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Forming El Presente Progresivo with estar + gerund (present progressive)

The Spanish present tense has a continuous (progressive) form to express an action which is ongoing in the present. It works in a similar way to the English present continuous:

Yo estoy hablando con mi madre.
I am talking with my mother.

Tú estás corriendo la maratón.
You are running the marathon.

Ella está aprendiendo a cocinar.
She is learning how to cook.

Nosotros estamos cantando.
We are singing.

Vosotros estáis mirando la puesta de sol.
You are looking at the sunset.

Ellos están viviendo en Caracas.
They are living in Caracas.

To express a continuing or ongoing present action in Spanish you will follow this pattern for most regular verbs:

First of all you will need estar in El Presente:

yo  estoy
estás
él / ella / Ud. está
nosotros/nosotras 
estamos
vosotros /vosotras 
estáis
ellos / ellas / Uds.  están

And then: 

Estar in El Presente +

-ando (-AR verbs)

 

-iendo (-ER and -IR verbs)

To form the gerund of the main action verb (which finishes in -ando/-iendo = the equivalent of the -ing form in English) you need to drop the ending of the infinitive and add the suffix -ando/-iendo):

hablar → habl- = hablando

correr → corr- = corriendo

For regular gerunds see:

For irregular gerunds see:

See also Forming El Imperfecto Progresivo with estar + gerund (imperfect progressive).

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tú estás corriendo la maratón.
You are running the marathon.


Ella está aprendiendo a cocinar.
She is learning how to cook.


Yo estoy hablando con mi madre.
I am talking with my mother.


Nosotros estamos cantando.
We are singing.


Vosotros estáis mirando la puesta de sol.
You are looking at the sunset.


Ellos están viviendo en Caracas.
They are living in Caracas.


Q&A

Paulette

Kwiziq community member

18 January 2018

1 reply

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.

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

18 January 2018

18/01/18

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

Alexander

Kwiziq community member

2 December 2017

1 reply

What about the ¨-yendo¨ ending?

Am I wrong, when I was studying Spanish in high school, I clearly remember there being -yendo so there are not so many vowels next to each other. Caer -- Cayendo / Creer -- Creyendo / Leer -- Leyendo and so on and so forth. Is that not correct?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

2 December 2017

2/12/17

Hi Alexander - a number of Spanish verbs have -yendo as the ending of the present participle (which, when it is used as a noun like this is known as a 'gerund').


Here's a list:


https://spanish.kwiziq.com/revision/theme/707352


Hope that helps!

Thinking...