Gerund v Past Participle

CaroleA1Kwiziq community member

Gerund v Past Participle

Please could you explain the following:

Los chicos estaban sentados en el borde de la piscina. correct
Los chicos estaban sentando en el borde de la piscina. not correct
The boys were sitting on the edge of the pool.

I am pretty sure that I have been taught to use the gerund rather than than the past participle in this kind of an example.

Many thanks  (Mainland Spain)

Asked 3 months ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Carole,

both estar + participle and estar + gerund are grammatically correct structures, but there is a difference in the way we say "to be sitting/to be lying" in English and Spanish. In the English you use the gerund "sitting/lying" but in Spanish we use the past participle instead "sentado/tumbado". There is a note by the end of the lesson explaining this. In Spanish it is as if we were saying "they were seated/lied down".

Saludos

Inma

CaroleA1Kwiziq community member

Where kind I find a list of verbs that following this rule please?  

I have noted Sentar, Tumbar and Dormir

RC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I am confused. Is it always incorrect to use the gerund for sentar? In English, the difference between "the boys were sitting" and "the boys were seated" is pretty negligible unless you wanted to highlight that they were at that moment in the act of sitting (that is partway between standing and seated". On the other hand, the difference between say, "the mosquitoes were biting" and "the mosquitoes were bitten" is pretty substantial. In that case, I would assume that the imperfect estar + gerund would be acceptable? Or is imperfect estar + gerund never acceptable? 

Gerund v Past Participle

Please could you explain the following:

Los chicos estaban sentados en el borde de la piscina. correct
Los chicos estaban sentando en el borde de la piscina. not correct
The boys were sitting on the edge of the pool.

I am pretty sure that I have been taught to use the gerund rather than than the past participle in this kind of an example.

Many thanks  (Mainland Spain)

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