Created using FigmaCreated using Figma

Using ir + [gerund] to emphasise the progression of an action

In Spanish we can emphasise the progression of an action in different tenses by using:

Ir [conjugated] + gerund of second verb [-ing form]

By using this structure we stress the progression of the action, which is expressed by the second verb. It has the nuance of "doing something bit by bit". In English it is generally translated into the progressive tense,  i.e am doing/was doing/will be doing, and in some cases into "go on doing something " or "get on with doing something".

Have a look at the following examples:

Ella va poniendo la mesa mientras yo termino de cocinar.
She is laying the table while I finish cooking.

Los estudiantes fueron terminando las últimas preguntas del examen.
The students were finishing off the last questions of the exam.

Nosotros iremos pintando los huevos de pascua para la fiesta de los niños más tarde.
We will be getting on with painting the easter eggs for the children's party later.

Bear in mind that, although this usage is very similar to the progressive tense with estar + gerund, using verb ir + gerund is more emphatic.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Los estudiantes fueron terminando las últimas preguntas del examen.
The students were finishing off the last questions of the exam.


Ella va poniendo la mesa mientras yo termino de cocinar.
She is laying the table while I finish cooking.


Nosotros iremos pintando los huevos de pascua para la fiesta de los niños más tarde.
We will be getting on with painting the easter eggs for the children's party later.


Micro kwiz: Using ir + [gerund] to emphasise the progression of an action
Loading your Kwiz

Q&A

Be the first to ask a question!

Getting that for you now.