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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34 votes
8 answers
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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 ...
Gordon Gustafson's user avatar
33 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
snumpy's user avatar
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31 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
BladorthinTheGrey's user avatar
25 votes
6 answers
11k 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 ...
Nathan Greenstein's user avatar
24 votes
3 answers
10k 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?...
David G's user avatar
  • 1,133
21 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Charlie's user avatar
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14 votes
5 answers
2k 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?
jacoballens's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
4k 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! ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 2,199
12 votes
2 answers
3k 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
V.Lydia's user avatar
  • 415
12 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Jaime Soto's user avatar
  • 1,610
10 votes
6 answers
9k 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?
jrdioko's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
960 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 ...
jrdioko's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
216 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 ...
Alpha's user avatar
  • 655
8 votes
3 answers
6k 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?
jrdioko's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
508 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. ...
tchrist's user avatar
  • 2,050
8 votes
2 answers
79k 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 ...
user3635808's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
471 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
343 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 ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 405
7 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Rock Anthony Johnson's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 249
6 votes
3 answers
387 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 ...
Lisa Beck's user avatar
  • 5,543
6 votes
2 answers
301 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? =...
sf_admin's user avatar
  • 581
6 votes
2 answers
55k 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?
Alfredo Osorio's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Ser rico / Estar rico

como de costumbre los foros presentan 48 opiniones diferentes acerca de este asunto, así que vengo aquí con la esperanza de encontrar alguna respuesta más o menos categórica que ponga fin a eso de una ...
CeraVieja's user avatar
  • 409
6 votes
1 answer
479 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'. ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 77.5k
5 votes
3 answers
1k 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. ...
Michael Ekstrand's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Simple 's user avatar
  • 955
5 votes
3 answers
171 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 ...
Stormblessed's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
325 views

Should I use "ser" or "estar" for dyed hair?

So I'm doing Duolingo and I just reviewed the To Be section and they had many examples of phrases similar to He is blonde / Él es rubio This makes sense to me as someone is intrinsically "...
Alex Rowden's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
4k 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....
user3591466's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
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 ...
TheLearner's user avatar
  • 5,411
4 votes
5 answers
2k 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?
Bonnie's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
111 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, ...
Rock Anthony Johnson's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
pablodf76's user avatar
  • 39.5k
4 votes
2 answers
103 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 ...
Tom Leslie's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
256 views

What is the difference between "completarse" and "estar terminado"?

I was trying to create my own sentences in Spanish and using a machine translator to check what I came up with. When I checked: The trading must be completed by 4 this afternoon. I was given this ...
Lisa Beck's user avatar
  • 5,543
3 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 77.5k
3 votes
2 answers
819 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 ?
Uuandem's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
1 answer
210 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 ...
DVCITIS's user avatar
  • 145
3 votes
3 answers
2k 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: ¡...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 77.5k
3 votes
2 answers
370 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 ...
Honza Zidek's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
850 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 ...
Lisa Beck's user avatar
  • 5,543
3 votes
1 answer
453 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 ...
Alan Evangelista's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
119 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 ...
Cerulean's user avatar
  • 431
3 votes
1 answer
102 views

Uso de "estar" en un contexto donde normalmente se usaria "ser"

Yo soy brasileño y desde Febrero estoy viviendo en Argentina. No sé si esta cuestión tiene que ver solamente con el español argentino/rioplatense o es una cuestión general. El tema es lo siguiente: La ...
Mateus Felipe's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
45 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 ...
Hay's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
9k 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 ...
Juan Carlos Oropeza's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
310 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 ...
big_smile's user avatar
  • 1,629
2 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Quidam's user avatar
  • 585
2 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
TheLearner's user avatar
  • 5,411