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

The Spanish present tense has a continuous (progressive) form to express an action which is ongoing in the present. It works in a similar way to the English present continuous:

Yo estoy hablando con mi madre.
I am talking with my mother.

Tú estás corriendo la maratón.
You are running the marathon.

Ella está aprendiendo a cocinar.
She is learning how to cook.

Nosotros estamos cantando.
We are singing.

Vosotros estáis mirando la puesta de sol.
You are looking at the sunset.

Ellos están viviendo en Caracas.
They are living in Caracas.

To express a continuing or ongoing present action in Spanish you will follow this pattern for most regular verbs:

First of all you will need estar in El Presente:

yo  estoy
estás
él / ella / Ud. está
nosotros/nosotras 
estamos
vosotros /vosotras 
estáis
ellos / ellas / Uds.  están

And then: 

Estar in El Presente +

-ando (-AR verbs)

 

-iendo (-ER and -IR verbs)

To form the gerund of the main action verb (which finishes in -ando/-iendo = the equivalent of the -ing form in English) you need to drop the ending of the infinitive and add the suffix -ando/-iendo):

hablar → habl- = hablando

correr → corr- = corriendo

For regular gerunds see:

For irregular gerunds see:

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

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ellos están viviendo en Caracas.
They are living in Caracas.


Tú estás corriendo la maratón.
You are running the marathon.


Ella está aprendiendo a cocinar.
She is learning how to cook.


Yo estoy hablando con mi madre.
I am talking with my mother.


Nosotros estamos cantando.
We are singing.


Vosotros estáis mirando la puesta de sol.
You are looking at the sunset.


Q&A

William

Kwiziq community member

5 May 2019

2 replies

Kwiziq Override Option

I made a spelling mistake I would never have made when writing by hand. I know the gerund of asistir is asistiendo but I wrote isistiendo. I often feel it is our computer keyboard skills that are tested not language skills. My kwiziq score is now about 73%. To return my score to 100%. I have to keep repeating questions that I already know. Can kwiziq not introduce an override option for these situations.

Clara

Kwiziq community member

6 May 2019

6/05/19

It happens to me all the time William. I feel your frustration! The penalty for the slightest spelling error far outweighs the error. I suppose A.I. still has some way to go towards recognising the human condition. 

Saludos 

Clari :)

William

Kwiziq community member

6 May 2019

6/05/19

Claire

I understand but Kwiziq alreay uses an override. If you omit accents it places the question in 'almost right' section with no adjustment to your Kwiziq score, In other websites, quizlet, have an override for small spelling. At times we are treated like children. We make similar mistakes in English. I stopped using Duolingo because they were insisting on being 100% with our answers in English

William

Lee

Kwiziq community member

23 April 2019

1 reply

Question related to Forming El Presente Progresivo with estar + gerund (present progressive)

Shui

Kwiziq language super star

24 April 2019

24/04/19

Hola Lee

What is your question?

Saludos

Shui

Kate

Kwiziq community member

13 April 2019

2 replies

It seems my mistake was that I didn't write the accent. My iPad doesn't have them

Shui

Kwiziq language super star

16 April 2019

16/04/19

Hola Kate

On the iPad a long press on any letter will bring up a menu with accented options, slide your finger onto the letter of your choice then release to add it.

More information on how to add accents is in our FAQ which you can view here: link.

Saludos

Shui

 

Kate

Kwiziq community member

17 April 2019

17/04/19

Thankyou Shui, so simple, and I've had the iPad for ages!

Celia

Kwiziq community member

4 April 2019

3 replies

Why is it “La pública esta aplaudiendo” instead of “están”? Isn’t the public plural?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

5 April 2019

5/04/19

Hola Celia

Although in English, "the public" can be either singular or plural, in Spanish, this collective noun is always singular and we need to conjugate in the 3rd person singular, not plural. 

Hope it helps.

Saludos

Inma

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

5 April 2019

5/04/19

I have actually added a hint to that question, saying that it is a singular noun, to avoid confusion.

:))

Celia

Kwiziq community member

5 April 2019

5/04/19

¡Muchas gracias! :)

ALICE

Kwiziq community member

18 February 2019

1 reply

Why "Mucha gente está pasando por el parque" and not "paseandose" since this means more that they are walking than just passing... ?

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

19 February 2019

19/02/19

Hola Alice

I cannot find that specific sentence in the lesson you are referring to, but, if the translation in English was "Lots of people are walking in the park" it should say "están paseando" or "están paseándose". "Pasando" would only be an approximate translation but not as accurate as "walking/walking by". 

If you can tell us where you found that specific question or example please let us know.

Gracias 

Inma

Nicole

Kwiziq community member

12 February 2019

1 reply

I was wondering if all Spanish irregular verbs also have irregular gerunds.

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

12 February 2019

12/02/19

Hola Nicole

When a verb is irregular in a specific tense, say the present or the preterite, that doesn't mean that their gerund is also irregular. It may be, it may not be.

For example, verb estar is irregular in the present and the preterite "estoy", "estuve"... but its gerund form is regular "estando".

However here is a lesson on irregularities in the gerund that will definitely help you. 

Have a look: 

Irregular gerunds

I hope this helps

Inma

William

Kwiziq community member

12 August 2018

2 replies

Contestar a

The question

________ a vuestra pregunta.I am answering your question.HINT: Conjugate "contestar" in El Presente Continuo.

I understand the answer Estoy contestando buy why is the preposition "a" included in the original sentence. "Vuestra pregunta" is not a person. Estoy contestando a vuestra amiga

Silvia

Kwiziq language super star

12 August 2018

12/08/18

¡Hola William!

According to RAE (Real Academia Española), the verb "contestar" accepts both options with or without the preposition "a" even if it does not refer to a person. I hope this helps! Silvia.

William

Kwiziq community member

14 August 2018

14/08/18

I notice that asistir can also take the preposition a. Is there a list of verbs which take the preposition a in similar circumstances?

Mi jefe y yo ________ a muchas reuniones.My boss and I used to attend lots of meetings.HINT: Conjugate "asistir" in El Pretérito Imperfecto

Paulette

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.

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

18 January 2018

18/01/18

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

Alexander

Kwiziq community member

2 December 2017

1 reply

What about the ¨-yendo¨ ending?

Am I wrong, when I was studying Spanish in high school, I clearly remember there being -yendo so there are not so many vowels next to each other. Caer -- Cayendo / Creer -- Creyendo / Leer -- Leyendo and so on and so forth. Is that not correct?

Gruff

Kwiziq language super star

2 December 2017

2/12/17

Hi Alexander - a number of Spanish verbs have -yendo as the ending of the present participle (which, when it is used as a noun like this is known as a 'gerund').

Here's a list:

https://progress.lawlessspanish.com/revision/theme/707352

Hope that helps!

I'll be right with you...