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Old 3rd April 2008, 05:41 PM   #1
sfmateo
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Default era v. estaba

pregunta: cuál es la diferéncia entre "era" y "estaba"? Cuando se usa una o la otra?
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Old 3rd April 2008, 07:50 PM   #2
AlMadrid
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I'm rich - Yo soy rico
I'm here - Yo estoy aquí
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Old 3rd April 2008, 10:05 PM   #3
sfmateo
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Default muchísimas grácias

No sabía que era tan fácil!
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Old 3rd April 2008, 11:02 PM   #4
Ben
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Creo que es un poco mas complicado en realidad...
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Old 3rd April 2008, 11:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfmateo View Post
pregunta: cuál es la diferéncia entre "era" y "estaba"? Cuando se usa una o la otra?
This is really the difference between "ser" and "estar" and many online spanish pages have helpful articles. Try this one from spanish.about.com and also follow some of the links on that page for more complex issues. We all suffer with this one! The more examples you can collect the better it gets. Buena suerte.
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Old 3rd April 2008, 11:14 PM   #6
ValenciaSon
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Default I'm no Marina but...

I'll give it a try. Soy refers to one's permanent being such as an identity. Estoy refers to a state of being which is more on the temporary side. So if one wants to state they are spanish, a permanent state of being, they would say "Soy Español". If one wanted to state they are tired, a temporary state of being, they would say "Estoy cansado".

So to wrap it up:

Soy-permanent
Estoy-temporary
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Old 3rd April 2008, 11:36 PM   #7
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This is a problem for all of us. Particularly when use of ser or estar changes the meaning; ie listo. But his original question was about era v estaba, both imperfect pasts, and therefore refering to something that has been, and is now over. This means that the situation was temporary for both uses of these words. My mind has had a problem overcoming the logic here if ser refers to something permanent and estar something temporary.
Would it be era casado, or estaba casado? Estaba enfermo, or era enfermo? In the present tense I have no problems with these examples, but in the now done and dusted past, which should be used?
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Old 4th April 2008, 12:55 AM   #8
yunouguaramin
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Default casado y enfermo

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
Would it be era casado, or estaba casado? Estaba enfermo, or era enfermo? In the present tense I have no problems with these examples, but in the now done and dusted past, which should be used?
‘casado’ es muy mala palabra para poner ejemplos con lo de ser/estar, porque se usa con los dos verbos indistintamente y con el mismo significado. ‘está casado’ y ‘es casado’ significa exactamente lo mismo en tiempo presente, y se usa una u otra a discreción.
En pasado, yo creo que es más correcto o está mas extendido usar el verbo estar. ‘Yo era casado’ suena mal pero… es de esas cosas que si se las oyes a un spanish native no dices nada, pero a alguien que está aprendiendo enseguida le dices ‘es mejor decir ‘yo estaba casado’’.
‘Yo fui casado’ no, nunca, solo vale ‘yo estuve casado’. Bueno si, se puede decir ‘yo fui casado por el arzobispo de Toledo’ pero entonces ‘casado’ se limita a la acción en si misma, casarse, no al estado civil, estar/ser casado. Y lo normal para este caso es decir ‘me casó el arzobispo de Tudela’.

Con ‘enfermo’ la situación es/está mas clara. (correctas las dos aquí, sorry).
En todos los casos y en todos los tiempos con ‘estar’.

Otra cosa es ‘soy un enfermo’, donde el ‘un’ cambia las cosas para dar paso a ‘ser’ e impedirlo a ‘estar’. ‘estoy un enfermo’ no tiene sentido. También es así para todos los pasados.
Gramaticalmente hablando, parece que ‘enfermo’ pasa de adjetivo con ‘estar’ a sustantivo con ‘ser un’.
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Old 4th April 2008, 01:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
This is really the difference between "ser" and "estar" and many online spanish pages have helpful articles. Try this one from spanish.about.com and also follow some of the links on that page for more complex issues. We all suffer with this one! The more examples you can collect the better it gets. Buena suerte.
Perhaps these videos help.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2ALp...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJsow...eature=related

Saludos.

-karI.
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Old 4th April 2008, 08:42 AM   #10
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Thanks Richardksa for asking the question that was on my mind!

Unfortunately I am not good enough yet to understand the Spanish reply
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Old 4th April 2008, 08:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonk View Post
Thanks Richardksa for asking the question that was on my mind!

