Spanish Grammar: Present continuous tense (A1)

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Estar + gerundio

In Spanish, the present continuous tense is used to talk about something that is happening at this very moment.

1. It is formed from the present tense of ESTAR and the GERUND of the main verb:

Estoy comiendo paella (I am eating paella).

Estamos trabajando  en proyecto nuevo (we are working on a new project).

¿Quién está llamando a la puerta? (Who is knocking the door?).

2.  Just at a glance, to form the gerund we will take the ending of the infinitive and we will add ando (for those ending in -ar) oriendo (for other two groups) and is the same as the –ing form of the verb in English:

  • Escuchar (listen) – .. = escuchando (listening).
  • Comprender (understand) – ..= comprendiendo (understanding).
  • Recibir (to receive) – .. = recibiendo (receiving).

Although there is a small group of verbs that made their gerund in an irregular way: leer ( to read): leyendo; decir (to say): diciendo; construir (to build): construyendo; poder (to can): pudiendo; dormir (to asleep): durmiendo.Learn more about el gerundio (gerund).

3. Notice that in Spanish we only the present continuous to talk about a thing that is in the middle of happening right now or to present a situation as temporal, never to express future like in English:

               Llévate el paraguas, está lloviendo mucho (Take the umbrella, it is raining a lot).

Este invierno está lloviendo mucho (This winter is raining a lot).

Nos marchamos mañana (we are leaving tomorrow).

Learn more about how estar  + gerundio work in Spanish by watching the video “están grabando una película”,  you can practice everything you have learned with our quizzes.  Remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

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