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"Estar triste" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to be sad", and "ser" is a copular verb which is often translated as "to be". Learn more about the difference between "estar triste" and "ser" below.
estar triste(
ehs
-
tahr
 
trees
-
teh
)
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. (general)
a. to be sad
Begoña está triste porque ayer se murió su gato.Begoña is sad because her cat died yesterday.
b. to feel sad
Cuando estoy triste, lo único que me levanta el ánimo es un buen libro.When I feel sad, the only thing that cheers me up is a good book.
c. to feel blue
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
No me extraña que estés triste con este tiempo que está haciendo.I'm not surprised you feel blue with this weather we're having.
d. to feel down
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
A veces está triste sin motivo aparente. Creo que tiene un poco de depresión.Sometimes he feels down for no apparent reason. I think he's a bit depressed.
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ser(
sehr
)
A copular verb links the subject of a clause to the predicate (e.g. My brother is tall).
1. (used to talk about characteristics)
a. to be
Sus ojos son azules.Her eyes are blue.
Mi abuelo es profesor.My grandpa is a teacher.
An intransitive verb is one that does not require a direct object (e.g. The man sneezed.).
2. (used to indicate origin)
a. to be
Soy de Nueva York.I'm from New York.
3. (to serve as)
a. to be
El lápiz es para escribir, no para lanzar.Pencils are for writing, not for throwing.
4. (used to talk about prices)
a. to be
¿Cuánto quiere por este cuadro? - Son diez dólares.How much do you want for this picture? - It's ten dollars.
5. (to be composed of)
a. to be made of
El casillero antiguo de mi abuela es de roble.My grandma's antique dresser is made of oak.
6. (used to indicate possession)
a. to be
Este reloj es de mi madre.This watch is my mother's.
7. (to take place)
a. to be
La fiesta será en mi casa.The party will be at my place.
8. (to be associated with; used with "de")
a. to root for
Yo soy del mejor equipo del mundo: FC Barcelona.I root for the best team in the world: FC Barcelona.
An impersonal verb is a verb with no apparent subject (e.g. Llueve en España.).
9. (used to express time)
a. to be
Son las siete de la mañana.It is seven in the morning.
Era de noche cuando llegaron.It was night when they arrived.
An auxiliary verb, or helper verb, is a conjugated verb that comes before a main verb and determines the main verb's tense, mood, or aspect (e.g. I have gone.).
10. (with the passive voice)
a. to be
El edificio fue diseñado por un equipo de arquitectos.The building was built by a team of architects.
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
11. (entity)
a. being
Hay un ser vivo en el lago, pero no sé qué es.There's a living being in the lake, but I don't know what it is.
12. (human)
a. person
Su papá es un ser muy agradable.Her dad is a very nice person.
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