https://www.duolingo.com/jPHq

essere or stare

What is the difference ?

September 7, 2016

17 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Bobboski

Essere = to be
Stare = to stay

Sono a casa = I am (at) home
Sto a casa = I stay at home

Stare is also used to create the Gerundio Italian mood (present continuous).

E.g. Sto andando a casa = I am going home

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_-ShyGirl-_

lol, my answer was a little simpler than yours....but I have not been taking Italian as long as you so I am not that good yet <3

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bobboski

Haha I'm Italian anyways ;)

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_-ShyGirl-_

That's so cool! My dad is Italian....

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinCroft

Correct if I'm wrong but believe that "stare" is also used in certain expressions like: "Come stai?"-"How are you?", "Stai zitto!"-"Be quiet!" and "Sto per farlo."-"I'm about to do it." :)

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bobboski

Well said!

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinCroft

Couldn't respond to your last comment ;). Grazie mille per la conferma! :)

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/jPHq

so sono means i am and sto means i am I am a little confused

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MABBY

For the purposes of Duolingo, Sto does mean "I am". It is always accepted as correct.
When you do the unit on gerunds, you will get very acquainted with the verb "stare".
Sto nuotando, in English, means "I am swimming" but in Italian the thought process is more like "I stay swimming" or "I remain swimming"-- but don't worry about "stay" on Duolingo answers; use "I am" for sto.

What you must do, though, is use "(io) Sono" for the present tense sentences with "I am".
I am a man--> Sono un uomo; never : Sto un uomo.

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MartinCroft

These are some very insightful remarks. I really love your threads about Italian expressions and grammar btw :).

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Bobboski

sto means "I stay". Read my first comment and MartinCroft's comment for more info.

September 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

Essere describes being in some place as a state, or condition.

Stare describes being in some place as an action.

  • io sono qui = I am here [the condition of being in this place, like 'I am tall', 'I am a student']

  • io sto qui = I am here [as an action, 'I am standing here', 'I am staying here']

For this reason, in grammar essere is not considered a real verb (strictly speaking), because it does not tell you what the subject does (i.e. an action), but what or where the subject is (a description). Essere is considered a copula (or copular verb), i.e. a link that connects the subject of the sentence to whatever follows (called a predicate), which can be either a noun ('I am a student'), or an adjective ('I am tall'), providing a description of the subject.

Instead, stare is considered a true verb.

Essere answers the question 'where are you?' → sono qui = 'I'm here'

Stare answers the question 'what are you doing?' → sto qui = 'I'm staying here'

In the colloquial language, stare is often used in place of essere to indicate a position:

dov'è la mia penna? ~~ è lì = where is my pen? - it's there

dove sta la mia penna? ~~ sta lì [colloquial]

But for this purpose essere is more proper.

September 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Mohamed_Rabiaa

Are they like "ser" and "estar" in Spanish?

September 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/gilmeansjoy

From my experience here and my memory of Spanish, no, they perform completely differently. In Spanish, you use "estar" for description of potentially temporary things. (e.g. "Estoy feliz.","Esta rojo.") But "ser" is used for permanent information (e.g. "Soy de Argentina.","Es un hombre.") That's a very basic surface approach, of course, and it helps to learn the language more deeply in order to understand their differing uses.

ETA: However, "estoy" is used for gerund like "stare" is in Italian.

September 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Mohamed_Rabiaa

you should say "soy alto"

September 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/gilmeansjoy

You're completely right.

September 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/_-ShyGirl-_

"essere" means "be", and "stare" means "stay"

September 7, 2016
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