Using Ser to express essential & permanent characteristics

ChristineA2Kwiziq community member

Using Ser to express essential & permanent characteristics

I am a bit upset at the fact that I changed my correct answer to an incorrect answer based on a hint given.   I just finished taking a quiz and the question was:  

Sus padres ________ bastante delgados.

Their parents are quite slim.

(HINT: Their parents have always been slim )

 I knew the answer was "son", however I changed it to "tienen" based on the hint given.  Imagine my dismay when I got the question wrong after knowing the correct answer and changing it because because of the hint.   

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Christine

I understand you got confused with the verb "have" in the hint, but that hint was necessary to call the students attention towards the verb "ser" - The hint musn't be taken as a literal translation, unless it is explicitly saying so - We had to give that hint to justify the use of "ser" as opposed to "estar"ser referring to an essential/permanent characteristic (this is the case) and estar referring to more subject to change descriptions:

Son delgados.

They are thin. (seen as a permanent characteristic)

Estan delgados.

They are thin. (seen as a result/ subject to change)

I hope this clarified it.

Saludos

BrianB1Kwiziq community member

I think that " lazy" could also be a temporary state . Perhaps after a late night! but not as a permanent characteristic. This is why I used " estar" in this case .

Using Ser to express essential & permanent characteristics

I am a bit upset at the fact that I changed my correct answer to an incorrect answer based on a hint given.   I just finished taking a quiz and the question was:  

Sus padres ________ bastante delgados.

Their parents are quite slim.

(HINT: Their parents have always been slim )

 I knew the answer was "son", however I changed it to "tienen" based on the hint given.  Imagine my dismay when I got the question wrong after knowing the correct answer and changing it because because of the hint.   

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
I'll be right with you...