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Why is it that sometimes Ser and sometimes Estar are used before "protegido"?

If i wanted to say that " she is protected by her father" would i use ser or estar protegido and which proposition should be used for the "(by) su padre" part.


  • Posted Mar 8, 2011
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5 Answers

3 Vote

It's complex, really complex to explay this but I will venture to make it this easy:

If you say: Ella es protegida por la policía, you would be talking in general terms, I mean, she is always or al the time protected by the police.

On the other hand, if you say: Ella está protegida por la policía, this will be more specific, like "she is now protected by the police" but maybe meaning that there is a cop taking care of her in that moment.

That's the general explanation, maybe you will hear them being used interchangeably and it will be fine.

This is my empirical explanation based on what I hear day by day, this is not a rule.

Finally, another form could be: La está protegiendo la policía (Estar) and Está siendo protegida por la policía (Ser).

I hope to have helped you.


1 Vote

You have to tell me what you mean by "she is protected by her father" otherwise defaults to ser.

1 Vote

Well how about "she is protected by the police" ?

Would it be "es protegido por la policia"?

1 Vote

Está protegida por la policia. The past participle must be in accordance with the subject (ella).

1 Vote

This has nothing to do with proteger, but rather with how ser and estar are used with adjectives to describe people. Ser is used to describe fundamental characteristics, which are often things that distinguish a person from everybody else. Estar is used to describe how the person is different from their usual state.

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