presente progressivo




Was doing some revision and came across this sentence.

Guardando il mare, penso ​alle vacanze.

I understood from a previous lesson on the presente progressivo that one needed the verb Stare in the sentence. Why does this one not follow that rule?

Thanks Maxie



Ciao Maxie,


Thank you for your question. In Italian, the presente progressivo (present progressive) construction is formed by using the verb "stare" (to stay) followed by the gerund form of another verb. It is commonly used to express an ongoing action in the present.


In the sentence "Guardando il mare, penso alle vacanze" (Looking at the sea, I think about the holidays), you're correct that the verb "stare" is not used. Instead, the gerund form of the verb "guardare" (to look) is used directly.


The reason for this is that the presente progressivo is not the only way to express ongoing actions in Italian. In this case, the gerund form "guardando" acts as an adverbial phrase that describes the manner or circumstances of the main verb "penso" (I think). It indicates that the action of "thinking" is happening while "looking at the sea."


So, while the presente progressivo with "stare" + gerund is one way to express ongoing actions, using the gerund form directly can also convey a similar meaning in certain contexts. It provides a more descriptive and nuanced way to express the simultaneous actions of "looking" and "thinking" in this particular sentence.


I hope this explanation clarifies the usage for you. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Buon proseguimento!

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