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Using the present progressive/continuous instead of the present (El Presente Progresivo vs El Presente)

The present progressive/continuous in Spanish

We use El Presente Progresivo to express ongoing actions in the present.

Look at this example:

Vivo en Inglaterra pero ahora estoy viviendo en Francia.I live in England but now I am living in France.
In this sentence, we understand that the speaker usually lives in England, however, at the moment of speaking, he is living temporarilly in another country (France in this case).

Read and listen to more examples:

Tú haces natación pero en este momento estás haciendo ciclismo.You (usually) swim but at this moment you are cycling.

Moncho siempre escucha pero ahora mismo está ignorando mis palabras.Moncho always listens but right now he is ignoring my words.

Ellos normalmente comprenden la situación pero ahora no están comprendiendo.They usually understand the situation but now they are not understanding.

You will generally find time phrases that will trigger El Presente Progresivo like:

  • ahora (now)
  • en este momento (at this moment)
  • en este instante (at this moment)
  • ahora mismo (right now)

The present in Spanish (simple present)

The present tense in Spanish is used to talk about things that we do more "generally".

Here are some time phrases that express frequency that generally trigger El Presente:

  • normalmente (as normal, normally)
  • generalmente (generally, normally, tupically)
  • siempre (always)
  • nunca (never)
  • a menudo (often)

 

 

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Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Moncho siempre escucha pero ahora mismo está ignorando mis palabras.Moncho always listens but right now he is ignoring my words.
Vivo en Inglaterra pero ahora estoy viviendo en Francia.I live in England but now I am living in France.
Ellos normalmente comprenden la situación pero ahora no están comprendiendo.They usually understand the situation but now they are not understanding.
Tú haces natación pero en este momento estás haciendo ciclismo.You (usually) swim but at this moment you are cycling.
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