While I'm well aware of when to use ser versus when to use estar, I'm not so sure if the same rules apply to 'sin ser' and 'sin estar'.

According to WordReference.com:

sin ser = without being, although not

It also gives an example of usage:

La reunión, sin ser urgente, es necesaria para prevenir problemas. | The meeting, although not urgent, is necessary to prevent problems.

Are sin ser and sin estar interchangeable?

2 Answers 2


No, they are not

Even though you are adding "sin" (therefore making it negative) it doesn't change the meaning of the verbs, ser is still ser and estar is still estar.

In your example, you couldn't use estar as it wouldn't make sense.

  • 1
    Now that you've answered, I feel silly for asking, for now the answer to my question is soooooo obvious. Thanks! Sep 11, 2017 at 18:54
  • 1
    @RockAnthonyJohnson as you said this answer is stating the obvious but the differences between ser and estar are not always obvious for the non-native speakers so I think the question is valid and not silly.
    – DGaleano
    Sep 12, 2017 at 21:13
  • @DGaleano I chose to go straight to the point of the question as it explicitly says: "I'm well aware of when to use ser versus when to use estar" Sep 12, 2017 at 21:16
  • Yes, and that is ok, however we encourage here more elaborate answers. This answer is fine, but so far I like the other answer better but don't feel bad. It is just my personal preference, however if you have time and you want, you could improve your answer anytime, and I might change my mind :-)
    – DGaleano
    Sep 12, 2017 at 21:22
  • No problem, I'll elaborate more next time but I'm a fan of "straight to the point" answers because the difference between ser and estar has been asked and answered lots of times Sep 12, 2017 at 21:24

The rules apply.

There is no difference whether it is in negative or possitive

Lets see the rules

Uses of Ser: Ser is used to talk about permanent or lasting attributes. If this general rule is too vague for you, think of the acronym DOCTOR, which stands for Descriptions, Occupations, Characteristics, Time, Origin, and Relationships. Let's take a look at each of the above categories individually.

Uses of Estar: Estar is used to indicate temporary states and locations. If that general rule doesn’t suffice, there are two acronyms that you can think of, PLACE and LoCo. PLACE stands for Position, Location, Action, Condition, and Emotion. LoCo stands for Locations and Conditions. Let's look at PLACE now

Spanish Dict "ser" vs "estar"

La reunión, sin ser urgente, es necesaria para prevenir problemas.

In this case "ser" is used with time (for urgent).

It is not used for location, action, condition or emotions (rules of estar) so in this case estar can not be used instead of ser.

  • As the other answer is just stating the obvious I like this answer better.
    – DGaleano
    Sep 12, 2017 at 21:13
  • This is just the difference between ser and estar, it says nothing about the negative form, which is what is being asked for Sep 12, 2017 at 21:18
  • It makes no difference whether it is in negative or possitive. Why do you see a difference?
    – jalazbe
    Sep 13, 2017 at 8:55

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