The Present Progressive

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Spanish Present Progressive Tense


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The Present Progressive:

The Present Progressive Talking about what it happening right now

What is the present progressive?:

What is the present progressive? In English, the present progressive is used to talk about what someone is doing at that exact moment in time. Examples: I am walking We are watching TV. He is skiing. Notice that this form is always made up of a conjugation of “to be” plus a verb ending in -ing.

The Spanish Present Progessive:

The Spanish Present Progessive Spanish also creates the present progressive by conjugating to be, “estar” and adding a verb with the Spanish equivalent of –ing. Spanish has two endings that are the equivalent of –ing: –ando for –ar verbs and –iendo for –er and –ir verbs.

Step one—Conjugate “estar”:

Step one—Conjugate “estar” Estoy Estamos Estás Está Están

Step Two—change the infinitive form of the verb by changing its ending.:

Step Two—change the infinitive form of the verb by changing its ending. -- ar ending ando -- er / -- ir ending iendo If I want to change cantar , to sing, into singing I would 1st erase the infinitive marker, - ar Then I would add the -- ar present progressive ending. cant ar ando

Putting it all together:

Putting it all together The verb “estar” estoy estamos estás está están The verb in the progressive –ing form The –AR ending: -ando The –ER/-IR ending –iendo I am walking. Yo estoy andando. She is eating. Ella está comiendo. They are writing. Ellos están escribiendo.

For regular verbs It is a simple matter:

For regular verbs It is a simple matter Remember to always use a form of estar. Make sure you add the correct ending: -ando for the –AR verbs and –iendo for the –er and –ir verbs.

Stem-changing –IR Verb Spellings:

Stem-changing –IR Verb Spellings The following verbs have a spelling change in preterite tense which carries over to their progressive forms: Repetir --Vestir Servir --Decir Pedir --Dormir Seguir e changes to i o changes to u

How the stem change works:

How the stem change works Let’s use pedir as an example. First we take off the –ir ending. This gives us what would normally be the stem: PED. Now we need to apply the e  i spelling change. This gives us the correct stem PID- . All that is left is to add the ending, –iendo, to form pidiendo.

Now we are ready to create a sentence.:

Now we are ready to create a sentence. Select the correct form of estar . In this case let’s say “we are:” Nosotros estamos Now add the verb in the progressive, - ing form. Let’s use pedir since we already know it is pidiendo . Now put it in a sentence: “ Estamos pidiendo ayuda .” We are asking for help.

The process for o  u verbs :

The process for o  u verbs The process is the same. Let’s use dormir as an example. Drop the - ir to form the traditional stem: dorm-. Now change the “o” to a “u.” This will give you durm -. Now add the – iendo ending to form durmiendo .

Creating another sentence.:

Creating another sentence. Again we will start with the verb “estar.” If I am the one sleeping we would use “estoy.” Now add the progressive from of dormir: durmiendo. The sentence would be “Yo estoy durmiendo.” I am sleeping.

One last spelling change:

One last spelling change The verbs creer , leer , and traer are some of the verbs that have this spelling change. These verbs change the “i” in the –iendo ending to a “y.” creyendo leyendo trayendo Hint: if when you add the –iendo it gives you three vowels in a row, change the “i“ to a “y.”


Summary Conjugate the verb estar Add the verb in the –ing form. Make sure to apply the spelling changes to the –ir stem-changing verbs. If adding the –iendo ending gives you three vowels in a row, change the “i” to a “y.”

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