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When to use "essere" and "stare"

they both mean the same thing right? lui sta lui è...he is :he is??

February 5, 2013


  • 2543

An interesting link is the following, if you want to translate:


In short, when talking about being in a place or condition, stare indicates a general placement, essere the current one; sto a Roma means I'm normally in Rome, sono a Roma that I'm in Rome right now. In common usage, this distinction isn't actually applied, and depending on regional variants you might find stare used more than it ought to.

When you're not talking about "being in", though, the two verbs generally aren't equivalent, and you have to pick one depending on context and conjugation.


Both "lui sta" and "lui è" are normally translated as “he is” in English, so you’re right about that. The difference is that “essere” is usually used to talk about something which has to do with identity, for example “Lui è italiano”: “ He's Italian”; while “stare” is usually used to talk about being in a particular state, for example “Lui sta bene”: “He's well”. Being Italian is part of one’s identity, while being well is not.

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