Pete   Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:35 am GMT
<<No, "soy feliz" can be used to mean "I am happy (right now)", rather than "I am a happy person (in general)". Some people do say "estoy feliz" (especially in Latin America, in my understanding), but others consider it to be an error. (I imagine that in some dialects, "estoy feliz" is so common that using "ser" instead would be considered an error...) The supposed rule is that, for whatever reason, "ser" is always used with "feliz".>>

Well, Kef. What can I say, I wasn't aware of such rule. Actually I agree with the Spanish guy. At least here in Peru, we say "Soy feliz" when you feel your life is happy, you are a happy person; but it's "Estoy feliz" when you are happy at the present moment because of some reason. It works more or less like this:

"I'm boring" => "Soy aburrido" (I have a boring life, other people get bothered with me.

"I'm bored => "Estoy aburrido" (At the moment, there's nothing that I'm interested in. I feel bored now)

That's the idea. I hope that helped. :)

<<actually italian uses two verbs that have the same meaning which is "to
be". how about " STO pensando" AND " chi E?, SONO io!! here italian have used the verb "STARE" and "ESSERE">>

the verb 'STARE' is used in the Italian tense which is equivalent to the English "Present continuous" (I think it's called "il presente continuo", I don't remember very well). And the structure is more or less the same: Soggetto + 'stare' + gerundio del verbo.

Sto pensando a te. (I am thinking about you.)

Loro stanno mangiando da Marco. (They are eating at Marco's.)

There's a great similarity between this usage and the Spanish form, and also, coincidentially, English.

Kind regards

Pete from Peru
furrykef   Sun Aug 05, 2007 5:12 am GMT
Hmm. Perhaps I misread what "A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish" says on the subject. It basically says that you can't use it with "estar", but it doesn't actually say that using it with "ser" may indicate a *temporary* state.

Nevertheless, it does give some an example sentence with a different adjective that follows the same rule that displays some of the confusion: "Ahora que el precio del petróleo ha bajado, este país es pobre." Although the use of ser instead of estar doesn't terribly confuse me, if I were producing the sentence myself, I might have chosen estar.

- Kef
The apple is green   Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:09 pm GMT
<<Ahora que el precio del petróleo ha bajado, este país es pobre>>
Yo diría,de acuerdo a tu frase, que el país ha sufrido de una burbuja petrolifera. Por lo que diría 'vuelve a ser pobre'. So i think this is not a correct sentence because it needs further explanation.
Se dice 'ser rico' porque es la version resumida de ser un país rico.
estar rico = to be delicious.

Ser pobre = algo estructural
estar pobre(de dinero) = algo pasajero. Tal vez me he gastado todo el dinero en un coche y no tienes dinero pero no 'ERES POBRE'.

Forget about temporary because 'what is temporary?'. Es soltero,joven is temporary.
You can learn some difference of these two verbs here http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/serest1.htm

Other areas of difficulty in spanish:
1) nouns - masculine/femenine . Some nouns is difficult to know if it is femenine or masculine: el/la mar, la mano, la moto,etc.
2) Conjugation:
2.1 Irregularities.
2.2 Subjuntive.
but most of this is logical: Irregularities follow rules but you have to learn those verbs and the subjuntive mostly follow rules but some times you need to choose it depending on the meaning you want to express(the difficult part).
3) Some problems with prepositions : por/para
4) Some problems in writting: h - b,v - j,g

The rest 'está chupado'

I really hope it helps you.
furrykef   Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:42 pm GMT
I think you're missing the point... yes, I can memorize the rules for using ser and estar, and I can understand the explanations. The trouble is that the explanations are necessary in the first place. A foreigner cannot quickly and intuitively fully grasp the difference between "ser" and "estar"; individual cases need to be examined for the difference to be fully understood.

- Kef
Gabriel   Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:00 pm GMT
Si alguien viniera de visita a mi casa y me preguntara "¿Dónde es el baño?" me parecería perfectamente natural. Sin embargo, "¿Dónde está la manifestación?" suena raro, parece que el que pregunta estuviera persiguiendo a unos manifestantes que le son esquivos y se escapan..