"My father is not very old."
Translation:Mi padre no es muy viejo.
Aargh, I cannot for the life of me ever figure out when to use es versus esta! The whole permanent/temporary thing doesn't help! Grrr!
Yeah that's really tough, and just takes time. I like to think of it as "state" vs. "attribute," and that seems more clear to me. So for example, being old isn't a state (like being tired or sad or in a certain place would be), but is an attribute of the person. So if someone's deaf (es sordo) or bald (es calvo), because you're talking about general attributes. But if someone's in a state of sadness, "está triste" ... or if they are currently here, "está aquí." Hope this helps....
I agree with you, but his age is not a long lasting attribute.... Not like being ugly, or tall or such... Consider the idea of being dead - in Spanish it is esta muerte - but I have never heard of death being a temporary attribute or short term condition. I know ultimately you are right, but there are times when it is a tough call!
While fully realizing that the object here is to learn how to use the proper words, if you were having a casual conversation and used está instead of es or vice versa, would a native speaker think you sound awkward?
I used "...tan viejo" instead of "muy viejo" and it was marked wrong. Wouldn't tanto make sense in this case as well?
tan and tanto have the meaning of much, so, as, I'd say. "muy" is the way to go for "very" I think "tan viejo" would be "as old"
"Tan" doesn't really mean "very." Tan can either mean "as" in a comparative construction (e.g. "tan viejo como tú," "as old as you") or it can mean "so" in the sense of "so amazing" or "so old." So just as in English there's a subtle difference between "really old" and "so old," Spanish does the same.
Mi padre no es muy viejo sounds odd for me being a spanish native speaker, i would say instead like "Mi padre no está tan viejo/anciano". It's my point of view