ADJECTIVES THAT CHANGE MEANING WHEN USING THEM WITH “SER” AND “ESTAR” The verbs “ser” and “estar” are probably if not one of the most difficult points for the Spanish students, at least one of the trickiest one, because in most of the other language there is just one verb for this two verbs, and their rules are not always that clear.


Today we are going to see some adjectives that you could use with both verbs, “ser” and “estar” , so you would not need to get crazy over which one to choose as you could use both verbs, the thing you will need to keep in mind tho is that they are adjectives that change meaning when using them with “ser” and “estar”.

adjectives that change meaning when using them with “ser” and “estar”.

Let’s start with some very common adjectives.



BUENO -a good person

María es buena. (María is a good person)


-things with good quality

Las zapatillas son buenas

(the trainers are good-good quality)

-someone handsome/pretty, that looks hot.

María está buena (María is pretty)

-food with good taste

La sopa está buena

(The soup is good.-it tastes good)

MALO -someone evil. Not a good person.

María es mala (María is a bad person)

-things with bad quality

Las zapatillas son malas

(the trainers are bad-bad quality)

-someone who is ill/sick

María está mala (María is ill-not feeling good)

-food with bad taste

La sopa está mala

(the soup is not good-it tasted bad)



BIEN It does not exit


-happy, healthy people

María está bien

(María is feeling good/she is not sick)

-The correct thing

El ejercicio está bien

The exercises is good-it is correct

MAL It does not exit


-someone who is not feeling good

María está mal (María is not feeling great)

-Incorrect things

El ejercicio está mal( the exercises is bad-it is wrong)


#watch out-sometimes we use “estar bueno” and “estar bien” both meaning “to be healthy”, the difference we use “estar bueno” after we have been through some illness, and we use “estar bien” when we express we are healthy in general, we feel good and do not have any health issues, so “estar bueno” is more specific and “estar bien” more general, that is why when someone asks “how we are” we use the verb “estar”  +bien.




Other adjectives we can use with “ser” and “estar” but that change their meanings are


LISTO -intelligent

Marcos es listo

(Marcos is intelligent)


Marcos está listo

(Marcos is ready)

NEGRO -colour

Las zapatillas son negras

(The trainers are black)

-tanned/ very angry

Marcos ha estado de vacaciones y está negro

(Marcos has been on holiday and he is tanned)

He estado esperando más de media hora, ¡estoy negra!

(I have been waiting for more than an hour, I am very angry!)

CLARO -illuminated/lit up/brigh

La habitación es muy clara

(the room is very illuminated)



Está claro que no quieres venir a la fiesta

It is obvious you do not want to come to the party


DESPIERTO -nimble/clever/astute

Mónica es una chica muy despierta

(Monica is a really astute girl)


Mónica está despierta

(Monica is awake)

ATENTO -to be kind

Joaquín es un chico muy atento

(Joaquín is a very kind guy)

-to pay attention

Joaquín siempre está atento

(Joaquín is always paying attention)

RICO -to have lots of money

Justin Bieber es rico

(Justin Bieber is rich)

-when the food is tasty

La comida está muy rica

(the food is really tasty)

ABIERTO -open minded/extrovert

Mi prima es muy abierta, le gusta conocer gente nueva

(My cousin is very extrovert, she likes meeting new people)


La librería está abierta desde las 9.

(The bookshops is open from 9)

VERDE -colour/ecologic

El sofa es verde

(the sofa is green)


El aguacate no está maduro

(the advocate is unripe)

DELICADO -smooth/fragile

Cuidado con esa caja, es delicada

(watch out with that box, it is fragile)


-with weak health

Mi abuelo está delicado de salud

(mu grandfather is a bit sicky/delicate)

CERRADO -shy/introvert/closed minded

Mi primo es muy cerrado

(My cousin is very  closed minded)

-not opened

El bar está cerrado

(The pub is closed)


This are not the only ones, but just the ones I thought they  will be useful.


Anyway, you know that as usual, it is your turn now, leave a comment below if you know any other adjectives that change meaning when using them with “ser” and “estar”. Also if you like this blog, please share it with someone that might benefit from it, let’s spread the Spanish word around.

Also for homework this week I would love if you could leave two sentences in the comments below using one of the adjectives we have seen above, with the two different verbs, “ser” and “estar”.

Looking forward to reading your comments.

Hope you have a great day and I will write you soo4n


  1. Zoe

    Estoy listo ahora
    Mi madre es lista

  2. neville

    Es un viejo verde
    Está un joven verde


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