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The Verbs Ser and Estar in Proverbs

edited August 2013 in Portuguese
Here are some proverbs that use ser or estar to help you practice the difference between these two verbs that mean to be
The verb ser is used for inherent or permanent qualities, nationalities and occupations, and fixed or geographical locations. 
A pressa é inimiga da perfeição. Haste makes waste. 
Nem tudo que reluz é ouro. Not all that shines is gold.
É dificil agradar Gregos e Troianos. One cannot please everyone.
Achado não é roubado. Finders, keepers.
Estar is used to express temporary locations, states or feelings.
Quem está na chuva, vai se molhar. Actions have consequences. 
Faça feliz quem está perto e aqueles que estão longe virão. Make the one near happy and those who are far will come. 
Although when learning a proverb in a foreign language you should remember that literal translations don't always work, try translating these to practice the verbs. 
For more on the verbs ser and estar go to Lessons 4 and 5 of the Living Language Essential Brazilian Portuguese. 


  • Hello,

    Even after literal translation, I am still curious about the meaning of these two proverbs: 

    Achado não é roubado

    Faça feliz quem está perto e aqueles que estão longe virão

    What are they referring to? Can you please explain?

  • edited June 2014
    Achado não é roubado means that when you find something, on the street for example, even if it doesn't belong to you, it's ok to keep it. This saying was probably coined at a time when it was more difficult to communicate with people to try to find the owner of a lost object. Nowadays it would be easier through social media sites. 
    Faça feliz quem está perto e aqueles que estão longe virão, means that if you make those near you, your friends and family, happy, you'll make many more friends. If people like you, they'll introduce you to others.
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