Unfortunately I am not good enough yet to understand the Spanish reply
Sooo, what do ya think about this?

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=140193

http://www.bowdoin.edu/~eyepes/newgr/ats/32a35.htm

-karI.
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Old 4th April 2008, 09:16 AM   #12
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Jonk - I've had a go at translating yunouguaramin´s post for you. Hope it helps - or at least shows you some of the complexities

'casado' is a very bad word to give examples of ser/estar, because it is used with both words indiscriminately and with the same meaning. 'esta casado' and 'es casado' mean exactly the same in the present tense and you can use one or the other at your discretion.
In the past, I believe that it is more correct or is more widespread to use the verb 'estar'. 'Yo era casado' sounds very bad but ... these are things that if you hear a native Spanish speaker using them you say nothing, but to someone that is learning it follows that you say to them "it is better to say 'yo estaba casado' "
'Yo fui casado' never, only 'yo estuve casado'. But yes, one can say 'yo fui casado por el arzobisipo de Toledo' (I was married BY the archbishop...) but then 'casado' is limited to the action of being married, casarse, not the civil state, estar/ser casado. And for this case it is normal to say 'me casó el arzobisipo de Tudela'
With 'enfermo' the situation es/esta more clear (both correct here - sorry!) In all cases and in any tense use 'estar'
Another thing is 'soy un enfermo' (I am an invalid) where the 'un' changes things to allow 'ser' and stop 'estar'. 'estoy un enfermo' does not make sense. It is this way for all tenses.
Grammatically speaking, it appears that 'enfermo' acts as an adjective with 'estar', and as a noun with 'ser un'

Quote:
Originally Posted by yunouguaramin View Post
‘casado’ es muy mala palabra para poner ejemplos con lo de ser/estar, porque se usa con los dos verbos indistintamente y con el mismo significado. ‘está casado’ y ‘es casado’ significa exactamente lo mismo en tiempo presente, y se usa una u otra a discreción. En pasado, yo creo que es más correcto o está mas extendido usar el verbo estar. ‘Yo era casado’ suena mal pero… es de esas cosas que si se las oyes a un spanish native no dices nada, pero a alguien que está aprendiendo enseguida le dices ‘es mejor decir ‘yo estaba casado’’. ‘Yo fui casado’ no, nunca, solo vale ‘yo estuve casado’. Bueno si, se puede decir ‘yo fui casado por el arzobispo de Toledo’ pero entonces ‘casado’ se limita a la acción en si misma, casarse, no al estado civil, estar/ser casado. Y lo normal para este caso es decir ‘me casó el arzobispo de Tudela’. Con ‘enfermo’ la situación es/está mas clara. (correctas las dos aquí, sorry). En todos los casos y en todos los tiempos con ‘estar’. Otra cosa es ‘soy un enfermo’, donde el ‘un’ cambia las cosas para dar paso a ‘ser’ e impedirlo a ‘estar’. ‘estoy un enfermo’ no tiene sentido. También es así para todos los pasados. Gramaticalmente hablando, parece que ‘enfermo’ pasa de adjetivo con ‘estar’ a sustantivo con ‘ser un’.

Last edited by greytop; 5th April 2008 at 09:18 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 4th April 2008, 11:51 AM   #13
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Thanks Greytop for the translation. And thanks to Jonk for allowing me to analyse a problem I have had with the logic of the language.
@yunouguaramin: Estaba casado might be a poor example to use, but, as a divorced person, it is one that I needed to know!!!! Which is why I chose it. Thanks for the explanation. And now I also know not to say I was married to the archbishop of Toledo, which could have led to some embarrassment for both of us!
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Old 5th April 2008, 01:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardksa View Post
Thanks Greytop for the translation. I wouldn't have done it better, really.
And thanks to Jonk for allowing me to analyse a problem I have had with the logic of the language.
@yunouguaramin: Estaba casado might be a poor example to use, but, as a divorced person, it is one that I needed to know!!!! Which is why I chose it. Thanks for the explanation. It was a pleasure.

And now I also know not to say I was married to the archbishop of Toledo, which could have led to some embarrassment for both of us!

I wouldn’t worry too much about this…
Zapatero, ZP for friends, got four more years for keep haunting the dream of a truly progressist society, where all of us can live in peace and release our self-identity…
In not so long time in the future we could see this headlines at “HOLA”, where la crème de la crème lives.

