Click for Menu

Club GringoMembers Only!

This is page is only for members of Club Gringo. If that's you, log in below.

You are already logged in!

Forgot your password?

Important Account Info

Your email address and password for Club Gringo are the same as your username and password for the Premium Course Area.

From now on, everything will be sync'd between both websites. When you update your password here, it'll automatically update there (and vice versa).

The PASSWORD RESET function works at both websites.

If you run into any problems, please email me.

Better Call Saul #15

Context: This is Kim, Jimmy’s girlfriend. She’s on the phone with Jimmy. Jimmy doesn’t like Kim’s boss and is talking smack about him.

Kim: Hamlin is not that bad.

Spanish Translation: Hamlin no es tan malo.

Our Issue: Ser Vs. Estar, Present Tense

THE LOGIC OF SER & ESTAR:

**********

“Ser” refers to stuff that’s part of somebody or something’s IDENTITY or ESSENCE.

“Estar” refers to stuff that’s part of somebody or something’s STATE OF BEING.

**********

Kim said “Hamlin is not that bad” and the subtitlers went with “es” -- from “ser”. Why did they choose “ser” and not “estar”?

Because in this context, “is” refers to the kind of person Hamlin is--that’s his identity and essence. Kim was defending Hamlin because Jimmy was talking smack. I think this is a pretty clear case for “ser”.

Anytime you’re not sure though, use the Get Literal Method for clarity:

Hamlin IS not that bad
= Hamlin IS not that bad of a person
= Hamlin no es tan mala persona

But “Hamlin is not that bad” COULD be said with “estar” too! It’s only said with “ser” here because of the context.

A different context: Hamlin’s been sick. Kim is on the phone with Jimmy and Jimmy says, “Hamlin is going to die”. Kim could say:

Hamlin IS not that bad
= Hamlin no ESTÁ tan mal

It’s “está” this time because Kim is clearly referring to Hamlin’s state of being--how sick he is.

THE WHOLE THING:

Hamlin no es tan malo.
= Hamlin no is so bad.
= Hamlin is not so bad.
= Hamlin is not that bad.

Any questions? About this issue or any others? Ask away!

Tags: , ,