terça-feira, 26 de julho de 2016

THE VERBS "SER" and "ESTAR" IN PORTUGUESE



Image (Think) by Moyan Brenn (CC BY 2.0)
"SER" and "ESTAR" are a very tricky even for advanced level students. That's why this article was written first in Portuguese. Now, this English version can help you too.


My friend Kody (from United States) told me about a serious problems in his learning trail. He is already on the upper-intermediate level in Portuguese but he always feels confused about the use of verbs "SER" and "ESTAR". If you also have this problem this article can be very useful.


BUT WHY WE HAVE TO USER TWO VERBS?

To English native speakers like Kody and you, it can be a little bit harder understand the proper use for these verbs because in your language both can be translated as "TO BE". Even so, my friend already could understand the concept. He told me: "Both 'SER' and 'ESTAR' mean 'TO BE' in English. But 'SER' give me the idea of something permanent and 'ESTAR' give me the idea of something temporary."

Kody is right, in simple words we can say that. But why this happens? This happens because Portuguese language comes from old Latin language. See the table below, it shows some details about these origins:

SER ESTAR
Latin original word: "ESSE" and "SEDERE"
meaning for ESSE: "to have existence"
meaning for SEDERE: "to sit" ("be settled")

Some forms of the verb "SER" in Portuguese came from "ESSE" and other forms came from "SEDERE".

So, main ideas for the verb "SER" are "ESSENCE" and "EXISTENCE", we always think about these ideas as "PERMANENT CONDITIONS".
Latin original word: STARE
meaning for STARE: “to stand” ("be standing")


The verb "ESTAR" in Portuguese came from "STARE".


So, main ideas for the verb "ESTAR" are "STATE/STATUS" and "LOCATION", we always think about these ideas as "TEMPORARY CONDITIONS".

Why is it so important to know about the origins? Because when you understand the reasoning used in ancient Latin, will be easier to understand the way we think in Portuguese.


WHEN TO USE THE VERB "SER"?

Let's see now some situations where Kody can apply the use of the verb "SER".

Hours/Dates:
"Que horas são?"
"Agora é uma hora da tarde."
Your example:  

Origin and Nationality:
"Eu sou brasileira."
"Este carro é dos Estados Unidos."
Your example:  

Occupation:
"Eu sou dentista."
"O primo da minha amiga é um médico?"
Your example:  

Characteristics/ Inner particularities:
"Maria é linda."
"Carlos é um rapaz muito alto."
Your example:  

Marital status:
"Eu sou solteira."
"Eu sou casado com a mulher mais linda do mundo!"
Your example:  


WHEN TO USE THE VERB "ESTAR"?

Let's see now some situations where Kody can apply the use of the verb "ESTAR".

Location:
"Estou no meu trabalho agora."
"Meu tio está muito longe daqui."
Your example:  

Feelings/Sensations/Conditions:
"Estou cansado."
"Estou feliz."
"Estou muito atrasado."
Your example:  

Temperature/Weather:
"Está quente aqui."
"Hoje o tempo está chuvoso."
Your example:  


WHEN CAN WE USE BOTH?

You already know this:

Amanda está italiana (WRONG)
Amanda é italiana (CORRECT)

Ronaldo é contente (WRONG)
Ronaldo está contente (CORRECT)

But there are some adjectives that can be used with "SER" and also with "ESTAR", but remember that the meaning will be different. Let's see some examples:

SER ESTAR
Ser velho - to be old. Example: "Carlos é velho." Estar velho – to appear to be older than you actually are. Example: "Carlos está velho."
Ser jovem - to be young. Example: "Minha priminha é jovem." Estar jovem – to appear to be younger than you actually are. Example: "Estou super jovem com este vestido."
Ser atento – to be kind, careful with others. Example: "O Carlos é tão atento com as pessoas." Estar atento – to pay attention. Example: "O Carlos deve estar atento durante a viagem."
Ser vivo – to be smart. Example: "Joana é uma mulher muito viva." Estar vivo – to be alive. Example: "O acidente foi feio, mas a Joana está viva!"
Ser verde – to be immature. Example: "Joana ainda é muito verde para esta tarefa." Estar verde – to have green color. Example: "Joana você está verde. Sente-se bem?"
Ser lindo(a) – to be a beautiful person Example: "Carla é uma mulher muito linda." Estar lindo(a) – to dress, make up, fix the hair etc in a special way. Example: "Carla está linda nesta foto do dia do casamento."


NOTA:
I hope the article is useful for you. And if you are on basic/intermediate levels, you can have your examples corrected on a fun way. CLICK HERE to know more details.






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