"Fortunately the family is well."
Translation:Fortunatamente la famiglia sta bene.
Does this sentence use "sta bene" because it means specifically a state of "being well"? For example, you might say an inanimate object is (è), but a family is (sta).
I guess "stare bene" and "stare male" (and derivates) are special cases; the dictionary indicates them as locutions, and they have a number of use cases besides being healthy. For instance "Ti sta bene" (you deserved it), "Non sta bene" (it's bad manners), "Quel vestito ti sta male" (that dress doesn't look good on you).
Sorry, I didn't mean literally being healthy, I phrased it wrong... I meant to say: does "sta" indicate a kind of state of being? For example, "sta" is used regarding people, but "è" is used regarding inanimate objects?
I'm trying to understand in which cases stare and è would each be used. I thought "sta" seemed to be used only for sentences relating to people, I might be wrong. Not sure if I've made myself any clearer either!
Hm I see, sorry. Essere and stare share the same meaning only when referring to being in a place or state; however, the distinction isn't based on people vs objects, but rather stare implies a permanence in the state while essere doesn't. But even that distinction is hardly enough, because sometimes you must use essere for a perduring state ("Sono confuso" - I'm confused). "Stare bene" can be applied to both people and objects, although with different meanings, and "è bene" has yet another meaning (to be a good thing).
I think stare's original Latin meaning, "stand", helps here: they stand well. Compare English "in good standing".