Forming the present perfect progressive tense in Spanish with estar + gerund (El Pretérito Perfecto Progresivo)

Every Spanish past tense has a continuous (progressive) form to express an action which is continuing or ongoing in the past.

The progressive tense of the El Pretérito Perfecto is formed following this pattern for most regular verbs:

Estar in El Pretérito Perfecto +

 gerund -ando (-AR verbs)

 

 gerund -iendo (-ER and -IR verbs)

It works the same way as the English present perfect progressive "have been doing". But remember it is "estar" and not "ser".

And what is a gerund in Spanish?

Here is a reminder of what a gerund is in Spanish and how to form them:

Gerundio

Forming regular gerunds in Spanish (-ing form)

Forming irregular gerunds in Spanish (-ing form)

 

Look at and listen to these examples:

He estado estudiando durante horas.I have been studying for hours.

Estás sudoroso. ¿Has estado bailando?You are sweaty. Have you been dancing? [you=tú]

Laura ha estado viendo a su novio a escondidas.Laura has been seeing her boyfriend secretly.

Hemos estado hablando sobre las próximas vacaciones.We have been talking about the next holidays.

Habéis estado chateando por skype una hora.You have been chatting through Skype for an hour. [you=vosotros]

Han estado leyendo las condiciones del contrato.They have been reading the terms and conditions of the contract.

Ustedes han estado quejándose todo el tiempo.You have been complaining all the time.

The present perfect progressive in Spanish


ESTAR

Verbs ending in -AR
LLAMAR (to call)

Verbs ending in -ER-IR
APRENDER (to learn)
VIVIR (to live)

he estado

llamando


aprendiendo
viviendo



has estado

ha estado

hemos estado

habéis estado

han estado

For irregular gerunds see Verb list: Irregular gerunds of the form -iendo and Verb list: Irregular gerunds of the form -yendo

See also: Forming El Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto Progresivo with estar + gerund (pluperfect progressive)

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Examples and resources

He estado estudiando durante horas.I have been studying for hours.
Ustedes han estado quejándose todo el tiempo.You have been complaining all the time.
Han estado leyendo las condiciones del contrato.They have been reading the terms and conditions of the contract.
Hemos estado hablando sobre las próximas vacaciones.We have been talking about the next holidays.
Habéis estado chateando por skype una hora.You have been chatting through Skype for an hour. [you=vosotros]
Laura ha estado viendo a su novio a escondidas.Laura has been seeing her boyfriend secretly.
Estás sudoroso. ¿Has estado bailando?You are sweaty. Have you been dancing? [you=tú]
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