https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

I just can't seem to grasp Essere vs Stare.

Essere o non essere or should it be Stare o non stare? Sono molto confusata!!!!

I keep thinking I got it, then I use the wrong one!!!

August 28, 2017

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

Maybe this old discussion can prove helpful:

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/22150317

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

Thanks for the link but to be honest, I am still molto confusa!!! I find knowing which verb takes which to be with the past participle is very confusing.. Every time I THINK I have it, I slip up!

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

If you think that this could help, post some sample sentences based on your own scheme of thought, so I can tell you which is which (and why).

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

Would you say that stare is mostly used for the imperfect present and non physical states of being? As in how you think or feel but not actually physical things like tired or hungry or sick.

And then there's when to use avere and when to use essere with past participles or gerunds. I sort of sense which is which, but I am often wrong.

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

The choice between essere and avere has no relation with the tense (both verbs are used in the full range of tenses).

For a physical state of being (e.g. 'the book is on the table'), essere sounds more proper, stare is used more colloquially.

For physical conditions, the ones expressed by an adjective (e.g. 'I am sick') take essere, the ones expressed by an adverb ('I am well') take stare.

Six physical conditions (namely, 'to be hot', 'to be cold', 'to be hungry', 'to be thirsty', 'to be sleepy', 'to be afraid'), take neither essere nor stare, but the verb avere.

when to use avere and when to use essere with past participles or gerunds

All transitive verbs, with no exception, form compound tenses with the auxiliary avere + past participle.

Several intransitive verbs that describe an active movement (e.g. 'to be', 'to go', 'to come', 'to arrive', 'to return', 'to fall', etc.) form compound tenses with the auxiliary essere. These include also verbs that are intransitive in Italian, but not in English ('to enter', 'to climb', and a few others).
Other intransitive verbs, instead, form compound tenses with the auxiliary avere, as transitive ones do (e.g. 'to sleep', 'to rest', 'to think', 'to pause', etc.)

Essere is also used as an auxiliary in forming the passive voice of verbs. Since only transitive verbs can form the passive voice, if you use avere with such verbs, you have a compound tense (io ho visto, io avevo visto); instead using essere with the same verbs, you have the passive voice (io sono visto, io ero visto).

Stare is only used as an auxiliary for the progressive form of all verbs, this time adding the gerund of the verb (e.g. io sto andando, io stavo leggendo, etc.).

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

WOW thank you so much! This is VERY clear and even >I< understand it!! THANKS here are THREE lingots!

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

Thanks for the lingots.
I am happy to learn that the explanation was of some help.

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/konrad33

Hi the best explanation for the difference I've heard came from my private teacher!

Basically, essere is meant to.be used as the verb 'to be' when referring to existing, such as being a man or a woman.

Instead stare is used to express a state (mental or geographical).

So here are some examples:

Io sono un ragazzo (I am a boy) Tu sei gentile (you're gentle) Lui é italiano (he is Italian)

Io sto in Italia (i am in italy) Tu stai male (you're not feeling well) Lui sta in silenzio (he is silent)

Hope this helped. If you have more questions feel free to ask...

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

Thanks I think that is very useful.... I ALMOST get it... I think maybe I will consider stare as IN THE STATE OF and essere as to be....

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/konrad33

Glad I could help :)

August 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

Io sto in Italia is commonly accepted, but the proper verb for this sentence should be essere (→ io sono in Italia).
In the north of the country, speakers tend to be rather picky about the use of stare for being in places; instead, in the centre and in the south of the country stare is commonly used, but only as a colloquial replacement for essere.

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/konrad33

Hmm.. I'm from Puglia and I didn't know that people in the north used essere to express location, that's interesting.

