I need someone to answer this question to me. For a non-native English speaker to understand this structure is so confusing:

Prices are down [Los precios han bajado]

Prices are up [Los precios han subido]

Why if we are writing a statement down using a continuous tense structure (to be) this one acquires a perfect tense meaning (to have done) on translating into Spanish?

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    Are isn't a "continuous" construction: it's a simple construction. The "continuity" (technically, imperfectivity) is a matter of lexical aspect, a meaning "built in" to the stative verb be. And there's no passivity involved at all -- be is intransitive and cannot be cast in the passive voice. Isn't this true in Spanish as well? -- bajar is used here as an intransitive? – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 26 '16 at 15:05

I'm not sure if I got your answer, are you talking about Spanish or English? It's an English forum, and if you trying to get your Spanish doubts answered, you are in the wrong place, buddy, but as I'm Brazilian and speak a little bit of Spanish, I will try to help you out.

Both sentences are wrong (IN FORMAL LANGUAGE, thank you StoneyB ), nor Prices are down or Prices are up are acceptable in English nor in Spanish.

Talking about prices means it's a recent stuff, prices rise and decrease all time, so it's a recent matter, that's you must write your statement in the present perfect tense when talking about prices, and there is always one auxiliar verb when talking about something growing up, like prices, these are the commom verbs used when talking about prices:

The prices of this restaurant have risen a lot recently;

This store's owner said he will raise the prices;

If this store's owner doesn't decrease these prices, the store will go bankrupt.

Don't go to that restaurant, its prices have risen absurdly.

Maybe we should decrease our prices in order to get more customers.

People are going to the opposite restaurant due to its price, we must decrease our prices otherwise, we will lose customers.

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    What?! X is up/down is entirely acceptable in English. "Surf's up!" "The sun is down." "What's up?" "My internet connection is down." ... up and down here are intransitive prepositions--in effect, one-word preposition phrases--and such locative expressions are acceptable predicate complements with be. – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 26 '16 at 15:36
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    Sorry, but I have never seen anyone use: The prices are UP, it sounds quite weird for me, but as you say, it would be placed in the "informal language" right? – Davyd Dec 26 '16 at 15:37
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    But I made a mistake, I said: They are not acceptable, actually they are, but not in formal language, thank you for pointing me out that little mistake. I will fix it. – Davyd Dec 26 '16 at 15:39
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    "Prices/exports/sales/ are up" has been standard in all registers since the middle of the 19th century. – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 26 '16 at 15:46
  • I got these sentences from a Spanish- English dictionary. Those are not my own concepts. There are some things that are not that easy to understand if you are not living in a country where English not spoken . but thanks, anyway. – Juan Zarate Dec 26 '16 at 20:58

We can't address the Spanish use here—each of the European languages which have adopted the VL habeo perfect has its own quirks in using it—but in English it is also possible to express these sentences with a perfect:

Prices are up . . . Prices have risen.
Prices are down . . . Prices have fallen.

This is because the perfect construction in English expresses a state at Reference Time, just as the copula BE does:

  • a present perfect does not express a past event but a present state which arose from a past event.
  • a past perfect does not express an event prior to the time you are talking about but a state which obtained at the time you are talking about which arose from a prior event.

The past rise (or fall) in prices effects a current state of higher (or lower) prices.

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