Essere vs Stare: Difference and Comparison

The Essere and Stare both belong to the Italian Language. The Italian Language is the language of Romance and is used by European families. Officially the language belongs to Italy and Switzerland.

If seen in English, the Essere and Stare would be words with some meaning. Whereas in the Italian Language, they are verbs.

They are the helping words, and both come under the irregular verb category in the Italian Language.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Essere” functions as the Italian verb for “to be,” while “stare” implies a temporary state or condition.
  2. “Essere” indicates identity, profession, and nationality; “stare” describes emotions, physical conditions, and locations.
  3. Both verbs are irregular in Italian, but “essere” is more frequently used and considered essential for beginners to learn.

Essere vs Stare

“Essere” indicates a state of being, identity, or characteristics and expresses things that are more permanent or long-lasting, such as nationality, profession, or physical appearance. “Stare” is used to indicate a state of being or a condition that is more temporary or changing.

Essere vs Stare

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The Essere meaning in English is ” to exist”. If we talk about it more precisely is used to describe someone or something. The verb changes its form according to the pronoun, like I am is written as “soon”.

The Essere is the verb that is used to translate or provide a proper meaning to the sentence.

The Stare means in English “To stay”. If we say it accurately, then we can see that the stare word has used to know the real or specific location of the object or someone.

The stare is in the present form. Maximally used in the Present Continous Tense. The Stare in English is a word and not a verb. In English, the word means to see something continuously.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEssereStare
Meaning The Essere means “to exist” and “to be”.The Stare means “to stay”.
TenseThe Essere is an irregular verb therefore changes form with every pronoun. Thus, a particular tense can’t be said for it.The Stare is mainly said to be in Present Tense and is used mostly in Present Continous Tense.
With Pronoun “io”The Essere is written as “sono”.The Stare is written as “sto”.
With Pronoun “tu”The Essere is written as “sei”.The Stare is written as “stai”.
With Pronoun “Lei”The Essere is written as “è”.The Stare is written as “sta”.
With Pronoun “noi”The Essere is written as “siamo”.The Stare is written as “stiamo”.
With Pronoun “vio”The Essere is written as “siete”.The Stare is written as “state”.
With Pronoun “loro”The Essere is written as “sono”.The Stare is written as “stanno”.
ExampleCosa sono? means ” What are they?”Luigi sta a casa means “Lugi’s at home.”

What is Essere?

The Essere is a conjugation and is also used as a verb in the Italian Language. The Essere is an Auxillary Verb that is used to make verbal tenses.

If we study deeper on this verb, you will find it a bit complicated. The reason for the complication is the use of the word and type changes accordingly.

That is the reason that this Essere doesn’t fall under anyone’s specific tense.

The Essere is also an irregular verb. There are four types of the Essere in the Italian Language: Conditional, Imperative, Subjunctive, and Indicative.

If we try to practice the compound type of sentences of the Essere word, we will understand half of the uses of the word Essere. 

Let us see some examples:

  1. I Vicini erano in vacanza ieri. This sentence means in English that: The neighbours were on holiday yesterday.
  2. Domani sara a Roman settiman prossima.This sentence means in English: We will be home tomorrow.

What is Stare?

The Stare word means in the Italian language “to stay”. This is a verb in the Italian language which is in the present tense. Mostly Present continuous tense uses the word Stare.

If we see its meaning, then it can also be used as “to be” or “to go”. This single verb can change the meaning of the whole sentence.

As a beginner, we won’t be able to distinguish much, but when we read deeper, we will learn that this is a unique verb in Italian.

The direct meaning of stare is still ” to stay,” while it is also used to express the feeling. In contrast, the words are mostly used to describe the specific situation or place of an object or something.

We can see in the example like “Come stay” means “How are you?”. Whereas the real meaning after translating would be ” How are you staying?”.

Therefore the second translation is a bit odd. Therefore, the use of the verb stare needs concentration and practice to become perfect in its use.

We can look at some of the examples of Stare:

  1. “Ciao! Come stay?” means in English, “Hello! How are you!”.
  2. Tu stai a Milano stassera? It means You are in Milan this evening.

The second sentence depicts the location, while the first sentence asks about the person’s state.


Main Differences Between Essere and Stare

  1. The Stare means “to stay”, while the Essere means “to exist”.
  2. The Essere is a verb that is used to tell the details about someone or something, whereas the Stare is used to tell the specific location or feeling of someone or something.
  3. The Essere is mostly used in formal conversation, whereas Stare is used in informal. 
  4. The Essere can not be categorized under the one tense as it changes its form, whereas the Stare is used in the Present tense and mostly in the Present continuous.
  5. The word Essere is a pronoun that is written as “soon” with the pronoun “io”, while the Stare is written as “sto” with the same.
  6. Let us see an example of Essere: Siete pronti? (Are you ready?) and of Stare: Sto bene, gracie. (I’m going, thanks.)

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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