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The uses of estar


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The uses of estar

  1. 1. English-Spanish Helpful Handouts Page 1 of 6 The Uses of Estar 1. Estar is used to indicate the physical location and position of people and things. It does not matter whether the location is temporary or permanent. Gregorio está en Valencia. (Gregorio is in Valencia.) La mesilla de noche está a la izquierda de la cama. (The night table is to the left of the bed.) El perro está al lado del gato. (The dog is next to the cat.) El perro está al lado del gato. But, notice that estar is not used to describe the where an event takes place. Use ser to describe where an event takes place. El concierto es en el parque. (The concert takes place at the park.) (The concert is at the park.) 2. In general, estar describes temporary, changeable, short-term, or transitory states and conditions. Juan está de vacaciones. (Juan is on vacation.) 3. Estar is used to express emotional conditions. It describes the mood that a person is in at any given moment. Moods are usually transitory or changeable conditions. Mi abuelo está contento. (My grandfather is happy.) Rocio es de mal humor. (Rocio is in a bad mood.) Mi abuelo está contento. 4. Estar is used to express temporary mental conditions. Mi padre está confundido. (My father is confused.) Free handout – Written by S. Watson. Photos: (Creative Commons License) and Acknowledgements-page 6.
  2. 2. English-Spanish Helpful Handouts Page 2 of 6 The Uses of Estar 5. Estar is used to express physical conditions at a given moment in time. Physical conditions are seen as short-term because they can change from day to day. Mi amiga está enferma. (My friend is sick.) Estamos cansados. (We’re tired.) Estamos cansados Use estar with the adjectives alive and dead. Although they are not temporary physical conditions, these words are adjectives of change. Adjectives of change use estar. Juana está viva. (Juana is alive.) El padre de Alejandro está muerto. (Alejandro’s father is dead.) . 6. Estar not only expresses the physical condition of people, but also the physical condition of things at a given moment in time. These are conditions and are not the inherent properties of what is being described. El horno está descompuesto. (The oven is not working.) La cocina está sucia. (The kitchen is dirty.) La habitación está vacía. (The room is empty.) La cocina está sucia. 7. Estar is used to describe personal reactions that are perceived through the senses. It expresses how someone looks, feels, or seems. Roberto está muy guapo hoy. (Roberto looks very handsome today.) ¡Qué guapa estás hoy! (How pretty you look today!) Free handout – Written by S. Watson. Photos: (Creative Commons License) and Acknowledgements-page 6.
  3. 3. English-Spanish Helpful Handouts Page 3 of 6 The Uses of Estar Estar describes how something tastes. La sopa está muy sabrosa. (The soup tastes very good.) La sopa está sabrosa. 8. Estar is used to describe an unusual color or condition. It describes things that are not as they are intended to be. Los plátanos están negros. (The bananas are black.) Esta naranja está agria. (This orange is sour.) 9. Estar is used in present progressive constructions to describe actions in progress. Están durmiendo. (They are sleeping.) Estoy escribiendo una carta. (I’m writing a letter.) 10. Estar is used with the past participle to express the result of a previous action. La puerta está cerrada. (The door is closed.) (Someone closed it.) La tarea está hecha. (The homework is done.) (I did it.) El libro está dividido en cinco capítulos. (The book is divided into five chapters.) (The author did this.) La puerta está cerrada. 11. Estar can be used to express “to suit” and “to fit”. Ese vestido te está muy bien. (That dress suits you.) El abrigo le está bien. (The coat fits him well.) Free handout – Written by S. Watson. Photos: (Creative Commons License) and Acknowledgements-page 6.
  4. 4. English-Spanish Helpful Handouts Page 4 of 6 The Uses of Estar 12. Many adjectives can be used with either estar or ser. The meaning changes depending on the verb you choose. Estar Ser abierto open frank aburrido bored boring alegre happy lighthearted alto in a high position tall, high atento attentive courteous bajo in a low position short, low borracho drunk drunkard bueno well (health) good (character) callado silent taciturn cansado tired tiresome cerrado closed narrow-minded cierto true sure consciente conscious (awake) aware despierto awake alert, sharp enfermo unwell invalid interesado interested self-seeking limpio clean well-groomed listo ready clever loco frantic silly (character) mal sick (health) bad (character) molesto bothered annoying nuevo unused newly-made muerto dead killed in action orgulloso proud of someone/something proud (derogatory) preparado ready, prepared learned rico delicious rich seguro assured, confident safe, reliable simpático libkable a the present time likeable (character) triste sad dull verde not ripe green violento embarrassed violent vivo alive lively Free handout – Written by S. Watson. Photos: (Creative Commons License) and Acknowledgements-page 6.
  5. 5. English-Spanish Helpful Handouts Page 5 of 6 The Uses of Estar Write a sentence that describes each picture. 1.___________________________________________________________________________________ 2.___________________________________________________________________________________ 3.___________________________________________________________________________________ 4.___________________________________________________________________________________ Unscramble these sentences. 1. niños/guapísimos/cumpleaños/de/van/fiesta/a/están/porque/una/Los/hoy ____________________________________________________________________________________ 2. y/enamorados/están/Julieta/Romeo ___________________________________________________________________________________ 3. mucho/porque/trabajó/Miguel/ayer/cansado/está _____________________________________________________________________________________ 4. del/Este/el/río/entre/Nueva York/está/del/río/Norte/y/el _____________________________________________________________________________________ 5. está/La/taza /rota _____________________________________________________________________________________ Free handout – Written by S. Watson. Photos: (Creative Commons License) and Acknowledgements-page 6.
  6. 6. English-Spanish Helpful Handouts Page 6 of 6 The Uses of Estar Write the Spanish translation of the words in parentheses. 1. (The supermarket is closed,) pero las tiendas están abiertas. __________________________ 2. (The boy is studying) su lección. ____________________________________________________ 3. (He has to be) en la oficina muy temprano. __________________________________________ 4. (When the windows are closed,) el cuarto no está frio. _______________________________ 5. (That house is) bien situada. _______________________________________________________ 6. (This apple is) agria. ______________________________________________________________ 7. (Who is) gritando? ________________________________________________________________ 8. (My mother is) en el salón. ________________________________________________________ 9. (This shirt is)rota. _________________________________________________________________ 10. (On which street is) su casa? ______________________________________________________ Translate these sentences into Spanish. 1. I’m lost. __________________________________________________________________________ 2. You’re wrong. ____________________________________________________________________ 3. How is Rodrigo? __________________________________________________________________ 4. It’s snowing. _____________________________________________________________________ 5. She’s standing. ___________________________________________________________________ 6. María looks pale. _________________________________________________________________ Photo Acknowledgements: Flickr - West Zest, Mr. Thomas, makelessnoise, Augafel, stevenpolo, Neosnaps Free Digital Photos - Arvind Balaraman, graur razvan ionut, Francesco Marino Free handout – Written by S. Watson. Photos: (Creative Commons License) and Acknowledgements-page 6.