By chance I'm reading this discussion and I would like to say usually to indicate "someone is in a place" or "his/her position in a place", so as a translation of "to be":
(1) Dove sono? standard Italian
(2) Dove stanno? only in a colloquial language and used especially in central and southern Italy.
Otherwise stare can also mean "to stay" like "to lodge" or "to remain" always referred to people, e.g.
Dove staranno i tuoi amici? - Staranno in albergo. (Where will your friends stay? - They'll stay at the hotel.).
Oggi devo stare a casa, ho la febbre [or rimanere/restare]. (Today I have to stay at home, I have a fever.)
Finally, speaking of things, remember stare can indicate "a thing is in a place" only if it is there habitually, e.g.
La mia auto sta nel garage. (My car is in the garage.), Il Colosseo sta a Roma. (The Colosseum is in Rome.)
while essere in every cases, also if a thing is there temporarily, while you're speaking about it, e.g.
La penna è sulla scrivania. (The pen is on the desk.), La macchina è nel garage. (The car is in the garage.).
Again, in the informal language, especially in the Centre/South they also say la penna sta sulla scrivania.
I was thinking the same thing. They've thrown that curve ball a few times. Having a sentence to translate using the indivual bubble words (I guess that's what you call them) and I don't see the word I think I need. Turns out, it's a brand new word I've never seen before. Usually a new word is highlighted in "red" in the sentence to indicate it's a new word. Sometimes not though.
Well I'm not a native speaker, but as you can see here there are many many ways to translate the verb "stay" into Italian: http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-italian/stay
That link even has "where are you staying?" listed - as "dove alloggi?" From this I would deduce that "Where are they staying?" would be "Dove allogiano?"
This link may also be useful: http://serenaitalian.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/difference-between-stare-and-essere/
I'm not sure how well you can tell from Duo's speaker, but there is a difference in stress:
- Dóve - English phonetics 'DOveh - stress on the first syllable
- Dov'è - English phonetics do'VEH - stress on the last syllable
The ó in dove, like any internal accent, is optional in Italian and used to indicate pronunciation.
Well, "stai" is the conjugation for "tu", so you'll never use it in place of "sono", which is the "io/loro" conjugation for a totally different verb.
But the difference between "stare" and "essere" is that "stare" is used for temporary, unfixed conditions. If you're asking where someone is at this exact moment in time, you're probably going to use "stare". If you're asking where someone is in the sense of them living or traveling there, you're going to use "essere".
This is exactly what I'm trying to understand. What is the subtle difference in meaning between:
Loro sono = Loro stanno Come sei? = Come stai?
Obviously, they say the same thing but mean something slightly different. What matters is how an Italian would interpret the difference.
In Italian it doesn't really relate to temporary conditions, but rather to the sentence construction: I'm sick can be "sto male" (adverb) or "sono malato" (adjective). In other contexts stare is the one that carries permanence, e.g. "le foglie stanno sull'albero" (the leaves are on the tree, usually) vs "l'uccello è sull'albero" (the bird is on the tree, right now).
You could. It's not incorrect. Although, "stare" tends to be used instead of "essere" when speaking of temporary states, especially in the South. I find it a bit confusing, too. For the record, I don't think either is wrong. It's just that one is more right. Oh, and to add, it also depends what the next word is. If you're describing something with an adjective, essere is always used. f.formica gives an excellent explanation just a couple of posts up.
I put stano and it marked it correct. And then upon reading here and everyone saying that the actual spelling is s t a n n o, I did some research. Stano = I am weird, or something to that effect. Stanno can mean where they have been or they are, or even where they are standing. So I guess in all reality this would mean where did they go they were just here. Making a statement of confusion. They were just right here where did they go!?
@crash Umm,…yeah. I've found this less consistent in italian than spanish. I think it's mostly in the North. But "Stare" is used when referring to a state of being or location. Italians use stare/essere and spanish use estar/ser. But as I've said, I've found it inconsistent in the italian lessons.