I have thought it better, and maybe it’s better no, sorry.
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Old 5th April 2008, 07:23 AM   #15
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Thanks greytop for all the effort you put in to translating that!
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Old 5th April 2008, 09:19 AM   #16
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De nada. I probably need more of that

Last edited by greytop; 5th April 2008 at 08:28 PM. Reason: out with the a in with the e
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Old 5th April 2008, 01:04 PM   #17
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One thing that never ceases to amuse me, is the use of "Esta muerto," when referring to someone's death.
There's no way that's temporary, unless it's based on the Catholic idea of a life hereafter.










Runs for cover!
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Old 5th April 2008, 04:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
One thing that never ceases to amuse me, is the use of "Esta muerto," when referring to someone's death.
There's no way that's temporary, unless it's based on the Catholic idea of a life hereafter.

Runs for cover!
In my opinion the confusion between ' estar and ser ' for english ears comes about from incorrect teaching by schools and grammar books alike.
Typically english students of spanish are taught that there are 2 verbs ' to be ' in spanish. NOT TRUE. It is well to remember that ESTAR derives from the latin STARE = ' to stand ' and SER from latin ESSE = ' to be ' ....2 different verbs.
What students should be taught is there are many uses for the verb ' to be ' in English.
Spanish is more definitive and the 2 verbs should be recognised as a means of better expressing yourself, rather than regarding it as an unnecessary hinderance (of which there are many in Spanish) . It has a verb SER ' to be ' and ESTAR ' to describe a state,condition,emotion,location amongst other things.
Secondly students are also taught that SER is used for permanent conditions, ESTAR for temporary conditions and to indicate location. Mostly all true but not always.
-----------------------

SER is used to describe who or what someone or something is. A true sense of being.
ESTAR to describe a state , condition or emotion (mostly temporary but not always). However when a temporary condition reaches the extent of becoming a part of the character or the being of a person or thing, SER is used as an alternative, mostly to better express the condition. When someone is dead, that is permanent , but ' está muerto ' is used because death is a state. When you are dead there can't be a sense of ' being ' anything. However, in english one would say 'He is dead' because the english language doesn't define the difference. However, -esa persona es casi muerta- defines someone who is as good as being dead in a non literal sense.

Together with a gerund, ESTAR is also used to describe an ongoing action -No puedo atenderle, estoy hablando por teléfono-
ESTAR is also used to describe location, describing where someone or something is situated. This doesn't usually give rise to any confusion.
There are also many expressions and idioms containing ESTAR which do give rise to confusion for english ears and these can only be learnt parrot fashion.
---------------------

1. Está enfermo.(temporary state) He's ill
2. Es enfermo (permanent condition) He's an ill person (incurable)
3. Está en hospital. (location) He's in hospital.
4. Está hospitalizado. (state) He's hospitalized
----------------

This subject can't really be discussed without a mention of the passive construction because it is an additional frequent use of the verb SER. Both in English and Spanish it can be used to describe an action , in any verb tense , by the use of SER (to be) and a past participle. Estar with past participle describes a state and is also frequently used to describe a resultant state (often permanent) after a completed action.

1. El ladrón fue capturado (action ) por la policia y ya está (location) en cárcel.
The thief was captured by the police and now he is in prison.

2. The thief was captured by the police and now he is imprisoned.
El ladron fue capturado (action) por la policia y ya está encarcelado (state)

3. The thief was robbing the bank when the police arrived.
El ladrón estaba robando el banco cuando la policia llegó (gerund)
El ladrón era robando .... grammatically incorrect

4.The thief was thin and was wearing dark clothes.
El ladrón era delgado y llevaba ropa oscura. (permanent personal characteristic delgado)
El ladrón estaba delgado y llevaba ropa oscura. ...doesn't make sense in this context.

5. There are also times when either can be used with little diference in meaning.
El ladrón fue encarcelado. action by person , persons or organisation
El ladrón estaba encarcelado. state of incarceration while the investigation took place
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Old 5th April 2008, 07:29 PM   #19
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I've never really liked that permanent/temporary thing anyway, I prefer that estar describes the state of something whilst ser it's essence.
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Old 5th April 2008, 07:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greytop View Post
Da nada.

Ooops!
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