Present tense v. presente progresivo


Kwiziq community member

18 January 2018

1 reply

Present tense v. presente progresivo

One of my Spanish grammar books says that the present tense in Spanish can be translated both by the present simple and the present progressive in English. So, for example, they said ella canta could translate both as "she sings" and "she is singing." My question is what is the difference between translating the present tense that way, and using el presente progresivo. Are the meanings different? When do I use one or the other in Spanish if I want to talk about an ongoing action? Thanks for any guidance.

This question relates to:
Spanish lesson "Forming El Presente Progresivo with estar + gerund (present progressive)"


Kwiziq language super star

18 January 2018


Hola Paulette, Yes, the main difference between the present simple and the present progressive is that the latter is used for ongoing actions that are taking place in the present. So take this sentence for example where we use both tenses: "Vivo en Inglaterra pero ahora estoy viviendo en Francia." "I live in England but at the moment I am living in France." The present tense (vivo) is used to say what you normally do, however the progressive tense is expressing what is happening at the moment. There will be a lesson about this specific usage soon. I hope it helped. Muchas gracias Inma

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