Present continuous, Spanish grammar (A1)

Present continuous tense -PRESENTE CONTINUO o PROGRESIVO in Spanish-

is used to talk about something that is happening at this very moment.

Present continuous tense in Spanish


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).


Now you can practice everything you have learned with our quizzes, see more about how estar  + gerundio work in context by watching the video “están grabando una película”, and learn more about when to use the present or the present progressive tense. Finally, remember you can contact your tutor with any question you have. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

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