Forum Rocket Italian Italian Grammar Sto male versus sono stanca, sono annoiatta?

Sto male versus sono stanca, sono annoiatta?


Buon giorno,, Please someone explain why do you says sto male but you say sono stanca, sono annoiatta? Grazie


That's a good question!
According to Lesson 1.5,  it appears that they can both mean "to be" but "essere" and its variations are how we describe ourselves whereas "stare" describes feelings, like "I'm well" or whatever.
But one might think that "I'm bored" ("stanco/stanca") would be a feeling.

I'd be interested in how this works as well.


Ciao Marsha264, 

Indeed that's a great question!

The verbs "stare" and "essere" are somehow similar but yet they are used in different cases (although there are some exceptions when they are interchangeable). 

Let's take the examples you gave us "sto male". In this case it's stare + male (adverb) and it's the opposite of "sto bene" (stare + bene). These are generally used as part of idioms and, although they refer to temporary states of being, since "male" and "bene" are adverbs rather than adjectives (such as stanco for instance), they will need to be supported by the verb "stare. 

On the other hand, the example "sono stanco" uses the structure essere + stanco (adjective). It still refers to a temporary state of being but the fact that it uses an adjective requires to be supported by the verb "essere".

Let me give a perhaps clearer example of this difference: 
ITALIAN: Carla è pensierosa (pensierosa = adjective) ma sta bene (bene = adverb)
ENGLISH: Carla is thoughtful but she is happy.

As you can see the first state uses essere + adjective while the second state uses stare + adverb.

Please note that "sto male" and "sto bene" will always need the verb "stare" and that most of the other conditions/emotions use the verb "essere" (such as : sono stanco, sono triste, sono cattivo, sono sereno etc.).

Hope this helps!


Ah, I see, thanks Caterina,
That explains it (for me anyway).
So: stare + adverb and
Essere + adjective
I'll try to remember that.


Indeed, that's a general rule that should come in useful.
Always available for any further clarifications, happy learning! 

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