Saturday, 4 June 2011

Following on from recent posts on 'ser' and 'estar', I thought I would add to the confusion by throwing in an example which completely threw me when I first heard it. I was standing at the bottom of a ski slope (a common place for me to be as readers of my other blog will know) talking to a Spanish friend who was trying to explain to me when to use 'ser' and when to use 'estar'.

He explained that 'ser' is for permanent things, and gave an example -

la nieve es blanca = the snow is white

He then explained that 'estar' is for more temporary things. The example was -

la nieve está fria = the snow is cold

Now this just added to my confusion, because I have seen snow that is pink from the sunset, red or orange with sand blown from the Sahara to Europe, brown from mud close to the surface, blue on a cold shady morning or grey on cloudy days. But I have never once come across snow that is not cold. I still don't understand why the above examples are correct, other than colours generally use 'ser' and temperatures 'estar'.

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