Eres bienvenido/libre - pero estás limitado

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by señorgringo, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. señorgringo Senior Member

    English & German
    • Eres bienvenido/libre - pero estás limitado

    I am a bit confused about the use of ser vs. estar here. I first thought that it was related to being a personal attribute. As in 'you are free' and 'you are welcome to' which in some ways is tied to the person. Which is different than saying 'you are invited / estás invitado' - which is an external process. However in all cases we are dealing with an adjective and so I still am not clear when you use ser and when estar. Is it simply a matter of memorizing the proper usages? I'm sure that's how the natives do it as none of them are able to explain the rules to me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2015
  2. Ferrol Senior Member

    Creo que el sitio apropiado sería el Foro sobre gramática , puesto que no planteas ninguna pregunta de traducción.Efectivamente se dice " eres bienvenido" y "estás invitado", pero no creo exista una regla universal para distinguir cuando usar un verbo u otro.Un amigo inglés recuerdo me expresó su incomprensión acerca de la expresión "estar muerto". Si ser refleja una condición permanente y estar no ¿ que puede haber más permanente que la condición de muerto?. Simply that's the way it is!
  3. señorgringo Senior Member

    English & German
    ¿De qué hablas? Este es el foro gramática!

  4. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    Señorgringo -
    This thread was started in the Vocabulary forum but was moved to the Spanish-English Grammar forum after Ferrol posted. Perhaps you did not notice the move, and this caused your confusion.
    In any event your question seems to have been answered in a satisfactory way.
  5. señorgringo Senior Member

    English & German
    Sorry Bevj - didn't do it intentionally - my mistake. I'm familiar with the conventions here and usually I get it right.
  6. señorgringo Senior Member

    English & German
    Per Ferrol's answer - so there are no rules then? Simply learn it and that's it? Yes, the está muerto got me too in the past.... :rolleyes:
  7. Julvenzor

    Julvenzor Senior Member

    Español propio (Andalucía, España)

    If it's a consolation, in old Spanish it was said "ser muerto". ;)

    Eres limitado => Anyone limits you.
    Estás limitado => By now you don't have all privileges.

    A pleasure.
  8. señorgringo Senior Member

    English & German
    Oh great - just to make things even more confusing! :confused:

    How about being white - like in white skin? I have a fair complexion - so would I say 'soy muy blanco' or 'estoy muy blanco'?
  9. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    One touchstone that may help is that of change, potential or real. Another is result. I would suggest that Eres bienvenido does not in the usual sense imply a change from an unwelcome state or the possibility of losing that welcome. Libre is not quite so straightforward. Eres libre means to me that you are a free person, free to do what you want. Estar often implies free of something, e.g. prison, again real or unreal. In the case of Estás invitado, we are dealing with the result. Someone has invited you, so you remain, so to speak. invited. I hope this helps.

    The differences between these 2 verbs have always fascinated me, and the fact that native speakers seem to always get it right baffles me. But I have noticed in the past few decades that regional differences are cropping up.

    One last comment: unless you can justify estar, ser is probably the correct choice. Consider the example of inminente. At first glance, one might think that a change is about to occur. as in Una guerre es inminente. And yet estar would never be used with this adjective. :confused:

    Addendum: In the example of white, ser would be the usual choice, but a change in degree of whiteness might attract the verb estar. Amigo, estás más blanco que nunca.
  10. donbill

    donbill Senior Member / Moderator

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    Estar implies change or the result of an action. Estás libre because someone or something freed you. Estás muerto because someone or something killed you. And, Señorgringo, if someone kept you in a dark cellar for six months, upon your exit you'd be even whiter than usual, so someone would say "Señorgringo, que blanco [qué pálido] estás."
  11. señorgringo Senior Member

    English & German
    Donbill never disappoints - awesome response, muchísimas gracias :)

    Geostan - thanks as well.
  12. señorgringo Senior Member

    English & German
    Wait a minute - what if I die on my own in my sleep? ¿Entonces soy muerto? ;-)

    Nah - I get it - just kidding.
  13. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Spanish - Uruguay
    You may find examples in which 'muerto' means 'matado'.
    In a song: "Bla bla bla, son muertos por libertad" -they died for freedom. It's not common, but it may show up. Don't worry.

    And you're right. Many of the uses of ser/estar are 'lexified'. Meaning 'just because'. In my variety, I may say 'Soy feliz/estoy contento', and never the opposite. But in many places 'estoy feliz' is ok. 'Soy contento', never.

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