Spanish Present Progressive Tense

Beginner Spanish - Level A1

Overview

The term present progressive is a grammatical way of describing the verb tense that emphasizes that an action is currently taking place as we speak or RIGHT NOW. It is characterized by the verb “to be,” followed by a second verb that ends with –ing (the present participle). 

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The Present Progressive Tense in Spanish

What are we actually saying when we use the present progressive

The present progressive tense is the tense used when an action is presently and  continually happening. In English, this is when we hear the ending “ing”. For example: “I am running”, “he is singing”, “we are cooking”. 

How do we form this tense?

 

Just like in English, we need two parts to form this tense in Spanish. The two parts are 1. a form of the verb to be (ie: am, are, is) and 2. a verb in the present progressive tense (ie: a verb ending in “ing”). In Spanish this looks like:

Estar (to be) +Verb in the present progressive tense


FORMING PART ONE - ESTAR
**Remember estar has an irregular yo conjugation

Yo - estoy

Nosotros/Nosotras - estamos

 - estás

Vosotros/Vosotras - estáis

Él, ella, usted - está

Ellos, Ellas, Ustedes - están



FORMING PART TWO - PRESENT PROGRESSIVE VERB 

To put a verb in the present progressive tense, we use two endings: -ando and -iendo. We chop off the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, -ir) and then add -ando for -ar verbs and -iendo for -er/-ir verbs. 

For example: hablar - hablando, comer - comiendo 

How do we form the irregulars and when do we use them?

  1. If the stem of an -er or -ir verb ends in a vowel, -iendo changes to -yendo. (a few examples: creer - creyendo, leer - leyendo, incluir - incluyendo)
  2. The verb ir (to go) simply becomes “yendo
  3. -ir verbs that stem change in the él/ella/usted form of the preterite (e > i, or o>u) have the same stem change in the present progressive. (a few examples: decir - diciendo, pedir - pidiendo, seguir - siguiendo)

Vocabulary - 

Around the home! Use these words to find out what people are doing at home and where. 

La casa - the house 

La cocina - the kitchen

Cocinar - to cook

Mezclar - to mix

El jardín - the garden

Cortar (el césped) - to cut (the grass)

Regar - to water

El baño - the bathroom

Limpiar - to clean

El dormitorio - the bedroom

Organizar - to organize

Arreglar - to straighten/tidy up

El comedor - the dining room 

La sala / El salón - the living room 

La mesa - the table

Poner - to put 

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Present Progressive Tense

The present progressive tense is used to indicate an activity that is happening in the present and that is continuing for a period of time.The present progresive is formed by simply writing the word “estar” + present participle (gerund). With verbs ending in “ar,” you will look at the verb stem and add “ando,” and for verbs ending in “er,” you will add “iendo.” to the end of the verb

 

Present Progressive of “ar”+verb stem + “ando.
Present Progressive of “er”+verb stem + “iendo.”

 

Estoy hablando con tu hermana. - I am speaking with your sister.

The verb “hablar,” ends in “ar,” so I drop the r, and add “ando” to my verb. When it comes to the indirect object pronoun, and the direct object pronoun, you can place it before the verb “estar,” or after the verb (iendo-ando).

 

Te estoy lavando la ropa. I am washing your clothes.
Me estoy vistiendo en el cuarto. I am getting dressed in the room.

 

Another way to explain the present progressive tense is that it is used for an action that is taking place right now, and we use the verb “to be,” “estar.” In English we use the ending “ing,” to indicate that something is happening right now. In Spanish, instead of using “ing” endings, we add “ando” or “iendo” to the end of the verb.

 

Teresa está lavando los platos   - Teresa is washing the dishes.

 

Lavar - drop the “r” and add “ando” because the verb ends in “ar.”

washing

 

Correr - drop the “r” add “iendo,” “er” ending = corriendo - Tu estas corriendo.

running

 

For irregular verbs ending in “ir,” you will also use the ending “iendo.”

 

Decir - to say   - diciendo                                       correr - run - corriendo
Venir - to come - viniendo                                       saltar - jump - saltando
Sentir - to feel   - sintiendo                                       cantar - sing - cantando
 

In the next chart, observe how the present progressive is formed by adding “estar,” and the appropriate ending to the verb Caminar- to walk and the verb dormir - to sleep.

