Using estar (not ser) when talking about physical condition of something, someone or a place

One of the uses of estar (not ser) is to talk about the physical condition of something, someone or a place.  This specific use of estar  is used for non-permanent conditions. Have a look and listen to these examples:

¡Vaya! Mis gafas están rotas.
Oops! My glasses are broken.

Sus pantalones estaban sucios.
His trousers were dirty.

¡Qué sorpresa! La habitación de mi hija está ordenada.
What a surprise! My daughter's room is tidy.

Marina, estás muy guapa hoy.
Marina, you look very pretty today.

Remember, this specific use of estar  is used for non-permanent conditions. For permanent physical descriptions see Using ser (not estar) to express an essential or permanent characteristic

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

¡Vaya! Mis gafas están rotas.
Oops! My glasses are broken.


Marina, estás muy guapa hoy.
Marina, you look very pretty today.


¡Qué sorpresa! La habitación de mi hija está ordenada.
What a surprise! My daughter's room is tidy.


Sus pantalones estaban sucios.
His trousers were dirty.


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