Basic Spanish for the Virtual Student- Section 2

  1. This page has been checked by a native speaker for mistakes.
  2. This does not mean the page is 'mistake-free.'
  3. It means a lower probability of problems.
  4. We advise that for everything you learn here, find it somewhere else too!
SHORT ACHIEVABLE GOALS
  1. adverbs
  2. Coordinative Conjunctions
  3. prepositions
  4. adverbs
  5. Estar vs. Serser o estar-- este es el problema...
  6. regular verb conjugations for preterit and imperfect-
  7. become aware of the four possible forms for the past tense of 'to be'-
ADVERBS COORDINATE CONJUNCTIONS PREPOSITIONS MORE ADVERBS ESTAR vs. SER

A more accurate description of the differences is to say that ser is used for characteristics and estar is used for conditions. The Latin root for ser is essere--like essence in English, and for estar is stare--like state or static in English. This is a better distinction than permanent/temporary, because conditions can be permanent--"esta muerto"--and characteristics can be temporary--"es joven". As you wrote, personal info is usually used with ser--soy profesora, delgada, catolica, democrata, bonita, etc. The characteristic/condition distinction can be exploited to express something unusual--"Gilda esta bonita hoy"---implying that she usually isn't pretty, but she looks good today.

Special thanks to Catherine Holm (Community College of Allegheny County)

PRETERIT vs. IMPERFECT