Ser v. estar and indefinido v imperfecto

AlanB1Kwiziq community member

Ser v. estar and indefinido v imperfecto

Why is it "fue (indefinido) muy emocionante" but "mis contrincantes eran (imperfecto) muy bueno"?

And why is it "fue muy emocionante" rather than "estaba / estuve muy emocionante"?  There is a lesson entitled "Using estar (not ser) when talking about emotions".

Asked 1 week ago
CA2Kwiziq community member

I prefer to talk about the simple past, rather than the "pasado indefinido", as is used here.  Fue is simple past, that is, it refers to something that is over and done with. 

When you use the imperfect, you are referring to something that was continuous or ongoing at the time that something else happened. 

So, "fue muy emocionante", meaning "it was very exciting", but now it's over.  "Mis contrincantes eran muy buenos" meaning "my opponents were very good" when I beat them, for example.  (Sorry, not a premium subscriber, so I can't see the actual text.)

Why ser instead of estar for "fue muy emociante?"  I believe it's because you're describing a thing, not talking about how a person feels about something. 

InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Alan

C has given a very accurate answer. The past simple (El Indefinido) in Spanish is used to refer to actions that the speaker sees as finished actions with a beginning and an end, they are completed. The imperfect (El Imperfecto) in Spanish is used for actions that are more descriptive, where the beginning and end are not relevant; it's more about what was happening (ongoing).

The use of ser with emocionante is more common than using estar because, as C said, we are describing something, as in es interesante, es bonito,es genial..., but you could also use estuvo emocionante here if you want to emphasise this as a result. This would have that more specific nuance and it'd also be correct. 

Saludos

Inma

Ser v. estar and indefinido v imperfecto

Why is it "fue (indefinido) muy emocionante" but "mis contrincantes eran (imperfecto) muy bueno"?

And why is it "fue muy emocionante" rather than "estaba / estuve muy emocionante"?  There is a lesson entitled "Using estar (not ser) when talking about emotions".

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