when does one use "yo soy" vs. "yo estoy"?
Thanks. I just found the following on another post: “I am boring.” I heard this one a lot when students actually wanted to express that they were bored. And while I admit, it was a bit entertaining for me to hear these young adults call themselves boring, you could easily be making the same mistake in Spanish! But not to worry, we’ll keep it simple and leave out the verb aburrir(se), so this is all you need to know: • Soy aburrido. (I am boring.) – I’m a boring person in general. • Estoy aburrido. (I’m bored.) – Right now I feel bored. The first uses ser, while the second uses estar. Both verbs mean “to be” in Spanish, which can cause continual head scratching throughout your lovely relationship with the Spanish language. I learned a little rhyme in high school that I’ve never forgotten, and it’s helped me time and time again to distinguish between these two verbs. “How you feel and where you are, that is when you use estar.” So if you’re feeling bored in the moment, use estar: “estoy aburrido“. And remember, ladies, we would say “estoy aburrida” with the feminine “a” at the end of the adjective.
for starters: soy maestro = I am a teacher (profession or inherent quality) soy joven = I am young estoy enfermo = I am sick (mood or state of health) estoy aqui = I am here (physical location)
Ser (yo soy): Descriptions (tall, blonde, fat), origins (French, from Madrid), time (three o'clock, morning)
Estar (yo estoy): location (at home, in school), condition (sick, tired, excited)
Also here's a link: http://www.spanishdict.com/topics/show/41
This is something that confuses a lot of English speakers learning Spanish, because English only has one verb for "to be" but Spanish has two. It just takes practice to learn when to use each one. Be patient with yourself. I still make ser/estar mistakes and my Spanish, while not perfect, is pretty good.
Broadly, Soy is for things that are permanent and estoy for things that are temporary.
There are a couple of unintuitive examples though. From rspreng's examples, "estoy aqui" is clearly temporary, but "el hotel esta aqui" it right even though the hotel clearly isn't going anywhere. And "Soy joven" even though you will not be young forever.