 

Present               Present Progresive               Present                   Present Progressive

Yo camino         Yo estoy caminando              Yo duermo               Yo estoy durmiendo        

 

Tu caminas       Tú estás caminando               Tú duermes             Tú estás durmiendo

 

El camina           El está caminando                 El duerme               El está durmiendo                  

 

Ella camina       Ella está caminando               Ella duerme             Ella está durmiendo

 

Nosotros           Nosotros estamos                 Nosotros                   Nosotros estamos

Caminamos       caminando                            dormimos                 durmiendo

 

Vosotros             Vosotros estáis                       Vosotros                   Vosotros estáis

Caminais           caminando                               dormis                       durmiendo

 

Ustedes             Ustedes están                         Ustedes                     Ustedes están

Caminan             caminando                             duermen                   durmiendo

 

Let's practice! 

Choose the proper form of the verb estar for the following sentences. Be sure to click READ MORE below to see the answer key once you are finished! 

1. Yo ________ leyendo en el sofá.

                a. Estamos

                b. Están

                c. Estoy

                D. Está

2. Mis amigos y yo  ________ comiendo en el comedor.

                a. Estamos

                b. Estás

                c. Estoy

                D. Está

3. Mi hermano ________ arreglando su dormitorio.

                a. Estamos

                b. Están

                c. Estoy

                D. Está

4. Mis padres ________ mezclando la ensalada en la cocina.

                a. Estamos

                b. Están

                c. Estoy

                D. Estás

5. Mi perro ________ corriendo en el jardín.

                a. Estamos

                b. Están

                c. Estoy

                D. Está

Choose the proper form of the present progressive for the following sentences (watch out for irregulars!): 

6. Yo estoy ________ (descansar) en el sofá.

                a. Descansado

                b. Descansiendo

                c. Descansando

                D. Descansanda

7. Mis amigos están ________ (jugar) videojuegos en mi dormitorio. 

                a. juegando

                b. jugando

                c. jugiendo

                d. juguarando

8. Nosotros estamos ________ (poner) la mesa. 

                a. poniendo

                b. puniendo

                c. ponando

                d. puestiendo

9. ¿Tú estás ________ (limpiar) el baño?

                a. limpiarando

                b. limpiendo

                c. limpiado

                d. limpiando

10. Mi hermana está _______ (ir) al jardín para regar las plantas.

                a. yiendo

                b. yendo

                c. yenda

                d. iendo

 

Answer key: 1. C, 2. A, 3. D, 4. B, 5. D, 6. C, 7. B, 8. A, 9. D, 10. B

Writing Exercises

Write the correct form of the verb in present progressive tense in the space provided.

 

  1. El profesor está ________________ (enseñar) las matemáticas.
  2. El albañil está _________________(construir) el edificio.
  3. María está ___________________ (bailar) con Manuel en la fiesta.
  4. Yo estoy _____________________(limpiar) los muebles.
  5. Roberto y Julia están _________________(estudiar) para el exámen de historia.
  6. La hermana de Felipe está ______________(cocinar) un pollo a la brasa.
  7. Yo estoy _________________(hacer) un pastel para el almuerzo.
  8. Claudio está _______________(escribir) una carta para su tío.
  9. Daniel está __________________ (vivir) en la ciudad de Lima.
  10. Benjamin está _______________(coser) una cobija para su cama.

 

Answer Key 1. Enseñando   2. Construyendo   3. Bailando   4. Limpiando   5. Estudiando 6. Cocinando   7. Haciendo 8. Escribiendo 9. Viviendo 10. cosiendo

Vocabulary

 

Hablando   – speaking                                

Viajando   - traveling

Nadando   - swimming                                

Muriendo - dying

Estudiando - studying                                  

Viviendo   - Living

Diciendo     - saying it                                  

Haciendo -   Doing

Limpiando   - cleaning                                

Tejiendo   -   Knitting

Sacudiendo- dusting                                    

Cosiendo -   sewing

Comprando - shopping                               

Cocinando - cooking

Bailando     - dancing                                    

Robando   -   stealing

Enseñando - teaching                                  

Ayudando - helping

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