Grammar Challenge Answers (ser / estar for descriptions)

¡Hola de nuevo!

As promised, we're back to give you the answers for the grammar challenge we posed last week! :-D

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  • Mi madre estaba enfermera (My mother used to be a nurse) --> WRONG: Mi madre era enfermera. Verb ser: we're classifying "my mother" as part of a professional group.
  • Eres loco (You are crazy) --> WRONG: Estás loco. Verb estar: being crazy is a personal circumstance; it has nothing to do with a person's nature.
  • ¿Estás viva? (Are you alive?) --> RIGHT. Verb estar. Just like in the previous example, being alive is a personal circumstance (whether your heart beats or not).
  • Mi abuela estaba rica y famosa (My grandmother was rich and famous) --> WRONG: Mi abuela era rica y famosa. Verb ser. "My grandmother" belongs to the rich and famous, thus, we're placing her into a specific category.
  • Soy deprimido (I am depressed) --> WRONG: Estoy deprimido. Verb estar. Just like in previous examples, being depressed is a temporary personal circumstance.
  • El suelo está sucio (The floor is dirty) --> RIGHT. Verb estar. Dirtiness is not a natural feature of the floor, it's just a temporary condition.

Please share your questions, comments and/or ideas with us!

¡Feliz aprendizaje!

last edited by Javier

You can say "estás loco" or "eres un loco."

You can say "estaba rica" o "era rica."

You most commonly say "estoy deprimido" because it's temporary.


Thanks for contacting Lingvist!

Of course those structures exist in Spanish... In other contexts :-)
Actually, nobody here has stated they do not exist as such.

Please check the original instructions and contexts on the ser/estar for descriptions post.

¡Feliz aprendizaje!

last edited by Javier

at the sentence "mi abuela estaba rica y famosa" the verb estar it's not correct in this form, the correct form is era.

Exactly! That is why that sentence is part of a grammar challenge we created for our English>Spanish users to practise the differences between ser and estar. Please check the correct answers and explanations right next to the sentences.

¡Feliz aprendizaje!

last edited by Javier

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