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Gerundio/Spanish present participle

Spanish present participle

a.k.a. Spanish Present Participle

Spanish verb forms ending in -ando or -iendo , e.g. "hablando", are called gerundios (present participle). These special verb forms are known as verbals because these words no longer act like verbs in sentences - they have no subject. Instead they act like adjectives or adverbs. 

See also: Spanish past participle.

Top tip: In English, we use the term present participle as well as gerund, but in Spanish we only use "gerundio" (so "participio" always refers to the past participle). Historically, a present participle and a gerund were supposed to describe different roles played by the same word, but in reality, there is no such clear distinction. As a result, it's very easy to get confused trying to wrap your head around the difference! Thankfully, modern grammar has dropped the distinction completely and they are now synonymous. Phew!

¿Estás hablando de mí?
Are you talking about me?

Bebiendo y comiendo tanto no vas a adelgazar.
Drinking and eating so much you won't get thinner.

Ella está viviendo en una casa pequeña.
She is living in a small house.


Let me take a look at that...