SER/ESTAR + BIEN/MAL OR BUENO/MALO?

April 2, 2015

 

A very common mistake when you are learning Spanish is to use the verb SER with the adverbs bien/mal.  This is not correct.  It´s a very simple rule to learn but a very difficult one to use when you are speaking.

 

REMEMBER: YOU MUST NOT USE “SER + BIEN/MAL”

 

Let´s see the different possibilities with ser /estar and bueno/malo, bien/mal, distinguishing if we are talking about people or things.

 

 

Now, let´s see some examples:

 

SER + BUENO/MALO

 

Ayer le dije a mi hijo: “No seas malo y discúlpate con tu amigo”, pero no lo hizo.  (to be a good/bad person)

Yesterday I told my son: “Don´t be a bad person and apologize to your friend”, but he didn´t do so.

 

No es bueno para la piel tomar el sol sin protección solar. (to be healthy/unhealthy)

It´s not good for our skin to sunbathe without sunscreen.

 

Este bolso es muy malo. Es evidente que es una falsificación. (to be of good/bad quality)

This bag is of very bad quality. Clearly, it´s a fake.

 

ESTAR + BUENO/MALO

 

Me encanta Brad Pitt, ¡está muy bueno!  (to be good looking, hot)*

I love Brad Pitt, he´s hot! (colloquial, slang)

 

María no puede ir a la fiesta, está mala.

María can´t go to the party, she´s ill.

 

Me encanta la paella de mi madre, ¡está muy buena!

I love paella that my mum prepares, it tastes so good! (to taste good/bad)

 

*Note: with this meaning, it´s used ESTAR BUENO but not ESTAR MALO. “Estar malo” with people is only used as “to be ill”.

 

ESTAR + BIEN/MAL

 

¿Cómo está tu hermana? No está muy bien, ha suspendido matemáticas otra vez.

How is your sister? She is not very good, she failed math again.

 

No está bien mentir a tus padres.

It´s not good to lie to your parents. No está bien mentir a tus padres.

 

Está traducción está mal.

This translation is not correct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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