Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Capítulo Cinco

My Spanish is beginning chapter five, and I am so excited because if the chapter outline is correct, it will teach me the difference between "ser" and "estar." Both are the verb "to be" but are used in quite different ways in Spanish. As far and I can figure out (which isn't much, but give me a couple weeks and a chapter test), "ser" is for descriptions and "estar" is for locations and temporary conditions or feelings.

Which, if you think about it, can really get at some big questions. It makes me think of a character I'm working with now, who became a local celebrity after winning a burrito-eating contest. Is his celebrity status a permanent, core part of his personality? If so, ser/es would be appropriate. Or is it a temporary condition, one that will go away once the public grows bored or he tires of it? If this is true, then estar/está is correct.

The funny thing is, this question gets at the core of the character's psyche. Perhaps studying this chapter will help me finish the short story.


Mark Panik said...

Necesito practicar mi español cada dia. Cuando trabajé en Blue Collar, hablaria español con mi amiga Sonia. Ella era Mexican, pero pensé ella era asiatico. No le gusto mis bromas sobre ser bueno en matemáticas

Juan said...

La diferencia entre estar y ser es interesante cuando empiezas estudiar estos verbos con frases tipicas. Por ejemplo, "?Estas lista?" significa "Are you ready?" pero "Ella es lista" significa "She is smart/clever." Y tambien, "?De donde eres?" es "Where are you from?" y eso es sobre sitio o localidad, pero es mas condicion de ser, de identidad.

Aprendi mas sobre mi lengua cuando estudiaba espanol.

lpanik said...

Veni, Vidi, Vinci and Espanol are the only foreign words I know beside Kneddlah, and oplatky. OH yes can't forget dorbra nots.
So take that!

Michelle Panik said...

Mark-look at you showing off with the past tense. Just you wait until my next semester starts!

Hi Juan-I know some colleges offer Spanish for native speakers. I hear it's enormously helpful. I bet native English students could benefit from something like this, too.

Dad-Latin! No other class gave me such joy and heartache! Except maybe my film class with some fascist-influenced movies.