First on the List - ser vs estar

SethA1Kwiziq community member

First on the List - ser vs estar

"Tú ________ el primero de la lista." (You are the first on the list.)

I made a mistake on this one by using estar. My reasoning is it referred to a location (the first position on the list). It appears the answer you're looking for is to use ser, and that the recommendation is to treat the list and its contents as descriptive. 

Would this change if I said "You are the first in line?" Or should I still use the ser verb? Is it a description of a trait of the line, or is it a position that is relative?

Are these types of cases subjective? Or is it pretty common for everyone to use the same verb?

Asked 8 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Seth

The reason why you were marked wrong by writing "estás" instead of "eres" is because that is not the conjugation of the verb "ser" for  in the present and that is what this test-question is asking. See hint saying " Conjugate “ser” in El Presente"

However, you can also say "tú estás el primero en la lista"  - this is absolutely correct to say. As you rightly thought, this is subjective to the speaker. When we say "tú eres el primero en la lista" the speaker is seeing this as a more "descriptive/identifying" meaning, like saying "you are the person who is at the top of the list" - who is it? "you". But if the speaker says "tú estás el primero en la lista", the speaker is thinking more about the "location" as you said and this "estás" is also justified as this being a "result" of something, so there has been some sort of selection and you "ended up" at the top of that list. 

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

First on the List - ser vs estar

"Tú ________ el primero de la lista." (You are the first on the list.)

I made a mistake on this one by using estar. My reasoning is it referred to a location (the first position on the list). It appears the answer you're looking for is to use ser, and that the recommendation is to treat the list and its contents as descriptive. 

Would this change if I said "You are the first in line?" Or should I still use the ser verb? Is it a description of a trait of the line, or is it a position that is relative?

Are these types of cases subjective? Or is it pretty common for everyone to use the same verb?

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