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.
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
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.
Irregular Stem Changing Verbs
Note the following irregular verbs, which make a stem change in the present participle form:
From e to i
**From o to u** venir