BLACK FRIDAY CYBER MONDAY SAVE 25% ON ANY PACKAGE »

Present tense v. presente progresivo

PauletteA1Kwiziq community member

Present tense v. presente progresivo

One of my Spanish grammar books says that the present tense in Spanish can be translated both by the present simple and the present progressive in English. So, for example, they said ella canta could translate both as "she sings" and "she is singing." My question is what is the difference between translating the present tense that way, and using el presente progresivo. Are the meanings different? When do I use one or the other in Spanish if I want to talk about an ongoing action? Thanks for any guidance.
InmaKwiziq team member
Hola Paulette, Yes, the main difference between the present simple and the present progressive is that the latter is used for ongoing actions that are taking place in the present. So take this sentence for example where we use both tenses: "Vivo en Inglaterra pero ahora estoy viviendo en Francia." "I live in England but at the moment I am living in France." The present tense (vivo) is used to say what you normally do, however the progressive tense is expressing what is happening at the moment. There will be a lesson about this specific usage soon. I hope it helped. Muchas gracias Inma
IanC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Inma:  Thank you for that. One of the examples in the lesson is "Ellos están viviendo en Caracas"  which I though was a bit out of context.  it would be great if you included your explanation in the main body of the lesson.   Oops:  I see you cover that point in the next lesson.  xx

By the way, the present participle (-ING) is not a gerund unless it is used as a noun. Technical point I know.      

InmaKwiziq team member

Thanks Ian. In reference to "gerund" we don't have such thing as a "presente participio" for your present participle. In Spanish whichever the function, the -ando/-iendo forms are called "gerundio". It is a bit tricky to make that differentiation in lessons when the gerund is involved because we can't really call them present participles... but will note it and speak with the team to see if we can come up with something in that matter. Gracias y Feliz Año.

Present tense v. presente progresivo

One of my Spanish grammar books says that the present tense in Spanish can be translated both by the present simple and the present progressive in English. So, for example, they said ella canta could translate both as "she sings" and "she is singing." My question is what is the difference between translating the present tense that way, and using el presente progresivo. Are the meanings different? When do I use one or the other in Spanish if I want to talk about an ongoing action? Thanks for any guidance.

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
I'll be right with you...