Ser vs Estar confusion

FrancisB1Kwiziq community member

Ser vs Estar confusion

This article talks about using El Presente to express general facts, simple enough... 

... however my qualm is with the use of Ser vs Estar. My understanding was that ser would be used to generally describe things which don’t change over a prolonged period of time, eg. Relationships, jobs, generally accepted facts etc. 

Therefore I was terribly confused when the correct response to one of your questions was: 

“Francia está en Europa”.

Whereas the example on this page states:

“Roma es la capital de Italia.” 

Both of these seem like general facts with a geographical theme... where do I draw the line? 

Apologies for the essay! Haha


Asked 5 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Francis,

This is a doubt that comes up often among students with the same argument you are explaining.

While both sentences are talking about general facts and something that doesn't change in the long term, i.e. France will always be in Europe, it won't move, we need to think about ser and estar in a different way. It is by thinking of ser and estar in specific contexts/situations how their uses are better understood. 

One specific use of estar is to "locate" things/people/places. It is when we say where things/places/people are (in what location):

María está en la playa.

Argentina está al lado de Chile.

Estoy aquí. 

However we have these two different sentences:

1. Roma está en Italia. (location)

2. Roma es la capital de Italia. 

The second one is stating a fact (also seeing as a permanent characteristic, because if it is a general fact, that won't change.)

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

Ser vs Estar confusion

This article talks about using El Presente to express general facts, simple enough... 

... however my qualm is with the use of Ser vs Estar. My understanding was that ser would be used to generally describe things which don’t change over a prolonged period of time, eg. Relationships, jobs, generally accepted facts etc. 

Therefore I was terribly confused when the correct response to one of your questions was: 

“Francia está en Europa”.

Whereas the example on this page states:

“Roma es la capital de Italia.” 

Both of these seem like general facts with a geographical theme... where do I draw the line? 

Apologies for the essay! Haha


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