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.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 1 answer

Per IvarA0Kwiziq community member

Who using Pretérito in the first sentence and Imperfecto in the secend? Both are said to be non-permanent conditions.

Asked 4 days ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Per Ivar,

If you are referring to the sentences in the lesson, the first one is using the present tense "¡Vaya! Mis gafas están rotas." and the second one is using the imperfect tense "Sus pantalones estaban sucios."; but it doesn't matter which tense you use with estar in this case. This lesson is about using "estar" (not the other verb meaning "to be", ser) to talk about a physical condition. You can use different tenses.

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

Inma

Who using Pretérito in the first sentence and Imperfecto in the secend? Both are said to be non-permanent conditions.

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