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The Uses Of Estar

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					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 – http://sites.google.com/site/englishspanishhelpfulhandouts. Written by S. Watson.
Photos: www.flickr.com (Creative Commons License) and www.freedigitalphotos.net. Acknowledgements-page 6.
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 – http://sites.google.com/site/englishspanishhelpfulhandouts. Written by S. Watson.
Photos: www.flickr.com (Creative Commons License) and www.freedigitalphotos.net. Acknowledgements-page 6.
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 – http://sites.google.com/site/englishspanishhelpfulhandouts. Written by S. Watson.
Photos: www.flickr.com (Creative Commons License) and www.freedigitalphotos.net. Acknowledgements-page 6.
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 – http://sites.google.com/site/englishspanishhelpfulhandouts. Written by S. Watson.
Photos: www.flickr.com (Creative Commons License) and www.freedigitalphotos.net. Acknowledgements-page 6.
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 – http://sites.google.com/site/englishspanishhelpfulhandouts. Written by S. Watson.
Photos: www.flickr.com (Creative Commons License) and www.freedigitalphotos.net. Acknowledgements-page 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 – http://sites.google.com/site/englishspanishhelpfulhandouts. Written by S. Watson.
Photos: www.flickr.com (Creative Commons License) and www.freedigitalphotos.net. Acknowledgements-page 6.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: This English-Spanish handout and worksheet reviews the grammar rules for using the verb Estar. It is intended for English students who are studying Spanish.