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DuffieSunday 10th of July 2005 09:13:02 AM
STOOP & ELF - OK. So here's how I learned the difference. It seems like it would be ineffective and take too much time to ponder in a real dialogue. But, after plenty of practice, it just became second nature.

STOOP
Ser
Time: example "Son las once."
Origin: "¿De dónde eres?"
Occupation: "ella es una profesora"
Personal Characteristic: "Soy muy bajo."

ELF
Estar
Location: "¡Estoy en la piscina!"
Feeling: "¿Estás cansado?"



I hope this helps some learners like it helped me.

And I hope I didn't post this already...
CarameliciousSunday 10th of July 2005 09:19:14 AM
- I learned the difference with a simple rhyme that also has the same effect as your dialog Duffie!

"If it's how you feel or where you are, always use the verb estar."

It explains itself.... if you are talking about a feeling or location, use estar.... for everything ser.
GoranBcnSunday 10th of July 2005 05:46:11 PM
Some examples of SER and ESTAR -



ESTAR:

Yo estoy
Tú estás
Él, ella está
Nosotros/as estamos
Vosotras/as estáis
Ellos, ellas están



SER:

Yo soy
Tú eres
Él, ella es
Nosotros/as somos
Vosotras/as sois
Ellos, ellas son



Examples:

The apple is green.
(Meaning the apple is not ripe.)

The apple is green.
(Meaning the color of the apple is green.)

In the first case, our example speaks of the condition of the apple. The apple is green because it has not yet ripened. When the condition of the apple changes, that is, when it has ripened, it will no longer be green.

In the second case, our example speaks of the essential characteristics of the apple. The apple is green in color. This particular apple remains green even after it has ripened.

In English, the verb "to be" can be used to tell how something is (the condition) and what something is (the essence).

How is the apple?
It is unripe.

What color is the apple?
It is green.

In Spanish, a different verb is used to express "to be" depending on whether the speaker intends to address a condition or an essential quality.

La manzana está verde.
The apple is green. (condition)

La manzana es verde.
The apple is green. (essence)

Note how the adjective "verde" actually changes meaning, depending upon whether it is used with ser or estar.

La manzana está verde.
(condition: unripe)

La manzana es verde.
(essential characteristic: color green)

Ser is used to express the hour, day, and date.

¿Qué hora es?
What time is it?

Son las dos.
It's two o'clock.

¿Qué día es hoy?
What day is today?

Hoy es lunes.
Today's Monday.

¿Qué fecha es hoy?
What's the date today?

Es el cinco de mayo.
It's May fifth.

Ser is used to express place of origin.

¿De dónde eres tú?
Where are you from?

Soy de Colombia.
I'm from Colombia.

Ser is used to express occupation.

¿Cuál es tu trabajo?
What do you do?

Soy carpintero
I'm a carpenter

Ser is used to express nationality.

¿Es ella puertorriqueña?
Is she Puerto Rican?

No, es guatemalteca.
No, she's Guatemalan.

Ser is used to express religious or political affiliation.

¿Son los García bautistas?
Are the Garcias Baptists?

No, son católicos.
No, they're Catholics.

¿Es el gobierno socialista?
Is the government socialist?

No, es comunista.
No, it's communist.

Ser is used to express the material something is made of.

¿De qué material es la mesa?
What's the table made of?

Es de madera.
It's made of wood.

Ser is used to express possession.

¿De quién es la pluma?
Whose pen is it?

Es de Emilio.
It's Emilio's.

Ser is used to express the relationship of one person to another.

¿Quién es Rogelio?
Who is Roger?

Es el esposo de Marta.
He's Martha's husband.

Ser is used with certain impersonal expressions.

Es importante practicar cada día.
It's important to practice every day.

Es necesario hablar mucho.
It's necessary to speak a lot.

Ser is used to tell where an event is taking place.

La película es en el cine.
The movie is at the theatre.

La fiesta es en el club Fantástico.
The party is in the Fantastic Club

Ser is used with adjectives to express inherent, or essential qualities.

Miguel es un hombre sincero.
Mike is a sincere man.

También es guapo.
He's also handsome.

To sum up SER is used to express:

1. the hour, day, and date
2. place of origin
3. occupation
4. nationality
5. religious or political affiliation
6. the material something is made of
7. possession
8. relationship of one person to another
9. certain impersonal expressions
10. where an event is taking place
11. essential qualities




Estar is used to express geographic or physical locations.

¿Dónde estás?
Where are you?

Estoy en el laboratorio.
I'm in the laboratory.

¿Dónde está Chile?
Where's Chile?

Chile está en América del Sur.
Chile is in South America.

Estar is used with adjectives to express a state or condition.

¿Cómo está la sopa?
How's the soup?

La sopa está fría.
The soup is cold.

¿Cómo estás tú?
How are you?

Estoy muy bien, gracias.
I am very well, thanks.

Estar is used with many idiomatic expressions. These are just a few.

estar de acuerdo
to be in agreement

estar de pie
to be standing

estar en camino
to be on the way

estar en las nubes
to daydream

Estar is used with the progressive tenses. You will learn more about this usage later. We present it now simply because it is an important use of the verb estar.

¿Qué estás comiendo?
What are you eating?

Estoy comiendo arroz y frijoles.
I am eating rice and beans.

Let's review. Estar is used to express:

1. geographic or physical location
2. state or condition
3. many idiomatic expressions
4. progressive tenses

When the verb "to be" is followed by a noun, the verb ser is always used. In this instance, it might be helpful to think of the verb as equivalent to an "equal" sign, such as a = b. This type of sentence is always referring to essential characteristics, since the verb is "linking" what comes before the verb to what comes after the verb.

John is a doctor.
John = doctor.

Juan es médico.

When the verb "to be" is followed by an adjective, the verb used depends upon the meaning. When referring to an essential characteristic, use ser. When referring to a state or condition, use estar.

La sopa está fría.
The soup is cold.

Los elefantes son grandes.
The elephants are big.

When the verb "to be" is followed by an adjective, the verb can actually change the meaning of the adjective.

El profesor está aburrido.
The professor is bored.

El profesor es aburrido.
The professor is boring.

Distinguishing between origin, location, and "to take place." To describe origin, or where something is from, use ser. To describe location, or where something is located right now, use estar. To tell where an event is taking place, use ser.

Mónica es de España.
Mónica está en Venezuela.
La fiesta es en la casa de Mónica.

Let's review.

1. When a noun follows the verb, use ser
2. When an adjective follows the verb, decide between "essence" and "condition"
3. To tell where something is from, use ser
4. To tell where something is located right now, use estar
5. To tell where an event is taking place, use ser