fue / estaba picante

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by newcastlestudent, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. newcastlestudent Senior Member

    England English
    Hi! On the whole I understand the whole 'ser' 'estar' thing...and yet I still find myself doubting what i have written sometimes!

    When describing a visit to a restaurant I have used the following;

    'el servicio es terrible, los camareros son muy lentos, la sopa estaba fría (when it was not supposed to be), la comida fue incomestible, fue demasiado salada, fue demasiado picante, fue demasiado dura y fue mal cocinado.'

    If any of these are incorrect I would really appreciate an explanation as to why it should be the other 'to be' verb!
    Very many thanks!
    xxxxxxxx
     
  2. vicosink Junior Member

    Mexico - El D.F.
    English - British
    Hey, I would use estar in all of those except the camareros. I'd use eran there.

    Because all of those were subject to your experience and your talking about it from that point of view, not in general 'this is how it is'. I.e. the food and service were in a bad state when you experienced them. However may not always be, and how would you know? Its not a common piece of knowledge.

    I hope that makes sense. And its just how I see it. So lets see what a native says.
     
  3. sergio_h Junior Member

    Spanish
    Hola a todos:

    "el servicio fue terrible, los camareros eran muy lentos, la sopa estaba fría (when it was not supposed to be), la comida estaba incomestible, estaba demasiada salada, estaba demasiado picante, estaba demasiado dura y estaba mal cocinada."

    Un saludo.
     
  4. ebulerdo Junior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spain - Spanish
    Hi.

    I agree with sergio_h in all cases. «La comida era incomestible» sounds natural too.
     
  5. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    If the service is normally excellent but on this occasion it is not, can you say "el servicio está terrible"?
     
  6. ebulerdo Junior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spain - Spanish
    Hi Ricardo

    No. «El servicio fue terrible» means service was awful that particular time. It doesn't specify whether that was an exception or not.

    «El servicio está terrible» is present tense. You might say that when you are waiting there to be served, but not when describing something that happened in the past.
     
  7. RicardoElAbogado Senior Member

    SF Bay Area, California
    American English
    Thank you for the response. Yes, I had in mind speaking in the present tense while waiting to be served. I should have made that clear. In the past, when a person has come to the restaurant, the service was good, but this time, speaking to his companion at the table, he says "The service is terrible" and uses está to imply that that it's bad on this occasion.

    Would it be more natural simply to say ""el servicio es terrible esta vez (o hoy)"?
     
  8. ebulerdo Junior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    Spain - Spanish
    Both are good.

    I think you are right, the use of «está» in that sentence may transmit the idea that it's something that happens in that particular occasion. At least it sounds to me like that. The other sentence makes that explicit by adding «esta vez».
     
  9. newcastlestudent Senior Member

    England English
    Muchas gracias a todos!!
     

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