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Portuguese: Differences between verbs To Be: Ser / Estar

By Samara Fernandes 
Verb to be and verb to be? What does it mean? When can I use?

SER x ESTAR

That’s more simple then it looks like. It’s just that in Portuguese you can use the verb to be in two different ways, cause time can affect the use.
Ser: is the verb used for permanent conditions, characteristics, in other words, those that can’t change. (or might not change)
Estar: is the verb used for not permanent conditions or characteristics, those that are temporary, that can change. (transitory)
Let’s talk about examples:
e.g: Daniel é bonito (Daniel is handsome) – Daniel is really handsome, probably since he was born.
e.g¹: Ana está bonita (Ana is beautiful) –  At this moment, Ana is beautiful, but maybe she doesn’t look beautiful all the time.
Another exemples with the verb SER:
e.g: O meu nome é Juliana. (My name is Juliana)
e.g¹: Eu sou brasileira. (I am Brazilian)
e.g²: Ela é casada (She is maried)

Another exemples with the verb ESTAR:
e.g: Minha filha está na escola. (My daughter is at the school);
e.g¹: Elas estão atrasadas (They are late).

Here it’s something interesting: Let’s see if that is easyer to underestand the jokingly that Brazilians use:
Dialogue

Bruna: Luciana! Você está linda! / Oh, Luciana! You are gorgeous!
Luciana: Eu não estou (temporarily)  maravilhosa, eu sou (permanently/always) maravilhosa.  I’m not gorgeous, I am gorgeous!

Some language teachers say that’s why Brazilians are so happy and high spirit. If a brazilian is poor or ugly, for exemple, he/she can “change” this condition, it’s not always permanent.

The exceptions as exemple when talking about “death” or “day”. Besides death be a permanent condition, in portuguese the verb estar is used.

Exemples:

– Ela está morta. (She is dead).
– Ela está morta há muito tempo. (She’s been dead a long time.)
– While talking about the day, in portuguese you can use ser or estar in this case.
– O dia está lindo! (It’s a beautiful day)
– Esse dia é lindo! (This day is beautiful)

Any other doubt about this verbs?

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2 Comments

  1. Olá.
    Sim, tenho mais duvidas 😉
    Parece que no tempo passado as regras se mudam. Eu frequantamente estou a ouvir “Eu fui na festa”, mas no presente se diz “Eu estou na festa”
    Posso pedir a explicação como esta com o tempo passado?

    • admin

      outubro 27, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      Oi, Iwona. Na verdade, no presente, você deveria falar “Eu vou na festa”. Pois “fui” é o passado do verbo “ir”.

      Já com o verbo ‘estar’, no passado, você deve falar “Eu estive na festa”.

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