HomeQ&AWhat's the difference between Ser & Estar?

What's the difference between Ser & Estar?

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Ser & Estar are almost the same thing, right? What is the difference!?

12038 views
updated NOV 22, 2010
posted by matis11

5 Answers

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Welcome to the forum. grin The different between ser and estar can be really confusing because they both mean "to be." However, they are used very differently.

Take a look at this lesson found in the Reference section on Ser vs. Estar.

¡Buena suerte!

updated OCT 19, 2009
edited by --Mariana--
posted by --Mariana--
very good reccomendation - DJ_Huero, OCT 19, 2009
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Ser is more of a permanent to of "to be", where as Estar is more of a temporary. For instance, Soy de los Estados Unidos (I'm from the United States)....Estoy en mi casa (I'm in my house). You see the differences?

updated NOV 22, 2010
posted by DJ_Huero
The temporary/permanent "rule" is not a good one. For example, Nueva York esta en los Estados Unidos...pretty permanent for the use of estar, isn't it? - --Mariana--, OCT 19, 2009
But you wouldn't use "esta". That's a permanent attribute, New York isn't going anywhere. Give the lesson a double look, unless I misunderstood it. Cause I just breezed over it myself. - DJ_Huero, OCT 19, 2009
Yes, you do use "estar" in my example. That's my point -- New York is permanent yet we use "estar." The temporary/permanent rule often doesn't work. - --Mariana--, OCT 19, 2009
Ok, possibly I could understand for you New York example after reading the Location aspect in the lesson..BUt that's the ONLy time, all other permanent uses the verb "ser". - DJ_Huero, OCT 19, 2009
DJ, take a look at this lesson by Lazarus...it's good. http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100848/ser-y-estar-by-lazarus - --Mariana--, OCT 19, 2009
How about "Mi abuelo está muerto" which is another permanent condition, yet we use "estar." - --Mariana--, OCT 19, 2009
ok will do, I was just going by prior knowledge and the link you referenced. =) but thanks, i'm always up for learning something new, hope I haven't come across rude, I wasn't trying to. =) - DJ_Huero, OCT 19, 2009
No, no...I didn't think you were rude at all! I changed the link to the better lesson where it's explained in more detail. Ser and estar can be very confusing! - --Mariana--, OCT 19, 2009
well thanks for the clarity, and hopefully even others will see even the experienced have trouble with it. =) - DJ_Huero, OCT 19, 2009
estar is ALWAYS used when refering to the location of something....El edificio está detras del parque.....España e Italia están en europa.... - GregFL, NOV 22, 2010
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i like to use the saying "How you feel and where you are is when you use the verb estar"... but that is just a starting point.

updated NOV 2, 2009
posted by emmski
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This is a great link to a lesson by Lazarus, which states reasons why we don't use the "permanent/temporary rule" when deciding whether to use "estar" or "ser."

Ser vs. Estar

updated OCT 19, 2009
posted by --Mariana--
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In the Learn Spanish section it is lesson 1.11 if you have time to go through it.

updated OCT 19, 2009
posted by Seitheach
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