41 votes
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Etymologically, why do "ser" and "estar" exist? / Etimológicamente, ¿por qué existen "ser" y "estar"?

Way back in the times of the Latin language, there were two different verbs, but not with the same meaning as today: sum, es, esse, fui1, meaning "to be" (Spanish: "ser", "estar", "haber"). This was ...
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21 votes
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Translation of the phrase "I'm happy."

It depends on the context of the question . The verb "estar" in that phrase is commonly used for that particular moment. Estoy feliz. (I am happy at the moment.) However, "ser" can be used for ...
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  • 326
16 votes

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 stub for the answer. Feel free to collaborate, and remember to add links in case you add information coming from already answered questions. If you want to go deeper into the roots of ...
11 votes

Using “ser” without "un/una"?

That's an interesting use of broma. You know that the verb ser does not need an article when the word following is an adjective: El coche es azul. Ha sido divertido. In the case of broma, the ...
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10 votes

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

I think the answer is easy: what you think is the predicate is in fact the subject. The sentences are just inverted. If you turn them over, you get: Los avisos son lo mejor de la televisión. Los ...
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9 votes
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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?

"ser" + past participle in the present tense can be used in any passive context where the present is allowed. The difference with "estar" + past participle is that the former will indicate the process,...
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8 votes
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Which of the three Spanish "is" words should be used about the God's existence?

haber is used to talk about the existence of something, with that thing being a direct object. So if you could imagine yourself rewriting with existir, then haber is generally what you'll want to use....
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8 votes

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

Permanent vs. temporary can be a useful shorthand for ser vs. estar, but it's also an oversimplification. According to Cisneros' "Spanish in Three Months", the various usages of ser vs estar can be ...
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8 votes

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

As shown by the comment and the answer above, I think we can define a rule for the alternate use of "estar" and "tener" when predicating a state about the subject: "tener&...
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8 votes
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"Mi esposo piensa que es un santo" - why is "un" necessary in this sentence?

I agree with Mauricio but would like to add something that might account for the presence of the article in this particular case. Unlike most other nouns denoting occupation, religion, affiliation or ...
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7 votes

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

Why do ser and estar exist? They have different roots, in particular the Spanish verb ser has multiple roots: The infinitive (e.g. ser), the conditionals (e.g. sería) and the future form (e.g. seré) ...
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7 votes
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Estás versus Eres: meanings in "you are a noun + adjective"

The distinction is that the first sentence grammatically says "at this moment you are a naughty girl" This is incorrect. What you mean happens in this example: you see the girl all "...
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7 votes

Está aceptado vs. Es aceptado

Both the following forms are common to refer to the status of havig been admitted: El niño ha sido aceptado/admitido en la universidad El niño está aceptado/admitido en la universidad which means &...
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6 votes
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Why is "ser" and not "estar" used for expressing the current time?

This is one of those expressions that you should not try to translate from a language to another. You are not actually asking about the time, but about the hour. That What time is it? is sort of Which ...
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6 votes
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Use of "está" to describe something being good/bad

That would be an incomplete example. As you guess you can use both ser/estar. It is not very good If we refer to, for example a deal, we would use ser: (el trato) no es muy bueno If we refer to ...
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6 votes

Ser and Estar Questions

As a general rule, "ser" is used for permanent conditions and "estar", for temporary conditions. 1) You can say: "Este equipo está muy bueno" to mean that, considering its current composition or ...
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6 votes
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Why are "ser" and "estar" used in these two sentences?

It doesn't matter if you say: ¿Que tal estuvo tu noche? or ¿Que tal fue tu noche? Both mean the same, but fue is a little bit less formal. Also notice that fue in this case, comes from the verb ir ...
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6 votes

Using “ser” without "un/una"?

There are indeed cases in Spanish in which the zero article is used with singular, countable nouns. The examples at issue can take an indefinite article: Es (una) broma. Es (una) muy linda ciudad. (...
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5 votes
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What should we use when it comes to employment, "soy" or "estoy"?

To be a professor is a permanent characteristic, an attribute of the person, unrelated to their employment status. If you are a professor, you can be an unemployed professor, a professor working as a ...
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5 votes

What is the difference between "ser cierto" and "ser verdad"?

Verdad is a noun, Cierto is an adjective. In practice, they can be used almost interchangeably. Just make sure the syntax is correct for the type of word you're using ;) Es cierto // Es la verdad // ...
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5 votes
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"San Diego 'es' en California", or "San Diego 'está' en California"?

Estar is always used for location, as it's not an inherent characteristic of physical things. Don't think of ser as for permanent things rather for inherent, intrinsic, or essential qualities. ...
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5 votes
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When is it appropriate to use 'ser' versus 'estar' for 'nuevo' or 'barato'?

In English the verb To be is used in both cases but in Spanish those are two completely different verbs with different meanings. The full explanation could be a long one but the short one using your ...
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5 votes

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

In the DLE there is this meaning: uno, na 3. art. indet. Indica que lo denotado por el nombre o el grupo nominal al que precede no designa un individuo particular, sino un tipo. Un político ...
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5 votes
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How can *estar aburrido* and *ser aburrido* both mean "to be boring"?

There's at least one study¹ about the use of the copulas ser and estar (in Puerto Rican Spanish) that, among other things, finds that more than a few adjectives that are normally predicated with ser ...
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5 votes
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¿Tiene o ha tenido el verbo "ser" participio de presente?

Como le he comentado a Gustavson, barajaba la posibilidad de que el participio de presente (o activo) del verbo ser fuera ente. Y buscando un poco he dado con un artículo de la Fundéu que dice: El ...
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4 votes

Translation of the phrase "I'm happy."

In Spanish to talk about a feeling (happiness) you would use estar (denotes location or a state of being). Estoy ... contento (a) ...alegre ...feliz all of which translate to about the same ...
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4 votes

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

I would go with ser: El jueves era el día que cenábamos pizza cuando yo era pequeño. Los jueves eran los días que cenábamos pizza. We use ser to refer when a event takes place. El domingo es el día ...
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4 votes
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"Estar" vs "ser" usage with "muy bien"

You use estar bien/mal with people, things, places and situations that are good/bad and can change that state during time. You use es bueno/malo for (usually) permanent qualities, as being a good ...
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  • 1,015
4 votes
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Use of "ser" vs "estar" with past participle

You could use ser/era, Se compró una figura que era de madera. implying a (permanent) quality of the object. You use estar + past participle to indicate the result of an action (in this case, the ...
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4 votes
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Is 'sin ser' synonymous with 'sin estar'?

No, they are not Even though you are adding "sin" (therefore making it negative) it doesn't change the meaning of the verbs, ser is still ser and estar is still estar. In your example, you couldn't ...
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