Use of "I AM"

Use of "I AM"


To answer How are you?, I say "I am ..."-"Estoy..." To answer Describe myself, I say "I am (artistic)" - "(Yo) Soy Artisica"

What are the rules for when to use "I am" (Estoy) vs "I am" (Soy)?

updated JUL 13, 2010
posted by sprmar

3 Answers


HI Sprmar, and welcome to the forum.

This is one of our most popular questions, which gets asked daily. Please do a search in the search box for "ser v estar"

Also here is an article from our reference section.

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by Goyo
Good call Goyo! :) - Jason7R, JUL 12, 2010
Thanks. Did the search for "I am", never thought to look up "To Be". This is going to be challenging. - sprmar, JUL 12, 2010

I was very confused with ser v. estar at first, until a Mexican friend of mine explained it to me in simple terms-- She told me that you use estar with temporary states of being, and you use ser with permanent states of being.

Ex: Estoy aburrida. I am bored at the moment, but I will not necessarily be bored forever.

Soy una humana. I will ALWAYS be a human.

updated JUL 13, 2010
posted by SavviVague
Él está muerto is the example usually given to argue against your "rule". - 0074b507, JUL 12, 2010
That is, unless you believe in reincarnation or resurrection. Then maybe death isn't permanent. - 0074b507, JUL 12, 2010
Ayer fue adolescente hoy soy mayor. - samdie, JUL 12, 2010
It's a bad "rule". - samdie, JUL 12, 2010
Anteayer fui estudiante, ayer recibí mi diploma y hoy soy professor. - samdie, JUL 12, 2010
I know it isn't set in stone... NO "rules" are set in stone in English... I find it easier to use this and learn the exceptions... keeps me straight most of the time... thought it might help someone else as well - SavviVague, JUL 13, 2010

You are not the first, you will not be the last.

Don't worry about it.

updated JUL 12, 2010
posted by fontanero
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