Cainntear wrote:s_allard wrote:This goes to the heart of the question. Saying that : This type of English sentence is represented by sentences with ser in Spanish, and this other type with sentences with estar and the past participle in Spanish" will ultimately lead to bad results because one is going from the English construction to Spanish instead of the other way around.
The problem is the term "past participle". There is no "estar + past participle" in Spanish really -- the past participle is an inflected form of the verb. The "estar" construction uses the adjective that is derived from the participle. Yes, they have the same form; but no, they are not the same thing. Our internal understanding of "tired" in English makes a very solid distinction between participle and adjective -- when we say "I am tired", we automatically process the form "tired" as an adjective, not a participle.
Spanish makes the same hard distinction between participle and adjective, otherwise it would be impossible for "aburrido" to be both "bored" and "boring" -- as an inflected form it makes no sense, it can only be processed as a derived form.
Let's start with a quick refresher in English grammar courtesy of Eugene Montoux:
A participle is a verbal adjective; that is, it is both a verb and an adjective. Like infinitives and gerunds, participles have tense and voice but no person and number. There are five participial forms of most transitive verbs: present active (carrying), present passive (being carried), present-perfect active (having carried), present-perfect passive (having been carried), and past (carried). Participles can function both as attributive adjectives and as predicate adjectives. They can also serve as objective complements. They have an essential role in nominative absolutes, and they have an independent use.
I don't see what the issue is. A google search on estar and past participle gave me 168,000 hits. Call it a predicative adjective in past participle form, it doesn't make any difference in the debate. The key element here is the choice of either ser or estar. Estar aburrido is to be bored. Ser aburrido is to be boring. In this latter example, as in others discussed previously, there is no passive voice. This constant comparison with English grammar just mixes things up. We have to accept the fact that English and Spanish grammar may have certain things in common but are also quite different.