Spanish Grammar Help
When do you use está vs. es, and están vs. son? When do you use de, del (and de la)? When do you use the a (which means to)? I would appreciate it very much if you answered these questions. Thanks.
Estar vs ser is one of the hardest things about Spanish for non-native speakers. In general, you use ser for an intrinsic quality of something, (profession, time, origin, relationship, or a characteristic that isn't just a temporary condition) and estar is for a more fleeting sort of temporary quality of something. (condition, feelings, actions currently being performed, and location, even though sometimes location is permanent). Of course, there are exceptions, and so forth. De means of or about. When it is used before a masculine article, el, you combine them to make a contraction. De el becomes del. De la doesn't contract, and just means of the or about the for a feminine word.
"How you feel and where you are, that is when you use estar." That's kind of a starting point, I've found. Always use estar for sickness and wellness and feelings and moods. Also for locations.
To me the permanent/temporary thing is misleading because it nearly always leads me to guss wrong. For instance, beauty (sic transit...) is ser, being alive or dead is estar. Professions are ser, and most qualities other than how you feel or where you are. So I use the intrinsic quality idea to guess. If it is an intrinsic quality, or we think of it as one, then use ser. Otherwise use estar. I still guess wrong a lot of the time. Like many things in language, the real answer is to have read and listened widely enough and paid attention enough that we know what sounds right. I know that doesn't help much but that's the truth. =D
More than "permanent/temporary" I would say " essence-appearance" , maybe there are some exceptions but its a central thing about "ser" and "estar".
"For instance, beauty ", good example... Because you can use both "Tu eres bonita" or " Tú estas bonita" The first one is an immanent condition. In "Tú estas bonita" you could be ugly but TODAY you are beautiful (i know, its not usual, but...)
I admit that "Dead or alive" is more complex, but to me, doesnt change the "essence-appearance" condition. I just do not want to put this in philosophical terms... Napoleon is dead but he remains being "Napoleon". To me, is a way of thinking. For example, in english I AM 34 years old. In spanish I HAVE 34 years...
Essence vs. appearance. Glad to know how a native speaker thinks of it. Thanks!
To help you comprehend the uses of ser and estar, consider words that can take one or the other, based on meaning.
los duraznos están ricos - these particular peaches are delicious. It's the condition of these specific ones. los duraznos son ricos - peaches in general are delicious. It's the essence of being a peach; it's what a peach IS.
él está enfermo - he is sick - normal sickness. Even diabetes, which is permanent, doesn't change who the person IS. él es enfermo - he's a sicko, a pervert, etc. It's not just a condition; it's the essence of the person.
él está listo - he's ready (ready to leave, ready for the test, whatever). It's his condition. él es listo - he's clever or bright. Which would mean that, by his nature, he's ready for anything.
hola amigo, por ejemplo
-el ES mi amigo ✓ -el ESTA mi amigo x
'esta' es mas para acciones por ejemplo:
->el esta manejando hacia casa
por tanto - el esta mi amigo, es incorrecta
utilizas 'de' para decir que algo le pertenece a alguien o a algo
- esta mascara era DE el, ahora es mía porque me la regalo
también sirve para manejar una escala:
-DE 4 a 5 galones DE agua
pero también sirve 'del'
-si estas en un un rango DEL 8 a 10 entonces te fue bien.
se puede usar 'de la' para palabras 'femeninas' también para hacer asignaciones o escalas
esto es DE LA persona que acabo de salir
por favor corra DE LA bandera azul a la roja lo mas rápido que pueda
aquí tienes este ejemplo con 'a'
-> A el no le gusta esto
->si le pegas A Daniel el se pondrá furioso
bueno Un saludo '
"A" is sort of funny because we don't really have an equivalent in English. This is an excellent brief overview and StudySpanish has a pretty good unit if you're ready for more detail.