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October 22, 2003 02:07 PM

Broken: Restaurant sign

Steffi Kieffer writes from Barcelona:

"It's not here" toilet sign: the photo was taken in a restaurant in Barcelona, Spain.
Try and find the toilet in this place...


Hey, isn't it "No esta aqui"?

Either my high school Spanish teachers were broken, or you use estar (to be) for location and changible condition and ser (to be) for permanent attributes.

Posted by: Seth Steinberg at November 3, 2003 08:38 PM

Perhaps they're trying to indicate that it's *never* there.

Posted by: Eebo at February 6, 2004 10:38 PM

Seth, there are two forms of spanish. There's South American spanish and Spain spanish. You probably learned Spain spanish, whereas this is probably taken from South America, or a South American restaurant.

Posted by: never mind that at March 8, 2004 05:43 PM

Also, of course, there's North American (Mexican and U.S.) Spanish.

Posted by: daisy at May 13, 2004 09:44 PM

But... this is from Spain, so if he learned Spain spanish, as I did, he'd be right and the restaurant would have made a small grammatical error, as happens so many times 'round USA way that I don't mention it any more. It's still very broken, just more broken now.

Posted by: bemdude at July 20, 2004 05:10 PM

But Doesn't Es Imply A Permant Location? It Might Be Just Me, But I Don't Tghink Toilets Move Very Much.

Posted by: Matt at July 24, 2004 01:02 PM

Matt, matt, matt. I am an 8th grade student, and in Spanish 2, and according to my teacher, ser is *never* used for location. for ex.- to be funny= ser comico

to be here= estar aqui

ser's not permanent conditions so much as personal attributes, and estar is used for location. (Note: My list is obviously not *all* that the verbs can be used for, but they don't overlap, where you can use one or the other.)

Es does *not* imply a permanent location.

Posted by: Bob at April 6, 2005 07:51 PM

Hi, I'm from Argentina, and though you're right about latin american Spanish being different from the actual Spanish one (well, it's 90% the same language... it varies just as it varies from country to country in Latin America), SER *is* indeed used for location in these cases.

SER is usually accepted (no idea if it is actually correct, but it is constantly used and common everywhere) for places, not objects of peeople. For example, where is the restaurant located could be said as "Dónde es (from SER) el restaurant?". "Donde está el restaurant" would sound a bit weird if you don't know it, as if you had lost the restaurant from your sight or something.

Instead, you use ESTAR for objects, people, and also places of course in some cases; just when it doesn't sound out of place :P. For example, where are my keys = "dónde están mis llaves". "Dónde son mis llaves" wouldn't make any sense.

Posted by: Guido at June 5, 2005 02:21 PM


Posted by: maryUm at August 20, 2005 10:29 AM

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