Forming irregular gerunds (-ing form)

In Spanish the gerund (the -ing verb form in English) is formed by taking the stem of the verb (e.g hablar → habl-) and adding one of these endings:

-ando (for -ar verbs) 

-iendo (for -er/-ir verbs)

However there are some verbs that have irregular gerunds:

1. Verbs ending in  -er and -ir with a double vowel in the stem.

Creer. Creyendo
To think/believe. Thinking/Believing

Leer. Leyendo
To read. Reading

Oir. Oyendo.
To listen. Listening.

Notice how the ending is -yendo, not -iendo.

Another special case with a -yendo ending is verb ir (to go)

Ir → yendo

To go → going

2.  Some verbs with an e > i or e > ie stem change in El Presente swap the -e in the infinitive for an -i, however the ending remain regular:

Mentir. Mintiendo.
To lie. Lying.

Preferir. Prefiriendo.
To prefer. Preferring.

Vestir. Vistiendo.
To get dressed. Getting dressed.

3. Some verbs with an o > ue stem change in El Presente swap the -o of the infinitive for an -u, however the ending remain regular:

Morir. Muriendo.
To die. Dying.

Dormir. Durmiendo.
To sleep. Sleeping.

Poder. Pudiendo.
To be able to. Being able to.

moriendo, dormiendo and podiendo are incorrect!

4. -ir verbs that undergo a vowel change (e > i) and have an -e immediately before the -ir lose the -e from the stem.

Freir. Friendo.
To fry. Frying.

Reir. Riendo.
To laugh. Laughing.

freiendo and reiendo are incorrect!

See also Forming regular gerunds (-ing form) .

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Dormir. Durmiendo.
To sleep. Sleeping.


Oir. Oyendo.
To listen. Listening.


Morir. Muriendo.
To die. Dying.


Creer. Creyendo
To think/believe. Thinking/Believing


Reir. Riendo.
To laugh. Laughing.


Vestir. Vistiendo.
To get dressed. Getting dressed.


Leer. Leyendo
To read. Reading


Freir. Friendo.
To fry. Frying.


Preferir. Prefiriendo.
To prefer. Preferring.


Poder. Pudiendo.
To be able to. Being able to.


Mentir. Mintiendo.
To lie. Lying.


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