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 vowel before the ending, i.e. -aer, -uir, -eer, oir
Creer. CreyendoTo think/believe. Thinking/Believing
Leer. LeyendoTo read. Reading
Oir. Oyendo.To listen. Listening.
Traer. Trayendo.To bring. Bringing.
Caer. Cayendo.To fall. Falling.
Huir. Huyendo.To escape. Escaping.
Notice how the ending is -yendo, not -iendo.
Another special case with a -yendo ending is verb ir (to go)
2. Most 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.
Seguir. Siguiendo.To continue. Continuing.
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!
Note that -ar verbs do not have irregular gerunds, even though some of them have irregularities in the present or other tenses. For example:
Contar (to count/tell)
- Yo cuento (I count/I tell)
- Contando (counting/telling) = regular gerund
Empezar (to start)
- Yo empiezo (I start)
- Empezando (starting) = regular gerund
See also Forming regular gerunds (-ing form) .
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