Forming El Pretérito Indefinido progresivo with estar + gerundio (past progressive)

Each Spanish past tense has a continuous (progressive) form to express an action which was ongoing in the past.

In the case of El pretérito Indefinido progresivo, it follows this pattern for most regular verbs:

Estar in El Pretérito Indefinido +

-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 estuve caminando durante 4 horas.I was walking for 4 hours.

Tú estuviste corrigiendo exámenes hasta las diez.You were marking exams until ten.

Ella estuvo bailando con ese chico toda la noche.She was dancing with that guy all night.

Nosotros estuvimos hablando con los periodistas.We were talking to the journalists.

Vosotros estuvisteis merendando en el parque por la tarde.You were having a snack at the park in the afternoon.

Ellos estuvieron arreglando el grifo de la cocina.They were fixing the tap in the kitchen.


ESTAR

Verbs ending in -AR
LLAMAR (to call)

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

estuve

llamando


aprendiendo
viviendo



estuviste

estuvo

estuvimos

estuvisteis

estuvieron

 

See also: Forming El Presente Progresivo with estar + gerund (present progressive) and Forming El Imperfecto Progresivo with estar + gerund (imperfect progressive).

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Examples and resources

Nosotros estuvimos hablando con los periodistas.We were talking to the journalists.
Ellos estuvieron arreglando el grifo de la cocina.They were fixing the tap in the kitchen.
Yo estuve caminando durante 4 horas.I was walking for 4 hours.
Vosotros estuvisteis merendando en el parque por la tarde.You were having a snack at the park in the afternoon.
Tú estuviste corrigiendo exámenes hasta las diez.You were marking exams until ten.
Ella estuvo bailando con ese chico toda la noche.She was dancing with that guy all night.
Clever stuff underway!