Question for Spanish-speakers: ser or estar?

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Runa27
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Question for Spanish-speakers: ser or estar?

Post by Runa27 » 01 Oct 2005 23:19

When speaking of location, would it be "estar" or "ser"? I know it's ser if it's nationality, religion, or occupation, but I can't remember what you do about location for some reason... :sweat:


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kokoyaya
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Post by kokoyaya » 01 Oct 2005 23:35

It depends :)
I'm from England: soy de Inglaterra
I'm in England: estoy en Inglaterra

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Agimcomas
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Post by Agimcomas » 03 Oct 2005 01:32

Yea, i don't think locations have anything to do. That approach for learning the difference between ser and estar, I find it unnecessarily confusing.

Most of the times:

Use ser to describe something you can't change or that normally won'r change. For example:
"Soy de Inglaterra" If you are from England, there's really nothing you can do about it, right? :loljump:

Parenthesis:
"Estoy de Inglaterra" does not make any sense, it's grammatically incorrect, except if, for example, someone's dressed with let's say, te english football team shirt. In that case, "estoy de inglaterra" does make sense, but only if the context is clear.


"Soy el presidente de la companía". Even if you might not occupy that position forever, if you are the president of a company, that would normally not change for a long time.

Estar is always temporary. "Estoy en Francia" You are in France, but you can easily change that by travelling.

So, in summary, "ser" is for permanent things and "estar" is for temporary things.
Of course, people can play with the language and the use of these verbs can vary depending on what the speaker wants to express.

Good luck.

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Post by Runa27 » 03 Oct 2005 03:14

So, it would be:

La biblioteca es en el edificio tres

but:

Estoy en la biblioteca, en el edificio tres.

Right?

I was mostly asking which form to use with location of things... like, "The library is...". So I guess if it's not going to move, you use ser? I thought that, but I felt like I would check to be sure. ;)

¡Muchos gracias! :D


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michka
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Post by michka » 03 Oct 2005 16:07

Runa27 wrote:
So, it would be:

La biblioteca es en el edificio tres

but:

Estoy en la biblioteca, en el edificio tres.

Right?
I think that you should rather use estar in both sentences. Estar is the best choice for locations (sentences like "Soy de Valencia" denote provenance, not location).

Examples:
  • Me gustaria ir a San Lorenzo de el Escorial: ¿ a cuanto tiempo está de Madrid, y como puedo llegar ahí ?

    La Biblioteca César E. Chávez está en la esquina de la calle E. 12 y la Avenida 33.

    La torre está muy próxima a la Mezquita Mayor musulmana y primitiva Catedral de la ciudad, denominada de Santa María del Castillo...

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michka
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Post by michka » 03 Oct 2005 18:28

Agimcomas wrote:
So, in summary, "ser" is for permanent things and "estar" is for temporary things.
Some more examples, showing the difference between the two verbs:
  • Estoy cansado, I am tired. - Soy cansado, I am a tired person.
    Estoy feliz, I'm happy now. - Soy feliz, I am happy by nature.
    Está callada, she's being quiet. - Es callada, she's introverted.
    No soy listo, I'm not a quick thinker. - Estoy listo, I'm ready.
Among the major exceptions to the above way of thinking is that ser is used in expressions of time, such as "Son las dos de la tarde" for "It's 2 p.m." or "Hoy es lunes" for "Today is Monday". Also, we use estar to indicate someone has died — quite a permanent condition: Está muerto, he is dead.

There also a few idiomatic expressions that simply need to be learned, although that comes naturally with time:
  • La manzana es verde, the apple is green.
    La manzana está verde, the apple is unripe.
    Está muy bien la comida, the meal tastes very good.

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antiracista
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Explanation

Post by antiracista » 03 Oct 2005 18:48

Check this out. This may help you.

http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/serest4.htm

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pc2
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Post by pc2 » 04 Oct 2005 01:20

salutations.

we will try to explain by using examples:

an example of ser:
yo soy español.
it indicates that the speaker is Spanish.

if it was:
yo estoy español.
it would not make sense, because the speaker would be saying that he is Spanish at that moment, and it's not specifying that the speaker is always Spanish.

best regards,
Merci de corriger notre français si nécessaire.
Paulo Marcos -- & -- Claudio Marcos
Brasil/Brazil/Brésil

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Post by Runa27 » 04 Oct 2005 08:28

pc2 wrote: if it was:
yo estoy español.
it would not make sense, because the speaker would be saying that he is Spanish at that moment, and it's not specifying that the speaker is always Spanish.

best regards,
:loljump: There was an episode of Las Vegas on tonight that had a man with multiple personalities, one of which was "Carlos"... sorry, that just made me think of that, because that character or a spy are probably the only people who could use "estar" in that context and get away with it, hehe!

But, actually, I was mostly just asking which verb is used with location of things such as libraries (I was in fact trying to figure out how to say "the library is in building three."). I actually found out from my teacher today that surprisingly, you do actually use "estar" for locations of buildings or cities or things like that, it is an exception to the rule, just like how ser is used for time even though time changes. Heh. Figures that he would cover that in the lessons AFTER I tried to use it myself. :lol:

But thanks very much for your help, guys. And thanks for the link, antiracista! That looks like a good way to get some practice in. ^_^


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pc2
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Post by pc2 » 08 Oct 2005 02:16

you're welcome, Runa27.
Merci de corriger notre français si nécessaire.
Paulo Marcos -- & -- Claudio Marcos
Brasil/Brazil/Brésil

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