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

There has been a long-standing debate on this issue, and a final point of agreement has never been reached.
Some sources claim that essere should be used for expressing an occasional location (→ io sono al mare), as opposed to a permanent location expressed by stare (→ il Colosseo sta a Roma), whence expressions such as stare di casa (for abitare). Zanichelli's page belongs to this school of thought (see link below).
So io sto in Italia and io sono in Italia are both correct if spoken by a resident (as in your own case), whereas if spoken by a visitor io sto in Italia is colloquial and io sono in Italia is proper.

The Treccani dictionary includes expressing a location among the meanings of stare (meaning no.5), although this meaning is covered more extensively by essere (meaning no.4), which also covers existence (e.g. 'there is ...', meaning no.2).

Unfortunately, there is no article by the Accademia della Crusca that sheds light on this debate.

Maybe I should edit my old post about these two verbs and mention the difference between occasional being in a place and usual / permanent being in a place.

http://aulalingue.scuola.zanichelli.it/benvenuti/2010/04/15/usi-dei-verbi-stare-e-dare/

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/konrad33

Oh ok.. Thx for the explanation

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

And here's another one... Why doesn't successo (which DOES take essere for passato prossima) NOT agree with the pronoun?

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

If you refer to sentences such as

Mi sono successe molte cose. = Many things happened to me.

the reason is that mi in this sentence is an indirect object. When essere is used as an auxiliary, the past participle always agrees with the subject of the sentence, which in this case is molte cose (although it stands after the verb).
It would also be possible to keep the subject in its straighforward position and say:

Molte cose mi sono successe .

But this sentence would be spoken more often with the subject after the verb.

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

ARGH!!! I am not even that far.. I have being doing DUOLINGO but found now that I am in the modal part that the verbs were starting to get too confusing so I started working on just conjugating for a bit.

And most of it is OK.. But Look at this one

https://www.italian-verbs.com/italian-verbs/conjugation.php?parola=succedere

It goes Io sono successo Tu sei successo Lui e successo Noi siamo SUCCESSO Voi siete SUCCESSO Loro sono SUCCESSO!!!!

ARGH!!!

August 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

The table conjugates the verb only in the masculine gender, but when the auxiliary is essere (as in this case), the past participle agrees with the subject, so it can be either masculine or feminine:

io sono succeduto (if io is a male)
io sono succeduta (if io is a female)

voi siete succeduti (if voi refers to all male people, or male + female)
voi siete succedute (if voi refers to all female people)

Moreover, the verb succedere is a tricky one, because it has two different meanings, with two different past participles:

  • to happen → past participle: successo

  • to succeed (take the place by succession) → past participle: succeduto.

August 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

OK great! Thanks! but WHY doesn't successo agree in this conjugation chart?

And here are TWO lingots!!!!

August 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

You are right, the table is WRONG!
It should read:

io sono successo, succeduto
tu sei successo, succeduto
lui è successo, succeduto
noi siamo successi, succeduti
voi siete successi, succeduti
loro sono successi, succeduti

...and so on, for the following tenses.

The table also omits the feminine form:

io sono successo, succeduto
io sono successa, succeduta

tu sei successo, succeduto
tu sei successa, succeduta

lui è successo, succeduto
lei è successa, succeduta

noi siamo successi, succeduti
noi siamo successe, succedute

voi siete successi, succeduti
voi siete successe, succedute

loro sono successi, succeduti
loro sono successe, succedute

This may likely depend on a lack of space. But once the rule that any past participle agrees with the subject when the auxiliary is essere has been learned, there is no need to repeat both masculine an feminine forms in all tables of verbs.
By the way, thanks for the lingots.

August 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rafforza

the worst are the auxiliary verbs that flip based entirely on the position of the pronouns !

"avremmo dovuto rendercene conto" = "ce ne saremmo dovuti rendere conto" macche'!?

It seems both versions are reflexive so I really don't get why this happens.

September 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

I mean in terms of singular/plural.

August 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/SusanRankin1

Thanks @CivisRomanus for that clarification... That was really bothering me! I don't know why I can't respond to your last comment but there is no REPLY link under it... Anyhow THANKS I am ALL SORTED now!!!!

August 31, 2017
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