Forming El Imperfecto Progresivo with estar + gerund (imperfect progressive)

Spanish past tenses have a continuous (progressive) form each to express an action which is continuing or ongoing in the past.

In the case of El Pretérito Imperfecto, this is how the progressive tense is formed.

It follows this pattern for most regular verbs:

Estar in El Pretérito Imperfecto +

-ando (-AR verbs)

 

-iendo (-ER and -IR verbs)

It is very similar to the English past continuous. Look at and listen to these examples:

Yo estaba llamando a mi sobrina.
I was calling my niece.

estabas vendiendo tu casa.
You were selling your house.

Ella estaba bailando sevillanas.
She was dancing sevillanas.

Nosotros estábamos discutiendo sobre política.
We were discussing politics.

Vosotros estabais decidiendo el menú de la boda.
You were deciding on the wedding menu.

Ellos estaban llegando al aeropuerto.
They were arriving at the airport.



ESTAR

Verbs ending in -AR
LLAMAR (to call)

Verbs ending in -ER-IR
APRENDER (to learn)
VIVIR (to live)

estaba

llamando


aprendiendo
viviendo



estabas

estaba

estábamos

estabais

estaban

For irregular gerunds see List of Spanish Irregular Gerunds of the form -iendo and List of Spanish Irregular Gerunds of the form -yendo

See also: Forming El Presente Progresivo with estar + gerund (present progressive)

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Nosotros estábamos discutiendo sobre política.
We were discussing politics.


Ellos estaban llegando al aeropuerto.
They were arriving at the airport.


Vosotros estabais decidiendo el menú de la boda.
You were deciding on the wedding menu.


El sábado por la tarde Ana estaba leyendo y Juan estaba escuchando música.
On Saturday afternoon Ana was reading and Juan was listening to music.


estabas vendiendo tu casa.
You were selling your house.


Yo estaba planchando cuando llegó mi madre.
I was ironing when my mother arrived.


Ella estaba bailando sevillanas.
She was dancing sevillanas.


Yo estaba llamando a mi sobrina.
I was calling my niece.


Q&A Forum 2 questions, 3 answers

NicoleB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Tenses

Hi,

I find I have a very difficult time trying to differentiate the various terms used on your site for verb tenses and what their equivalents are either in Latin American Spanish and/or English. Especially in the "test your knowledge" section. Every time I have to search and search for the English equivalent to make sure I have the right tense being asked for.  

I looked for a list of them on your site and couldn't find any .  Where do I find this  or could you please furnish one with their ( Latin American - if possible) English equivalents. 

My 501 verbs doesn't the same titles for tenses as you have.  For example: Your: Preterito Perfecto , is Perfecto de Indicativo in my dict;, Your Preterito Indefinido is Preterito in mine. 

Help:(

Nicole 

Asked 5 months agoAI, scoring
InmaKwiziq team member

Hola Nicole

We have a table with the different names used for each tense including Latin American names. 

Click here

Inma

NicoleB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Muchas gracias Inma.  

Tenses

Hi,

I find I have a very difficult time trying to differentiate the various terms used on your site for verb tenses and what their equivalents are either in Latin American Spanish and/or English. Especially in the "test your knowledge" section. Every time I have to search and search for the English equivalent to make sure I have the right tense being asked for.  

I looked for a list of them on your site and couldn't find any .  Where do I find this  or could you please furnish one with their ( Latin American - if possible) English equivalents. 

My 501 verbs doesn't the same titles for tenses as you have.  For example: Your: Preterito Perfecto , is Perfecto de Indicativo in my dict;, Your Preterito Indefinido is Preterito in mine. 

Help:(

Nicole 

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ChrisA2Kwiziq community member

What is the correct conjugation for 'reir'?

Asked 1 year ago
SilviaKwiziq team member
Hola Chris! "Reír" has an irregular gerund meaning that it doesn´t follow the general rule for -ir verbs. Its correct conjugation for the gerund is "riendo" and not "reiendo". Thanks for your question! Silvia.

What is the correct conjugation for 'reir'?

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