Spanish Present Progressive Tense
Understanding the Present Progressive
The term present progressive is a fancy way of describing the verb tense that emphasizes that an action is currently taking place as we speak. It is characterized by the verb “to be,” followed by a second verb that ends with –ing (the present participle). For example:
I am studying.
You are running.
In Spanish, the present progressive is constructed in a similar way. Use the “to be” verb estar. Instead of ending the present participle with –ing, however, you’ll end it with –ando or –iendo.
Resources for further reading:
Por ejemplo (for example):
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I am walking.
Sara está viajando.
Sarah is travelling.
Nosotros estamos corriendo.
We are running.
Be careful, though! In English you can also use the present participle in this way:
We are going fishing.
In this case, the verb “to be” indicates a future occurrence, that of fishing. You cannot use the present participle in this case in Spanish. Rather, you must use an infinitive. In other words:
DO NOT say “Vamos pescando.” DO say, “Vamos a pescar.”
The Present Participles of Regular Verbs
|-ar verbs||p. participle||-er verbs||p. participle||-ir verbs||p. participle|
The general rules for creating the present participle of regular verbs are:
1. –ar verbs will end in –ando.
2. –er verbs and –ir verbs will both end in –iendo.
The present participles never change… no matter which subject pronoun is used.
Estoy comprando unos calcetínes.
I am buying some socks.
Estamos bebiendo la cerveza.
We are drinking the beer.
Tú estás viviendo en Argentina.
You are living in Argentina.
Irregular Stem Changing Verbs
Note the following irregular verbs, which make a stem change in the present participle form:
|Verb||From e to i|
|Verb||From o to u|
Me estoy sintiendo triste.
I am feeling sad.
Tú estás durmiendo en la cama.
You are sleeping on the bed.
Want to learn more about Spanish Tenses? Take a look at these lessons:
- Found out how to use the present progressive tense in Spanish here.
- The easiest tense to conjugate in Spanish is the future tense. Learn more here.
- The irregularities in the future tense in Spanish
See you soon! ¡Hasta pronto!
Mauricio Evlampieff: Rocket Spanish
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