In Spanish, to indicate the material an object is made of we can use verb ser or estar, but in slightly different ways.
Read and listen to these examples:
La casa es de madera.The house is (made of) wood.
La casa está hecha de madera.The house is made of wood.
El jersey es de algodón.The jumper is (made of) cotton.
El jersey está hecho de algodón.The jumper is made of cotton.
Notice how ser is followed by de, however estar is followed by hecho de. The word hecho acts as an adjective, it needs to agree with the noun it is modifying.
Have a look at the following examples:
Las luces son de cristal.The lights are (made of) glass.
Las luces están hechas de cristal.The lights are made of glass.
El escritorio es de aglomerado.The desk is (made of) chipboard.
El escritorio está hecho de aglomerado.The desk is made of chipboard.
Las sillas son de madera de pino.The chairs are (made of) pinewood.
Las sillas están hechas de madera de pino.The chairs are made of pinewood.
To ask about what something is made of, you can also use both verbs. Have a look and listen:
¿De qué es la figura? -De porcelana.What is the figurine made of? -China.
¿De qué está hecha la figura? -De porcelana.What is the figurine made of? -China.
Notice that for the questions, the preposition de comes first.
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