The test asked me for the correct verb to use with the sentence "Tu ***** la primero de la lista" - this seemed to be a temporary thing, so I chose "estas". The right answer was "eres" - i.e. a permanent state.
I am confused - can anyone explain why use ser rather than estar in this case?
This is testing conjugation of the verb "ser" in the present and it is what the hint is asking for: Conjugate “ser” in El Presente; this is why the correct answer is "eres", not "estás".
This sentence means that you are the first person on a list which could be taken as you said as a temporary thing making us think about "estar" more than "ser". But you can also consider that a list can be a permanent thing as in an list in alphabetical order where your name may always be at the top, like at school, for example. Also, we can consider this if we think of it as "You are the first person that shows on the list". This is more to do with "identifying" who is first on that list, which would trigger "ser".
If we said something like "Estoy el primero en la lista", then we would think of it as a temporary thing or as a "result". This wouldn't be talking about a permanent list but as a list that has been made up and you happen to be/end up being the first (maybe because you won a prize or you got the most points or something) - In this case "estar" would be more appropriate.
I hope this somehow clarified it and didn't create more confusion. It is a difficult one.
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