fue vs estuvo

Fg109

Fg109

Lección 9.4: 
¿Y cómo fue la comida?
And how was the food?

Is this also valid?
¿Y cómo estuvo la comida?

If not, why not? If so, what is the difference? I have a lot of trouble distinguishing when to use ser and estar. I put the following sentences into google translate and got the subsequent translations. Is google translate reliable? If so, I do not set the pattern. Please advise.

The food is delicious
the food was delicious
was the food delicious?
And how was the food?

La comida está deliciosa
la comida era deliciosa
fue la comida deliciosa?
¿Y cómo estuvo la comida?
Richard-Sel1

Richard-Sel1

It is "fue" (or "ser") because the quality of the food, once consumed, isn't going to change. If you answer that the food was delicious, since the food can only be eaten once, then it was delicious for all time. It's not like the next day, if asked the same question, you are going to say that the food was bad. Remember that "ser" is used for permanent or longstanding states unlikely to change anytime soon, and "estar" is used for temporary states.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

Good question. Here is an example from the Travelogue course (3.5):
- La comida estuvo deliciosa también.
- The food was awesome, too.
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡Hola Fg109, Richard-Sel1 y Steven-W15!

This can be quite a tricky question! The answer is that whether you would use ser or estar to talk about food depends on the circumstances. 

When talking about food, you use ser to describe specific dishes, because these are general statements that are not temporary (e.g. Quesadillas son deliciosas "Quesadillas are delicious"). You also use ser if you're talking about the food at a particular restaurant or venue, because this is also not temporary (e.g. La comida aquí es muy buena "The food here is very good"). 

If you're talking about the taste of a particular dish (like one that you just ate), however, then you use estar, because you're talking about a specific bit of food or dish that is not permanent. 

(Thrown into this mix is also colloquial regionalisms, of course - you might find that people in one particular region will prefer to use ser or estar in certain situations. Or people might use one or the other to give a particular nuance to their sentence.) 

So in the Travelogues lesson where La comida estuvo deliciosa también is said, Miguel is talking about the taste of food that they've eaten - this is why he uses estar.

In Lesson 9.4, the question ¿Y cómo fue la comida? comes after the question ¿A cuál restaurante fuiste? "Which restaurant did (you) go to?" Therefore, in this context, our question could be a shorter form of ¿Y cómo fue la comida en este restaurante? which is why ser is used. It's true that this isn't immediately obvious from the lesson, however - I will forward this to our development team and see if we can make this clearer in the lesson. 

I hope that this was still helpful!

Saludos,

Liss
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

P.S. - Regarding the reliability of Google Translate - automatic translators like this one can be a very useful tool for finding out what words mean in a general sense, but you want to be careful when using them: they're not always accurate, and often they will only give you the gist of a translation (e.g. occasionally missing words out, often going for the simplest or most common phrasing, etc.).

More dictionary- or context-based sites might be more useful for you if you're looking for something more reliable or detailed. For instance, WordReference.com (https://www.wordreference.com) is a good one for SpanishEnglish words and common phrases, and Reverso Context (https://context.reverso.net) can be extremely useful as well, providing examples of complete sentences (just keep an eye out for sentences that come from subtitles, since these aren't always the most reliable). For dictionaries, if you're feeling up to the challenge of a Spanish-only version (which can be very useful for learners, even if it might be tough to read through in the beginning), the RAE is the Spanish dictionary: https://dle.rae.es.
Steven-W15

Steven-W15

As always, many thanks for the detailed explanations - I think I've got it. And I couldn't agree with you more on your approach to online translations (thanks for the tip on subtitles, btw - I hadn't considered that).
 
Fg109

Fg109

Liss--Me gusta mucho tus explicaciones en detalle. Son tan ayudante. ¡Muchas gracias! (Y discúlpame por mis errores en esta respuesta.)
Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

Liss-Rocket-Languages-Tutor

¡De nada, Steven-W15 y Fg109! I'm glad that this helped! :)

Saludos,

Liss

Ask a question or a post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here .
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here .