What is the difference between es and está?
I thought I had this concept down, but it seems not. I know this should be a simple thing, but could you give me a few examples and why?
The tl;dr version of the above link:
Ser is used with:
- Elements pertinent to your or others' identity: physical description, personality and character, nationality, race, gender, profession, origin, What things are made of
- Things which "Take Place" or "Occur" in Time: Dates, days, seasons, time, events, concerts, parties
Estar is used for States of Being
- Emotional, physical mental states of (our bodies') being: Feelings/moods/emotions, physical conditions or appearances, civil state (married, single, divorced, dead)
- Placement State of Being: Location of things and people (but not events)
- Motion State of Being: Present Progressive tense (the immediate "-ing" form)
This little rhyme really helped me when I heard it first: "How you feel and where you are, that is when you use estar."
The rest is ser (more or less).
Another way is to think of ser as describing characteristics and estar as describing states.
Some adjectives go with both but with a change in meaning. Example:
Yo estoy débil = I feel weak / I am weak right now
Yo soy débil = I am a weakling / am weak in general /
Ser is used to classify and identify permanent or lasting attributes. If the general rule isn´t specific enough for you, think of the acronym DOCTOR, which stands for Description, Occupation, Characteristic, Time, Origin, and Relationship.
see link for examples of these.