Table of contents Chapter 8 8.5 Use of estar in differentiation to ser

Chapter 8: Ser and Estar; Gerund and Passive voice

  8.5 Use of estar in differentiation to ser

The difference of ser and estar lays in the duration of the state that is talked about.

Las fresas son rojas.= Strawberries are red. They are usually and always red. However, if the state is only temporary and it is to be expected that it changes eventually then estar is to be used:
Las fresas están verdes todavía! = The strawberries are still green! But it is to be expected that they will turn red eventually and then they are perfect strawberries that are red as they are supposed to be.

  Sometimes the meaning changes depending on whether ser or estar is used:

Pepe es aburrido. = Pepe is a boring person.
Pepe está aburrido. = Pepe is bored.

El chico es listo.= The boy is clever.
El chico está listo. = The boy is ready.

Él es una persona alegre.= He is a happy person.
De momento está alegre. = He is happy
(at least at the moment, you never know about tomorrow! And it's not said whether he is a happy person or not.)

Ella es muy divertida. = She is funny.
Ella está muy divertida.= She's in a good mood, she's having fun.