SER VS ESTAR
By : Pablo Ramos
Uses of Estar
General Estar Rule
Estar is used to indicate temporary states and locations. If the general rule doesn´t suffice, think of the acronym PLACE, which stands for Position, Location, Action, Condition, and Emotion.
The location of someone or something describes where it is permanently, temporarily, actually, or conceptually.
El baño está a la derecha de la sala. (The bathroom is to the right of the living room.)
Estamos en el café ahora y estarémos en el cine en 20 minutos. (We are at the café right now and we will be at the movie theatre in 20 minutes.)
Mi abuelo está en la luna. (My grandfather is out of it/lost.)
Exception for Parties
This is a big one: The location of an event or party is described using SER. Not ESTAR!
La fiesta es en mi casa. (The party is at my house.)
Estar is used to describe an ongoing action using the present progressive tense.
Estoy lavando los platos sucios. (I am washing the dirty dishes.)
Estamos leyendo los periódicos. (We are reading the newspapers.)
Mi bisabuelo está muerto. (My great-grandfather is dead.)
Death is Ongoing Action
In Spanish, death is seen as an ongoing action, not a permanent state, thus you use the verb estar and not ser.