Spanish Language/spanish 2

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Question
how would i complete with ser or estar?
como __? Yo ___  muy bien. Yo___ Mercedes Picado. ___ de Costa Rica. Vivo en un apartamento en San Jose, la capital. Mi apartamento __ muy grande y moderno. Mi apartamento __ en el segundo piso. Mi edificio no __ muy alto. Tiene cuatro pisos solamente. Mi familia no __ muy grande. Nosotros __ cuatro: mis padres, mi hermana y yo. Y tu familia, Juana, ___ grande o peguena?Escribeme pronto, Mercedes

Answer
    Hi Natasha,

It sounds like this is a homework assignment, which I can't just give you the answers to.  I can tell you about the uses of "ser" and "estar" so that you can fill it in, though!

Both would often be translated into English as "to be", but:
1) "ser" is used to express more inherent conditions, such as nationality (where you are from), characteristics of a person or thing that are somewhat permanent (such as "tall, large, intelligent, etc.), the time of day, days and dates of the week, and for counting, etc.

2) On the other hand, "estar" is generally used to describe characteristics that are less permanent, or subject to frequent change, such as how you feel on a given day, or something that has recently changed (like... you're so tall now! vs.  You're a tall person.).  One exception that doesn't fall within this rule is location; although a person's location might change, the location of a building or floor of a house, etc. doesn't really change, but you still use "estar" for both of those.  

Both "ser" and "estar" need to be conjugated in the present tense and follow these conjugations.

Ser: yo soy, tú eres, él/ella/usted (and the equivalent of "it") es, nosotros somos, vosotros sois, ellos/ellas/ustedes son

Estar: yo estoy, tú  estás, él/ella/usted está, nosotros estamos, vosotros estáis, ellos/ellas/ustedes están

If you want to try to fill in the blanks and re-send, I am happy to give you feedback.

Best,

Brandee

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Brandee Strickland

Expertise

I can answer questions about the Spanish language itself, as I studied Spanish academically and also spent a significant amount of time living in Chile (as a teacher of English). I can also help with issues of translation, and with interpreting slang or other cultural anecdotes. As an experienced teacher, of both EFL and Spanish, I can answer questions as well about teaching, classroom practice, and the use of technology.

Experience

I am a native speaker of English but have studied Spanish since a young age, as well as living in Chile for 5 years. I learned Spanish as a student myself, and have also taught introductory and intermediate level Spanish courses both privately and at the University level. At the graduate level, I have studied linguistics and sociolinguistics, as well as focusing on language teaching and the use of technology in the classroom.

Organizations
University of Calgary, Canada; Universidad de Concepcion, Chile

Publications
Strickland, B., & O'Brien, M. G. (2013). A Review of the Literature on Technology in Second and Foreign Language Learning. Calgary: University of Calgary. http://arts.ucalgary.ca/lrc/home/literature-review-technology-language-learning Strickland, B. (Summer 2012). Communities of practice in the language classroom: Theory and reality. ETAS Journal. Strickland, B. (2009). De Gardner a Bajtin: La comunicacion mediada por ordenador y su impacto en la clase de lenguas. University of Calgary (Canada), ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing. MR54572. Strickland, B. (2009). El mito de Narciso en la poesía española de los Siglos de Oro. Espéculos: Revista de estudios literarios, 40. http://www.ucm.es/info/especulo/numero40/narciso.html

Education/Credentials
I have an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Psychology from Bowdoin College in the U.S. I completed an M.A. in Spanish and Second Language Acquisition and a PhD dissertation in the same field, both at the University of Calgary in Canada and currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Universidad de Concepción in Concepción, Chile.

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