Using es bueno/malo or está bien/mal

One of the most common difficulties for Spanish learners is how to differenciate between: es bueno/malo and está bien/mal.

Es bueno it is good

Es bueno que estudies todas las tardes.
It is good that you study every afternoon.

Comes demasiado y eso no es bueno.
You eat too much and that is not good.

Está bien it is good

Está bien que estudies todas las tardes.
It is good that you study every afternoon.

Comes demasiado y eso no está bien.
You eat too much and that is not good.

As you can see, both are translated in the same way. But remember not to mix them up:
 

Es bueno [adjective]
Está bien [adverb]

Have a look:

Está bueno que seas paciente con tus hermanos.
Es bueno que seas paciente con tus hermanos.
It is good that you are patient with your siblings.


Es bien que practiques español para tu exámen.
Está bien que practiques español para tu exámen.
It is good that you practise Spanish for your exam.

The same goes for es malo and está mal.

Es malo it is bad

Es malo que tomemos tanto alcohol.
It is bad that we drink so much alcohol.

Fumar es malo.
Smoking is bad.

Está mal it is bad/wrong

Está mal que tomemos tanto alcohol.
It's bad/wrong that we drink so much alcohol.

Fumar está mal.
Smoking is bad/wrong.

Es + malo [adjective]
Está mal [adverb] 

Bear in mind that although they are very often interchangeable (está bien = es bueno / está mal = es malo), when we use está bien/mal we are adding a nuance of being "morally" good or bad. For example:

Está mal arrojar basura al mar.
It is (morally) wrong to throw rubbish to the sea.

 

You will never find es followed by bien/malHowever, está can be followed by bueno/malo, but the meaning will be different. For example:

El arroz con leche de mi abuela está bueno.
My grandma's rice pudding is tasty.

Este niño está malo.
This boy is ill.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Es malo que tomemos tanto alcohol.
It is bad that we drink so much alcohol.


Es bueno que estudies todas las tardes.
It is good that you study every afternoon.


Fumar es malo.
Smoking is bad.


Comes demasiado y eso no está bien.
You eat too much and that is not good.


Fumar está mal.
Smoking is bad/wrong.


Está bien que estudies todas las tardes.
It is good that you study every afternoon.


Está mal que tomemos tanto alcohol.
It's bad/wrong that we drink so much alcohol.


Comes demasiado y eso no es bueno.
You eat too much and that is not good.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 3 answers

Re: lesson: Using es bueno/malo or está bien/mal

Hello,

I am confused.  I am trying to sort out the diffences but I don't see it.

For example, in the sentences:  both mean: It is good that you study every afternoon.

Es bueno que estudies todas las tardes.

Está bien que estudies todas las tardes.

Es + bueno [adjective]
Está + bien [adverb]

Can you show the relationships for each?

Any difference at all in the individual meaning?

And why would you use one over the other? And under what circumstances?

Any other lessons to clarify this?

As you can tell, I’m confused! Help. J


Asked 1 month ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

Hola Nicole

In this lesson we are showing how "Es bueno" and "Está bien" mean the same, but you cannot mix them up, i.e. ser goes with bueno and estar goes with bien, not the other way around. 

We add later on in the lesson that when using "estar bien/mal" it adds a "moral" meaning of being good/bad. And also talk about the possibility of using "estar bueno/malo" but only when you are talking about food being tasty or not. There is another way of using "estar bueno" as an idiom when we talk about people being "hot" (as in attractive hot) but we do have a specific lesson about these differences about to become public. I will let you know as soon as it is ready. 

I hope this helped,

Inma

 

 

Thank you very much!

Happy holiday!

Nicole

Re: lesson: Using es bueno/malo or está bien/mal

Hello,

I am confused.  I am trying to sort out the diffences but I don't see it.

For example, in the sentences:  both mean: It is good that you study every afternoon.

Es bueno que estudies todas las tardes.

Está bien que estudies todas las tardes.

Es + bueno [adjective]
Está + bien [adverb]

Can you show the relationships for each?

Any difference at all in the individual meaning?

And why would you use one over the other? And under what circumstances?

Any other lessons to clarify this?

As you can tell, I’m confused! Help. J


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Tiny Typo

"Es + adjective [adjective]" should read "Es + bueno [adjective]" no?
Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq language super star

¡Gracias Alan!

Corregido.

Tiny Typo

"Es + adjective [adjective]" should read "Es + bueno [adjective]" no?

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