Ser vs estar

GruffKwiziq team member

Ser vs estar

I've just realised that this lesson needs more detail to cover ser and estar. 

When talking about something earlier in the day, generally,  something that uses estar will use imperfecto, not perfecto nor indefinido, breaking the rule completely! Whereas ser will follow the rule. 

So if we ate something delicious this morning we'd say, "!Estaba rico!" not "he sido rico" nor "estuvo rico".

Estar by its nature expresses more transient states of being than ser and the imperfect tense matches this (at least, that's how it feels to me but as I'm not a native Spaniard, I look forward to hearing Kwiziq's native experts' views to expand or correct this for me!)

Asked 9 months ago
InmaKwiziq team member

Hi Gruff,

You are correct when you say we use estar in El Imperfecto to talk about something earlier in the day, but I don't think it applies to everything. The example you are giving talking about something someone ate earlier in the day is perfect "estaba muy rico". We would also use the same phrase when you've just finished a meal (like when you put down your cuttlery on top of your plate after eating the last crumb); you would never say here "ha estado muy rico" or "estuvo muy rico". 

However I can think of other situations where this wouldn't apply. For example, if you come out of the cinema after watching an amazing film, you could say to your friend "Ha estado genial, ¿verdad?". Here we wouldn't say "Estaba genial ¿verdad?".

I am wondering if this use of Imperfecto is all to do with "food"... 

Will keep investigating... :))

Inma

GruffKwiziq team member

Thanks Inma - that's good to know! What about the other cases where we use estar. I suppose you can use both imperfecto and perfecto for the position of the car this morning but they have a different nuance regarding whether the car is still there?

InmaKwiziq team member

Say for example I want to say where something was this morning (my car, as you are suggesting):

"Esta mañana mi coche estaba aparcado enfrente de mi casa"

What I want to convey here with the use of estar in the imperfect is that my car was parked opposite my house this morning, without seen the action as a completed action. I may have moved the car later on, but this is not relevant. 

"Esta mañana mi coche ha estado aparcado enfrente de mi casa"

What I want to convey here with the use of the perfect tense is that my car was parked opposite my house but it generally implies that it is not there any longer. It has been parked there for some time during the morning but now it is not. It is seen as a completed action. 

Inma

Ser vs estar

I've just realised that this lesson needs more detail to cover ser and estar. 

When talking about something earlier in the day, generally,  something that uses estar will use imperfecto, not perfecto nor indefinido, breaking the rule completely! Whereas ser will follow the rule. 

So if we ate something delicious this morning we'd say, "!Estaba rico!" not "he sido rico" nor "estuvo rico".

Estar by its nature expresses more transient states of being than ser and the imperfect tense matches this (at least, that's how it feels to me but as I'm not a native Spaniard, I look forward to hearing Kwiziq's native experts' views to expand or correct this for me!)

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