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Quick answer
"Estar mal" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to be wrong", and "mala" is a noun which is often translated as "mailbag". Learn more about the difference between "estar mal" and "mala" below.
estar mal(
ehs
-
tahr
 
mahl
)
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to be incorrect)
a. to be wrong
La fecha está mal. Mi cumpleaños es el 15 de mayo.The date is wrong. My birthday is on May 15th.
2. (to be morally incorrect)
a. to be wrong
Está mal mentir. Por favor, di la verdad.Lying is wrong. Please tell the truth.
3. (to be unhappy)
a. to be sad
Mi hermana está mal porque se peleó con su mejor amiga.My sister is sad because she got into a fight with her best friend.
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mala(
mah
-
lah
)
A feminine noun is almost always used with feminine articles and adjectives (e.g. la mujer bonita, la luna llena).
1. (mail satchel)
a. mailbag
No sé cómo el cartero logra cargar esa mala con lo grande que está.I don't know how the mailman manages to carry that mailbag, as big as it is.
2. (correspondence)
a. mail
Regionalism used in the United States
(United States)
El cartero solía entregar la mala extranjera solo dos veces por semana.The mailman used to deliver foreign mail only twice a week.
b. post (United Kingdom)
La mayoría de la mala que me llega ahora son catálogos o facturas.Most of the post I receive nowadays is catalogues or bills.
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