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Following 'Estar' With Prepositions

'Estar Con' and 'Estar De' Can't Always Be Translated Word-for-Word to English

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The verb estar is frequently followed by a preposition in ways that are uncommon with the English equivalent "to be." Here are some of the common combinations:

Estar de: Temporary situations including roles, employment and emotions are often expressed using estar de. Some examples:

  • La red social más popular está de cumpleaños. The most popular social network is having a birthday.
  • No te pongas serio. Estaba de broma. Don't take it seriously. He was joking.
  • Estoy de acuerdo contigo. I agree with you.
  • Mi hermano está de chofer. My brother is working as a driver.
  • Estamos de vacaciones. We're on vacation.
  • ¿Qué tipos de vestidos están de moda? What types of clothing are in style?
  • Los Smith están de aniversario. It's the Smiths' anniversary.
  • Los conductores están de huelga. The drivers are on strike.
  • El jefe está de un humor muy feo. The boss is in a very ugly mood.

Estar con: In addition to indicating who someone is with, estar con can be used to indicate illnesses, what a person is wearing and other characteristics:

  • Tengo un amiga que está con la influenza porcina. I have a friend who has swine flu.
  • Hay días que estoy con dolor constante. There are days I'm in constant pain.
  • Estaba con pantalones cortos y una playera blanca. He was wearing short pants and a white T-shirt.
  • Cuando estamos con prisa, es fácil pasar por alto algunas prácticas de seguridad. When we're in a hurry, it's easy to overlook some safety measures.
  • La carne estaba con mal olor. The meat smelled bad.
  • Estamos con duda sobre estos medicamentos. We are in doubt about these medications.

Estar sin: Estar sin is used much like estar con but with the opposite meaning. (Of course, it can also mean "to be without."):

  • De momento estoy sin dolor. At the moment I'm not in pain.
  • Unas 8.000 personas estaban sin hogar en la ciudad. There are some 8,000 homeless people in the city.
  • Estoy sin dinero y sin amigos. I am penniless and friendless.

Estar en: Estar en is often used much like "to be in."

  • Está en buena condición la carretera. The road is in good condition.
  • Las autoridades locales estaban en conflicto con los operadores de turismo. The local authorities were in conflict with the tourism operators.
  • Esta página web está en construcción. This web page is under construction.
Prepositions
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