"La comida está sobre el plato."
Translation:The food is on the plate.
Someone here on Duo passed on this helpful rhyme: How you feel and where you are, tell you when to use estar.
- Ser = To be something (a boy, a dog, a teacher…).
- Ser = To have a daily conduct (crazy, bipolar…).
- Ser = The time of the day (it's day, it's afternoon, it's lunch time, it's time to walk…).
- Estar = To be doing something (sleeping, eating, running…).
- Estar = To be in a place (in a house, in a garden, in a school…).
- Estar = To be with a mood (happy, sad, tired…).
- Estar = To be with a health status (healthy, sick…).
- Estar = To have a temporal conduct.
The best tool I've found, through a Duolingo user, to remember about Ser v/s Estar is this: Use the verb Estar when referring to P.L.A.C.E. (Position, Location, Action, Condition, Emotion) Use SER when referring to D.O.C.T.O.R (Description, Occupation, Characteristic, Time, Origin and Religion)
There is another one about Estar as H.E.L.P. (Health, Emotion, Location, Present Progressive e.g. estoy corriendo= I am running) & Ser as C.O.P.T (Characteristic, Origin, Profession and Time) for example age is a characteristic so you'd say mi hermana "es" vieja,
I was wondering that too... I think like rspreng said, a location. The food is on top of the plate.