I'm not up to the ser/estar lesson yet to know if it's used differently in Portuguese in this respect (I've heard it is in some others) but... this seems like the type of sentence that should be translated with "estar", not "ser". Isn't this more like, "she's a calm person"? (Or in English you could say, "she's unflappable" maybe...)
It can be both. You can say 'ela está calma' (she's calm/quiet) if, for example, everybody else is stressed because of work and she remains calm. And you can say 'she is calm' if she's a calm/quiet person by nature. I hope it helps because Portuguese is tricky.
Thanks for that :) So just to check - 'ela é calma' can mean both that she's always calm, and that she's just calm at the moment?
It doesn't mean she is calm at the moment, you will use the verb "estar" for that. It means she is usually/normally a calm person.
so, you can interpret it like this
ela é calma (She's a quiet person by nature)
ela está calma (She's calm at the moment)
Literally means she's calmed I know may be you don't say it like this in english but it's the way you say it in portugues and Spanish
Why would you choose 'quiet' when clearly the direct translation is 'calm'? I mean it's just a matter of removing a letter!!
Yes, I knew that "calm" worked, but I wanted to try something else, in a "learning mood" you know ;)