Spanish present progressive: ESTAR + GERUND

Spanish present progressive also called present continuous is a verbal periphrasis is used to talk about something that is happening at this very moment.

How to form the Spanish present progressive

Spanish present progressive

How to use ESTAR + GERUND in Spanish

1. As you have seen above, it is formed from the present tense of ESTAR and the GERUND of the main verb:

Estoy comiendo paella (I am eating paella).

Estamos trabajando  en proyecto nuevo (we are working on a new project).

¿Quién está llamando a la puerta? (Who is knocking the door?).

2.  Just at a glance, to form the gerund we will take the ending of the infinitive and we will add ando (for those ending in -ar) or iendo (for other two groups) and is the same as the –ing form of the verb in English:

  • Escuchar (listen) – .. = escuchando (listening).
  • Comprender (understand) – ..= comprendiendo (understanding).
  • Recibir (to receive) – .. = recibiendo (receiving).

Although there is a small group of verbs that made their gerund in an irregular way: leer ( to read): leyendo; decir (to say): diciendo; construir (to build): construyendo; poder (to can): pudiendo; dormir (to sleep): durmiendo.… Learn more about el gerundio (gerund).

3. Notice that in Spanish we only the present continuous to talk about a thing that is in the middle of happening right now or to present a situation as temporal, NEVER to express future like in English:

Llévate el paraguas, está lloviendo mucho (Take the umbrella, it is raining a lot).

Este invierno está lloviendo mucho (This winter is raining a lot).

Nos marchamos mañana (we are leaving tomorrow).

You can learn more about the ESTAR + GERUND in this video with subtitles.

Spanish present progressive practice

Now it is time to practice everything you have learned with the quizzes below. Remember to contact your tutor with any questions you have about how to use ESTAR + GERUND. Don’t you have an online Spanish tutor yet?

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