The
Progressive
Tense
Present and
Imperfect Tenses
To describe in Spanish an
action that is taking place as
you speak use the present
progressive (presente
progresivo). To do so:
- Use the form of estar (to be)
that agrees with the subject +
a present participle
(gerundio). (-ing in English)
¿Qué
está haciendo
Chela?
What is Chela doing right
now?
¿Qué haces Chela?
What is Chela doing?(this
weekend..tonight etc.)
In Spanish, the present
progressive describes an
action that is ocurring
right now. To describe
actions going on in the
general present, use the
present tense.
Compare the following sentences:
Patricia está escribiendo una
carta.
Patricia is writing a letter.
(RIGHT NOW.)
Stephen King escribe otra
novela.
Stephen King is writing another
novel. (THIS YEAR)
ESTAR – to be
yo
estoy nosotros estamos
tú
vosotros estáis
estás
él/ella
ellos/as
está
usted
ustedes
están
Spanish, the imperfect
progressive is used to describe
something that was taking place
over a period of time in the past
Ex: Estaba esquiando cuando
me caí y me torcí la rodilla.
 I was skiing when I fell and
twisted my knee.
In
Note
that the imperfect
progressive describes what was
taking place while the preterite
tells a specific occurrence in the
past or interrups the action.
Ex: Estaba esquiando cuando
me caí y me torcí la rodilla.
 I was skiing when I fell and
twisted my knee.
Note
that the imperfect
progressive describes what was
taking place while the preterite
tells a specific occurrence in the
past or interrups the action.
Ex: Ella estaba corriendo
cuando se lastimó el tobillo.
 She was running when I she
injured her ankle.
 It
is never wrong to use just the
imperfect instead of the imperfect
progressive when talking about an
“ongoing action.” You can choose
either. The progressive tense puts a
little more emphasis on the ongoing
action but either is OK.
 Ex: Ella estaba corriendo cuando se
lastimó el tobillo.
 Ex: Ella corría cuando se lastimó el
tobillo.
 She was running when …
 Ex:
Estaba esquiando cuando me caí y
me torcí la rodilla.
 Ex: Esquiaba cuando me caí y me
torcí la rodilla.
I
was skiing when…
 But remember in the present tense, you
can ONLY use the progressive tense when
the action is going on “right now.” Since
both the imperfect and the imperfect
progressive are both in the past than the
“right now” rule is no longer relevant.
To form a present participle:
 1.
Drop the ending (-ar, -er, ir)
from the infinitive. (Leaving the
stem.)
 2. Add –ando to the stem of –ar
verbs.
Add –iendo to the stem of –er
or – ir verbs.
This is the equivalent of the –ing
form of the verb in English.
basically, you are adding –
NDO to the verb to make it the
equivalent to –ING in English.
So
For
-AR VERBS:
ANDO
For
-IR and - ER VERBS:
IENDO
jug + ando
jugar
jugando
com + iendo
comer
(playing)
(eating)
comiendo
escribir
(writing)
escrib+ iendo
escribiendo
Subject + ESTAR + ando
iendo
Estar will be conjugated to
match the subject of the
sentence.(gerund never
changes
Estoy
hablando.(I am talking.)
Ella está comiendo. (She is
eating.)
the stem of an –er or –ir
verb ends in a vowel,
-iendo changes to –yendo.(i y)
leer
leyendo (reading)
traer
trayendo(bringing)
oír
oyendo (hearing)
creyendo
(believing)
creer
If
 All
“-ir” verbs that normally
change from eie in the present
will change from ei in the past
participle (just like in the
preterite sandal).
divertir
sentir
 divirtiendo
 sintiendo
 The
following “-ir”verbs normally change
from ei in the present and the
participles (just like in the sandal).
 decir:
diciendo
 pedir:
pidiendo
 repetir:
repitiendo
 seguir:
siguiendo
 servir:
sirviendo
vestir:vistiendo
 All
“-ir” verbs that normally
change from oue in the
present will change from ou in
the past participle (just like in
the preterite sandal).
dormir
morir
 durmiendo
 muriendo
“-ir” stem-changing verbs
 The
following verbs normally
change from oue in the
present but only ou in the
participle.
dormir
morir
Pronouns
can either go
before “estar” (the
conjugated verb) or
attached to the participle.
ducharse
Me estaba duchando.
Estaba duchándome.
I’m
doing it. (la tarea)
La estoy haciendo.
Estoy haciéndola.
NOTE: When attaching a
pronoun you add an
accent to the “a” of -ando
and the “e” of –iendo.
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(presente progresivo). To do so: