Are you looking for this? = Esto/Este/Esta

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by ClaudiaC, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. ClaudiaC Member

    English - US
    Let's say that I am holding a calculator [una calculadora] in my hand and I want to ask a co-worker "Are you looking for this?"

    Do I say "Estás buscando esta?" because the thing I am holding is feminine [calucladora] or do I use the neuter "Estás buscando esto?"?

    Thank you.
  2. ehpb Senior Member

    Hello, I would say "¿Estás buscando esto?" because you are not sure about what is what he is looking for.
    You can use "¿Estás buscando esta?" when there are several calculators and you know that he is looking for a calculator (femenino) you only need to know if the calculator that you have in your hand is the one he is looking for.
    Sorry for my English, I hope you can understand me. Greetings.
  3. ClaudiaC Member

    English - US
    What if I wanted to say "I found this." [the calculator]? Would I say "Yo encontré esto" or "Yo encontré esta"?
  4. JorgeHoracio Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Encontré esto = I found this

    Encontré éste/ésta = I found this one

    éste/ésta stand for este + masculine noun / esta + feminine noun
    and are always written with a "tilde"
    They always refer to an already mentioned noun.

    esto stands alone
  5. Aidanriley

    Aidanriley Senior Member

    SD, California
    Actually the rule has recently changed (I believe) and, similar to solo/sólo, they can only be written with an accent when there is ambiguity:
  6. timon01 Senior Member

    New York
    Estoy de acuerdo con Aidanriley pero casi toda la gente ignora esta modificación.
  7. Martoo

    Martoo Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Español (porteño)
    Encontré esto.

    Si ya estabas buscando la calculadora, decís:

    La encontré. La = calculadora

    También podes decir: ¿Buscabas esto?
  8. ¡Alla Voy! Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Hola a todos,

    I have a query with some grammar. I am a little confused as to use of esto/este/esta??? In English I believe "esto" would be translated as "this thing" while "éste" and "ésta" as "this/thing one".

    Here are some examples:
    este es mi libro (I have it right here with me and I'm showing you it because you asked me which one was mine)
    esto es mi libro (this thing is my book) For example, imagine my book looks absolutely terrible its withered and old. One could use "esto" instead of "éste" to highlight or give emphasis, no???

    I know esto is used in abstract sentences like "esto no va a funcionar" etc but my question is whether or not esto can be used with masculine/feminine objects or only for abstract ideas.

    I have seen esto used with masculine/fem objects but this has always troubled me as no one has ever explained it clearly.

    Muchas gracias a todos que contesten :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2015
  9. mancunienne girl Senior Member

    English - England

    In answer to your specific question about the book, I don't really follow your explanation for the use of "esto" in the example you gave. However, you would use "esto es un libro" if, for example, you were introducing new vocabulary in a Spanish class, and one of the new words happened to be "book".

    Hope this helps.
  10. Rubns

    Rubns Senior Member

    Español - Spanish (Spain)
    Hi Alla Voy,

    You got it right:

    - Esto es mi libro = this thing is my book.
    - Este es mi libro = this is my book.

    If you use "esto" in this context, you're referring to the object contemptuously (not always).

    On a side note, you shouldn't put the accent mark on "éste/ésta" when they're followed by the noun, only when they act as pronouns (and this rule has been recently changed by the RAE; now, it's no longer necessary). For example:

    - ¿Cuál es tu libro?
    - Éste es.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
  11. ¡Alla Voy! Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Thanks so much Rubns for the clarification :D


Share This Page