fuera /estuviera estéril

mutagenix

Senior Member
Japanese
Hola

I've come across the following sentence in a grammar exercise where you're supposed to use either ser or estar in the proper tense/form:

Se preocuparía mucho más si su marido ______________ estéril.

I filled in the gap with fuera and it was marked as incorrect. The correct answer was estuviera. I thought being infertile (estéril) is something rather permanent or a long-lasting bodily state. So I do not understand why they chose estar. Perhaps it's a mistake?
 
  • Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Fuera is correct. Gramatically, estuviera is correct too but we would be talking about a different meaning of estéril and the sentence wouldn't make (so much) sense. There are very few examples online of estuviera estéril in which estéril is used meaning infertile so that use doesn't seem either to be generalized in the Americas.
     

    Doraemon-

    Senior Member
    "Spanish - Spain" "Catalan - Valencia"
    Según lo entiendo dependería de la duración o reversibilidad de su esterilidad. Podría tener sentido "estar estéril" si hubiera una causa médica temporalmente muy definida y pasajera, que no sé si existirá o no; lo normal es siempre (o casi siempre) "ser estéril". No eres estéril un día sí y al siguiente no, por lo general si eres estéril lo eres ya para siempre. Me cuesta ahí el "estar", aunque podría darse en algún caso, no sé. Yo creo que solo lo he oído con "ser", referente a personas. Ya un recipiente que se ha estirilizado, ahí sí, está estéril o no está estéril, pero una persona según lo veo "es" estéril o no lo es.
     

    Amapolas

    Senior Member
    Castellano rioplatense
    Hola

    I've come across the following sentence in a grammar exercise where you're supposed to use either ser or estar in the proper tense/form:

    Se preocuparía mucho más si su marido ______________ estéril.

    I filled in the gap with fuera and it was marked as incorrect. The correct answer was estuviera. I thought being infertile (estéril) is something rather permanent or a long-lasting bodily state. So I do not understand why they chose estar. Perhaps it's a mistake?
    Yes, it's a mistake. As others have explained above, 'estuviera' doesn't make much sense unless, perhaps, in a very specific context. But in an isolated sentence from a grammar exercise, it should definitely be 'fuera'.
     
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