Esta? Está? Estar? – What’s the difference?

These three words have some important differences that you need to know! And of course, after reading this post you will be able to use them properly 😉

Let’s start!

  • ESTA: It’s a demonstrative pronoum, just like “this” and “that”. But in Portuguese we have different demonstrative pronouns for masculin and feminin and ESTA is for feminin

Eu estarei ocupada esta semana. (I will be busy this week)

Esta caixa é grande. (This is a big box)

* the masculin of ESTA is ESTE.

  • ESTÁ: It’s the verb “ESTAR”(to be) in the 3rd person of singular in the Simple Present tense or when it’s conjugated with the pronoun VOCÊ.

Ele está cansado. (He is tired.)

Ela está doente. (She’s sick.)

Você está linda! (You look pretty!)

Você está estudando? (Are you studying?)

Você está trabalhando duro para atingir seus objetivos. (You’re working hard to achieve your goals)

 

The alternative form of “ESTAR” is “tá” or “tô” (singular). But it’s nonstandard.

Ele cansado. / Ela linda!

Eu doente.

Você estudando?

 

  • ESTAR: It’s the infinitive of verb “to be” in Portuguese (remember: In Portuguese “to be” means “SER” or “ESTAR”)

Eu vou estar em casa mais tarde. (I’ll be at home later)

Estar com você me faz feliz. (To be with you make me happy)

 

Finally we have:

estaestarestá

 

Listen to the audio of this post here:

Is there any difference between ESTE and ESSE?

Good question! 🙂 A lot of students ask me about it and the answer is simple: THERE IS a difference. But the fact is that almost everybody don’t pay too much attention to it in everyday spoken. These two words are demonstrative pronouns in Portuguese, but there are also ISSO/ISTO and AQUELE/AQUELA

Let’s understand it better checking this chart about PRONOMES DEMONSTRATIVOS (Demonstrative Pronouns):

demonstrative

Notice that the pronouns agree in genre and number with the noun. And basically the difference is about the space and time. If something is close you should use: ESTE/ESTA (singular) or ESTES/ESTAS(plural). Look the pictures bellow:

Esta bola

este

We used “ESTA” because bola is feminine and the person is holding it, it’s close.

Essa bola

esse

Here, the person is not holding the ball anymore, the object is not so close and the best option is the demonstrative pronoum “ESSA”.

Now look at this exemple using “AQUELA”:

aquela

The ball is not with the guy or close to him, so we use “AQUELA”. If we are talking about masculine so we should use “AQUELE”

Eg: De quem é aquele carro? (Whose is that car?)

If you take a look at the chart again, you can see that there are some neutral pronouns, such as:

ISSO/ISTO/AQUILO

It means they do not vary,  they do not have plural, masculin or feminine. But is the same idea: ISSO or ISTO for something close(in space or time) and AQUILO when something is far. PAY ATTENTION  – this is very important – ISTO, ISSO and AQUILO are never followed by a noun (person, animal, object). NEVER! 😉

ISSO

isso

AQUILO

aquilo2

But finally…Does it really matter?

Depends…As we said in the begining of this text, people do not worry about it in spoken language. However, if you are learning Portuguese it’s important to know that when you’re writing documents for business or school/college you need to follow the grammar rules and pay attention to these little details. But if you are just talking with your friends in informal situations don’t worry about it.

Is it clear now? 😉

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