
votes
2answers
93 views

Is 'sin ser' synonymous with 'sin estar'?

While I'm well aware of when to use ser versus when to use estar, I'm not so sure if the same rules apply to 'sin ser' and 'sin estar'. According to WordReference.com: sin ser = without being, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How can *estar aburrido* and *ser aburrido* both mean “to be boring”?

This is a question I'm asking just to answer it myself, but of course other answers are welcome. Answering this question about the curious property of aburrido as an active adjective (instead of the ...
4
votes
2answers
78 views

Dos formas por una función: “ser+participio” y “se pasiva” para referirse a algo en voz pasiva

Mis preguntas son algo básicas y generales: ¿Cuáles son los factores estilísticos y/o dialectales que inciden en la elección de "ser + participio" o "se pasiva refleja" para referirse a algo en voz ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I use “ser” or “estar” to translate “The wine cellar should be dark and dry”?

The sentence I want to translate is: The wine cellar should be dark and dry. Which of the following would be more appropriate and why? La bodega debe ser oscura y seca. La bodega debe estar oscura ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

Está aceptado vs. Es aceptado

Can I use both estar and ser with the adjective aceptado/a? ie. El niño está aceptado en la universidad or is it El niño es aceptado en la universidad ?
3
votes
2answers
798 views

¿Tiene o ha tenido el verbo “ser” participio de presente?

El antiguo participio de presente, que se diferencia del de pasado en que hace referencia a un sujeto activo más que a uno pasivo (amante el que ama activamente, amado el que recibe pasivamente el ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Estás versus Eres: meanings in “you are a noun + adjective”

Please can someone confirm if this understanding is correct? Both of the following sentences are correct. The distinction is that the first sentence grammatically says "at this moment you are a ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Uso de ser/estar cuando alguien es liberado

Hoy jugando con mi hijo mayor estábamos haciendo como que rescatábamos a un grupo de coches prisioneros de un malvado camión de basura. A la hora de poner a los coches en libertad, me salió decir: ¡...
3
votes
2answers
320 views

Which of the three Spanish “is” words should be used about the God's existence?

Which of the three Spanish is words (ser, estar, haber) should be used when talking about the God's existence? And is there any difference between speaking about the existence of any (pagan) gods, or ...
3
votes
2answers
23k views

Difference between “está” and “esta” or “esté” and “este”?

How do I know if I have to use the one with accent and not the one without accent? Could you provide examples?
3
votes
1answer
100 views

If I want to say something is “fresh” in Spanish, do I use “estar” or “ser”?

I was doing an exercise in the book, Spanish Grammar in Context when I came upon something rather simple, but something I had never really thought about before — whether or not to use estar or ser ...
3
votes
1answer
202 views

Does “ser loco” vs. “estar loco” work the same as in Brazilian Portuguese

In Brazilian Portuguese, both "estar louco" and "ser louco" may be used literally to refer to an insane person in a madhouse or figuratively to someone with a wild, unpredictable behavior. The only ...
3
votes
2answers
82 views

“Se es” vs “es” (Traduciendo “it's like that”)

Pensando en cómo traducir la frase inglesa: It's like that, how could it be different? Llegué a la frase española Es así, ¿cómo puede ser distinto? Pero no sé si es esta un situación en la que ...
3
votes
0answers
40 views

What is the difference between 'estoy' and 'soy'? [duplicate]

I thought that 'estoy' was the formal version of 'soy', but I saw that there were not many examples of using 'estoy' while referring to yourself. Also, I read that you don't use formal words when ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

¿Cuándo se usa “es” o “son”? [duplicate]

Estoy hablando con un amigo que está en Canadá y dice que se le olvidó el español, pero parece que yo tampoco estoy seguro de cuál es la forma correcta o por qué. ¿Hay alguna regla para cuándo se usa ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

Use of “está” to describe something being good/bad

I am learning Spanish with Collins Easy Learning Spanish. It gives the follow example: It is not very good = no es muy bueno It’s very good = está muy bueno Why does only one example use está to ...
2
votes
2answers
293 views

Ser/estar feliz VS ser/estar contento

I'm sorry, I didn't find any explanations with the search feature, among the thread titles for the ser/estar feliz, so it was probably already answered, but it seems impossible to find. But, also, I ...
2
votes
2answers
913 views

Ser vs estar in sentences about composition [duplicate]

Could someone please advise which is the verb of choice in sentences that talk about what things are made of or look like? See the following example: My bathroom is covered in tiles. For the above ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

Why not this ? How are you in Spanish?

We say "¿Quién eres tú?" for "who are you?" in Spanish ok. So why can't we say "¿Cómo eres tú?" for "how are you?" in Spanish? "Eres tú" means "are you" so why is "Cómo eres tú" incorrect for "how ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

“Estar” vs “ser” usage with “muy bien”

Está muy bien Why not say "Es muy bien"? In what context would you use "está muy bien"? What noun could you refer "estar" to? Could you refer "estar" to a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Use of “ser” vs “estar” with past participle

Se compró una figura que estaba hecha de madera. Why can't "era" be used in place of "estar"?
2
votes
3answers
117 views

Gramática: predicado nominal o predicado verbal

Lucia está en la cama con fiebre desde el martes. En mi libro “está” lo analiza como predicado nominal. Pero si yo quiero sustituir y hacer una prueba con el verbo quedarse por ejemplo, el ...