How do you know when to use "se, es and esta"?
They all mean "is" in spanish, but I never know which one to use in certain sentences. thank you! :D
Note before: 'Esta' is derived from the word, 'Estar' whilst 'Es' is derived from 'Ser'. Please see below:
Ser or Estar, that is the question!
When I think of the differences between ser and estar, I like to think of ser as the passive verb and estar as the active one. (I'm not using the terms in a grammatical sense here.) Ser tells you what something is, the nature of its being, while estar refers more to what something does. I might use soy (the first-person present of ser) to tell you what I am, but I'd use estoy (the first-person present of estar) to tell you what I am being.
Now that's probably not as clear as it could be, but let me give you a few examples. I might say, "Estoy enfermo." That would tell you that I am being sick, that I am sick at the moment. But it doesn't tell you what I am. Now if I were to say, "Soy enfermo," that would have a different meaning entirely. That would refer to who I am, to the nature of my being. We might translate that as "I am a sick person" or "I am sickly."
To see more differences on the use of 'Ser' and 'Estar' please see this websites very own link: http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100040/ser-and-estar
Now, for 'Se', do you mean the 'se' before a verb, like 'se reúne'?
Jessica, the link below will take you to a video lesson on this site. The lesson describes the use of "ser" and "estar", as Seb has already mentioned.
The video takes about 10 minutes to watch. It helped me in the beginning, and I still reference it occasionally.