HomeQ&AUse of ser or estar for: I am still married

Use of ser or estar for: I am still married

1
vote

I know this sort of question has been asked over and over again, but I was just watching an episode of Friends in Spanish and this completely threw me.

Chandler is chatting with a girl he's dating, here's their conversation:

Ahí notamos que estábamos en Yemen.

Disculpa. ¿"Estábamos"?

Rick y yo.

¿Quién es Rick?

Mi esposo

Ah. ¿Entonces eres divorciada?

No.

Lo siento. ¿Eres viuda? O al menos eso espero.

No, estoy casada.

Why is estar used here? I thought that for relationships ser is supposed to be used. Is it because she is saying, "No, I am still married?

Thank you in advance smile.

5202 views
updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by --Jen--

13 Answers

1
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I would accept the regional differences answer, but if you needed to make a distinction between whether to use estar or ser in this context I would apply the CID method for differentiation.

I would opt for ser when making a classification distinction. Soy casada. I am a married person .vs. an unmarried person.

Estoy casada would refer more to a description, condition or state of being. I am a married person so expect me to act like one.

The regional usage would trump any of that since language is about communication, so if you wish to be understood....When in Rome....

updated MAY 22, 2010
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
3
votes

Nametaken, you might not know this,,this is simply and plainly regionalwink

We do not say soy casado in Spain, but look at Morbo's answer, they do this preferably. so you can choose yourselfraspberry

updated MAY 29, 2010
posted by 00494d19
2
votes

Maybe a little anecdote from Churchill that some one can put into correct Spanish might help explain the difference.

Churchill had had a few too many drinks and a lady bebrided him with "Sir you are drunk!"

To which he replied "Madam, you are ugly. Tomorrow I will be sober"

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by ian-hill
2
votes

It's somewhat similar to "Soy estudiante." Obviously most people will not be students all of their lives, but ser is used because at this point in time it is who the person is, Until a person is married, the ser names who/what they are even though the state may change in the future.

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by Delores--Lindsey
2
votes

The regional usage would trump any of that since language is about communication, so if you wish to be understood....When in Rome....

Exactly, as in Spain you will hardly ever hear soy casado and here in Madrid you would get strange looks.

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by 00494d19
My teacher told us a couple of weeks ago to always say "estoy cansado" for that purpose. When I commented that it makes marriage seem like a temporary state, she said, that's not the idea, it's just how they say it in Spain. :) - Rikko, MAY 21, 2010
2
votes

Soy casada. This indicates the state of being married, or in English "I am a married person.

Estoy casada. I am married. This is more descriptive.

Compare these two sentences.

El marinero es un (hombre) borracho. The sailor is (a) drunk(ard). This is his nature.

El marinero está borracho. The sailor is drunk. This is right now.

Not, perhaps, a good comparison with casada, but it does illustrate the difference. I do hope this helps you some.

Maybe this will help a little.

updated MAY 21, 2010
edited by Delores--Lindsey
posted by Delores--Lindsey
I do like this answer... even though you used a drunk to explaine it... jeje. :D - NikkiLR, MAY 21, 2010
Mea culpa :-( lol - Delores--Lindsey, MAY 21, 2010
It kind of makes sense. Need to process this further. - salsero69, MAY 21, 2010
I disagree. There's no difference between "soy" and "estoy" here except what is used in a particular area. - --Mariana--, MAY 21, 2010
There is a definite difference between soy and estoy. You are not inherently a married person, nor is it your occupation. It is something you have become. Because of this, estoy is used. Soy enferma=I am a sickly person. Estoy enferma-I am sick (recently) - slkey, MAY 21, 2010
1
vote

"Soy casada" o "Estoy casada". Un enigma transcendente.

Muchas veces solemos usar indistintamente cualquiera de las dos. Creo que depende mucho de los regionalismos y de la forma de hablar de la persona.

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by santihp
1
vote

"Ser" es un verbo ‘esencial’. Ser define el sujeto, es decir, señala una característica que puede ser permanente o accidental, ya que eso no es de mayor importancia. Ser identifica el sujeto y el atributo. Estar, en cambio, es un verbo de ‘estado’ que señala cómo se encuentra en un momento determinado o siempre – no tiene mucha importancia- el sujeto. Además, los verbos españoles ser y estar a pesar de ser verbos tan distintos a veces se ‘neutralizan’, es decir, esta diferencia desaparece. Este fenómeno ocurre con determinados adjetivos como: ciego, viudo, casado, tonto, etc.

" ** Ser ** " is a verb esencial'. ** Ser ** defines the subject, that is to say, indicates a characteristic that can be permanent or accidental, since that is not of greater importance. ** Ser ** identifies the subject and the attribute. ** Estar **, however, is a verb ofestado' that indicates how it is certain in a while or always - the subject does not have much importance. In addition, the Spanish verbs **ser ** and ** estar ** in spite of being so different verbs sometimes `neutralizan', es decir, this difference disappears. This phenomenon happens with certain adjectives like: blind person, widower, married, silly, etc.

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by mariovm
1
vote

Soy (una mujer) casada > Soy casada

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by AntMexico
1
vote

Heidita said:

.....this is simply and plainly regional

In Southern Mexico we were taught to say "estoy casada," however, it was noted that other parts of the country use "soy casada."

It's not that one is more descriptive and it's not that one is more permanent than the other....it's simply a regional thing (like Heidita says).

Bottom Line: you can use either "estar" or "ser" and you'll always be understood.

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
0
votes

Thank you very very much everyone for all of your answers! grin

updated MAY 22, 2010
posted by --Jen--
0
votes

I swear I'm not being deliberately obtuse but this just makes no sense to me!

Soy casada. This indicates the state of being married, or in English "I am a married person."

That makes sense, as being married is supposed to be a permanent state, especially as Spain was a very Catholic national where divorce wasn't allowed.

Estoy casada. I am married. This is more descriptive.

In what way is it more descriptive? It seems to me like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop... I am married right now, but I'm going to get a divorce in two weeks....

El marinero está borracho. The sailor is drunk. This is right now.

This makes sense to me on its own, but when you use it to explain estoy casada, it throws me for a loop. The sailor is drunk right now, but he's going to be sober in a few hours.

Am I making any sense why I'm confused?

updated MAY 21, 2010
posted by --Jen--
Believe me, I understand your confusion. I don't think that you are being deliberately obtuse! lol Let me think a little more on this, and maybe by then someone else will have chimed in. :-) - Delores--Lindsey, MAY 21, 2010
0
votes

I was surprised to learn the following in my last Spanish class:

To be married = estar casado/a

To be single/not married = ser soltero/a

I don't know why. Maybe someone else can answer that.

updated MAY 21, 2010
posted by Pajaro44
I think it's "ser soltero/a" because when your wife sends you to sleep on the couch you'll be single for the night. ;-) - salsero69, MAY 21, 2010
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