- Estuvieron graves = They wer seriously ill
- Esto es grave = This is serious / this is bad
It can also be used as an adjective in English.
"It is a grave situation."
Probably the effect of both languages being the romance languages,direct descendant of Latin.
Yes, but your examples are the give-away: ser for something of the nature of the item (serious); estar for the current state of being (ill)
"They were seriously ill.", "They were serious.". Which one is more accurate?
Seriously ill is more likely, because of estar. The trait of being a serious person would be expressed with ser.
Hmm, not sure if I buy this. Being (temporarily) serious about a particular matter seems more likely than a reference to a "serious person", and would use estar, no?
I think "grave" is used a lot with medical conditions in Spanish, e.g. "a serious (medical) condition"="una condición grave"
As I think further about it, it seems that the use of bien, mal, grave etc all relate, ultimately, to health... especially when the clue is the use of estar...¿Cómo estas? Estoy bien... I am well (not "good") but in the heath context... So it follows that mal(o/a), grave(s) all relate to health, generally. If you (or they) are bad, it is soy mal...Ellos son malos....(note the use of ser)
"Estuvieron graves" is an ambiguous statement whose meaning varies depending on context. You might have witnessed an auto accident and commented to your friend that the people involved "Estuvieron graves", meaning they were seriously hurt. The victims in a mass shooting could be described as "estuvieron graves." In neither of these situations would "seriously ill" fit. That would fit only if you were describing people who fell ill in a health epidemic - cholera, say: "estuvieron graves." They were seriously ill. Duolingo should not treat "estuvieron graves" as meaning "seriously ill" in all cases unless they give it proper context.
sorellina, The sentence could begin (with the subject) 'Ellos' o 'Ellas' o 'Ustedes' :) ---Keneĉjo Ricardo
So, would you use this to say "They were serious." Like, they were serious about breaking your bones if you ever talk to their daughter again.
Because you don't know if they were injured. They could be dying of cancer for all we know. You don't have to be injured to become ill. Plus I believe that "they were injured"=estaban/fueron heridos