Es - ésta
I want to know what's the difference between es and esta. I'm in present 2 chapter and it didn't give any idea and esta and es seems to be used both for 'is'. Any help is appreciated.
Usted habla ingles o espanol nativamente?
I will write my reply in english, as it's my native tongue:
Es (or "Ser") is used to say things that are more factual such as "Ella es una mujer." (She IS a woman) Or when you are simply saying that something is always something else as opposed to saying that it's only that thing right now. "La manzana es verde": you're saying that the apple is green, in essence. (as most apples are green by nature) And not "La manzana esta verde" because that would imply that you're saying it's ripe instead of just green, where being green is an innate property of the apple and being ripe is not.
Comparatively, Esta (or Estar) is used when you're saying something that can be changed, that is only in that state right now, or conditionally. For example: "Estoy triste, pero seré mejor pronto." (I am sad, but i will be better soon) In this example, you're sad, but only for a little bit.
Finally, in this short description of the two verbs, Estar is also used to start "Gerunds" (which are just verbs that end in "-ing" (e.g. swimming, jumping, playing [nadando, saltando, jugando]) So when you say "I am playing basketball right now," in spanish you would use estar as such: "Estoy jugando baloncesto ahorita"
Hope this helps!
You may find this helpful: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/serest1.htm. That's 'part 1', and then there are parts 2, 3, and 4 in the left hand menu.
It used to be common to define the difference between ser and estar (es and está) as being between long-standing traits and temporary ones. This doesn't really work all that well when you try to pin it down. It's closer to say that you use estar with locations (Estoy en mi cuarto) and conditions (¿Tú estás feliz?), and ser for essential qualities. Even this, however, doesn't work 100%, when you try to pin down what is a condition and what isn't. So it's not foolproof, but it will give you a start on understanding it. If you start with that, or read those pages in StudySpanish.com, you should be ready to go for simple Spanish, and then as you go along, you'll notice exceptions you can just retain.
(In the most recent weekly Lingots For Stories activity on this discussion, I mistakenly used 'estar' to say "When I was young, my mother--" One can see being young as a condition, rather than an essential trait, but in fact, it takes ser, not estar. Live and learn. G2DIPI corrected me, and now I'll remember.)