Haber sido VS.Haber estado

Anita C1Kwiziq community member

Haber sido VS.Haber estado

I am having a lot of trouble knowing which one of these to use. The explanations I have found don't make sense to me. For instance "haber estado" refers to something in the past that expresses movement. Then why, when I receive something from Amazon Mexico, does it say "Tu paquete ha sido entregado". ? Very confused about this and I can't find any coherent answers.

Asked 1 year ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Anita

Haber sido and haber estado are used in different situations. 

Both would be used in a passive type sentence, adding a past participle: 

haber sido + past participle

haber estado + past participle

So, what you have in your sentence from Amazon Mexico: 

"Tu paquete ha sido entregado" 

is the passive using ser, which is the conventional passive "your package has been delivered"

However, the passive sometimes is formed using the verb estar; this is called "pasiva de estado", used to convey the result of an action in a passive, more than the process itself. It't not very natural and common to find this passive with the verb haber because the verb haber as an auxiliary verb would already convey the idea of result as it's used for actions that are completed. But to give you an example of the pasiva de estado, with "estar", not haber estado, this could be:

El producto está compuesto de varios materiales flexibles.

The product is composed by various flexible materials.

Here the focus is on the result after the action of making that product, not the process of making it. 

If we move away from the passive forms, you can also have haber sido and haber estado in different situations in an active sentence (not passive). Haber sido would be used in any context where the verb ser is used and the same for estar. For example:

Marcos ha sido su novio durante años.

Marcos has been her boyfriend for years.

This is to do with identifying people, hence the use of "ser" (ha sido)

Marcos ha estado cansado todo el día.

Marcos has been tired all day.

This is to do with mental/physical state, hence the use of "estar" (ha estado)

etc, ect

Here are two lessons with examples and explanation on both:

Passive with compound tenses (ser)

Pasiva de estado (with estar)

As you may know, there are lots of different contexts where we use either ser or estar. 

If you want to do a bit of revision on this, here are  some of our lessons on this topic:

ser or estar

I hope this clarified your doubt.

Saludos cordiales

Inma

Haber sido VS.Haber estado

I am having a lot of trouble knowing which one of these to use. The explanations I have found don't make sense to me. For instance "haber estado" refers to something in the past that expresses movement. Then why, when I receive something from Amazon Mexico, does it say "Tu paquete ha sido entregado". ? Very confused about this and I can't find any coherent answers.

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your Spanish level for FREE

Test your Spanish to the CEFR standard

Find your Spanish level
Thinking...