Spanish Present Progressive

estar + present participle

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What was that? - the grammar lesson

The present progressive is formed by combining the verb "to be" with the present participle. (The present participle is merely the "-ing" form of a verb.)

I am studying.
I am studying with María.



In English, present progressive can be used to describe what is happening now, or what will happen in the future.

I am studying now.
I am studying with María tonight.



In Spanish, the present progressive is only used to describe an action that is in the process of taking place. It is not used for future actions.

I am studying now.
(use present progressive)

I am studying with María tonight.
(do not use present progressive)

Let's review the verb: estar

estar

(yo) estoy
() estás
(él) está
(nosotros) estamos
(vosotros) estáis
(ellos) están

To form the present participle of regular -ar verbs, add -ando to the stem of the verb.

hablar: hablando
(hablar - ar + ando)

trabajar: trabajando
(trabajar - ar + ando)

estudiar: estudiando
(estudiar - ar + ando)



To form the present participle of regular -er and -ir verbs, add -iendo to the stem of the verb.

comer: comiendo
(comer - er + iendo)

hacer: haciendo
(hacer - er + iendo)

vivir: viviendo
(vivir - ir + iendo)

escribir: escribiendo
(escribir - ir + iendo)


Spanish Present Progressive Verbs (U Can't Touch This)

To form the present participle of -ir stem changing verbs, change e:i and o:u in the stem, and then add -iendo to the stem of the verb.

servir: sirviendo
pedir: pidiendo
decir: diciendo

dormir: durmiendo
morir: muriendo
poder: pudiendo



Sometimes when forming the present participle it is necessary to change the spelling of a word so that it agrees with the way it is pronounced. We call this an "orthographic" change. Here are some common examples:

caer: cayendo
creer: creyendo
huir: huyendo
ir: yendo
influir: influyendo
oír: oyendo
traer: trayendo
leer: leyendo
seguir: siguiendo

"Conjugating" in the Present Progressive

Remember, only use the present progressive for actions that are "in progress." Compare the uses of the present indicative with the uses of the present progressive. Estudio español. (Present Indicative) I study Spanish. I am studying Spanish (these days). I do study Spanish. Estoy estudiando español. (Present Progressive) I am studying (right now, at this moment) Spanish.