Is it the same person whose body was found on the beach in one of the previous exercise?
Shall we say at least a very unusual condition that we assume/hope is not permanent! ;)
Don't use permanent vs temporary unless you want to go crazy. Use DOCTOR PLACE
Ser = DOCTOR (date, occupation, characteristics, time, origin, relation)
Estar = PLACE (position, location, action, condition, emotion)
Thanks EntourageEffect for these acronyms. I have learnt about this in a book, but I think that the acronyms will help me remember them better, as I also used to think immediately about permanent vs temporary when I think about ser and estar. Have a lingot.
Yeah, it sounds like s/he is cyanotic -- hir blood isn't oxygenating. And conditions of acute illness are generally estar. (Ella está enferma.)
Though I think a chronic condition is ser. (Ella es diabética.) So I guess if her lips were chronically blue because of some condition, you might be able to use ser? But I'm not aware of anything like that.
I suppose she might have done the "permanent makeup" tatoo thing, as well, in which case ser might be appropriate. Again, it's a stretch.
My understanding is that when it comes to colours, ser is used when it's the natural colour of something (el pasto es verde, el cielo es azul) but then estar is used when it's anything out of the usual (las flores están marrón, sus labios están azules).
Hmmm, I think it's like 'trousers' in English, it's always in the plural, so it should be "... are blue" in English.
Though now I'm confusing myself, since 'hair' for example takes singular, "my hair is long", even though I have more than one of them! Perhaps it depends on the noun in English.
In any case, are you saying that it would have to be singular Spanish?
No, it needed to be plural. "lip" is not always pluralized, though. You could have just one blue lip, but in this case the sentence says labios, which implies that they both are blue.
There are two kinds of nouns: countable and uncountable. Things that can easily be counted (dogs, people, lips) are "countable". They can be pluralized. Things that not easy to count (milk, water) are "uncountable" or "mass" nouns. They generally cannot be pluralized, though context matters.
This should provide a more complete explanation: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/countable-nouns
Hair is like water. It's basically uncountable, so a mass of hair is not pluralized. There are many hairs on your head, but together they make a single set. Individual hairs are countable, but a head covered in hair is not.
Great. Now I need more black trash bags. Hopefully the garbage truck guys don't ask about it like last time.