progressives / gerunds
comparatives and superlatives
definite articles
demonstrative adjectives
demonstrative pronouns
direct and indirect object pronouns
double object pronouns
hacer expressions
noun suffix
passive voice
personal pronouns
por and para
possessive adjectives
possessive pronouns
present tense
preterite tense
ques expressions
reflexive verbs
relative pronouns
subject pronouns
present subjunctive
tener expressions


The present participle (gerund) is a verb form that ends in -ando for -ar verbs and -iendo for -er and -ir verbs. It is used with the verbs estar, seguir and continuar and with verbs of motion to stress the fact that an event is (or was, will be, or would be) in progress or is continuing at the moment indicated. The tenses thus formed are called progressive tenses. Since the formation of these tenses requires two verbs, they are called compound tenses.
There are four progressive tenses: present, imperfect, future, and conditional. They are formed using the proper form of estar, seguir and continuar + gerund. Following are examples of the different progressive tenses.
Conditional progressive Los niños estarían jugando. - The children would be playing.
Imperfect progressive El seguía llorando. - He kept on crying.
Present progressive Los tiempos están cambiando. - Times are changing.
Present progressive Ellos Siguen leyendo. - They keep on reading.
Future progressive Continuarán estudiando. - They will continue studying.
Imperfect progressive Estaban corriendo. - They were running.
The gerunds of estar, ir, and venir are not used to form the progressive tenses of the verbs. Instead, the simple tenses are used.
Ella viene aquí. - She is coming here.
Rosa iba al parque. - Rosa was going to the park.
The Spanish gerund is often the equivalent of by + an English present participle.
Viajando, se aprende. - By travelling, one learns.
Estudiando, saldrás bien en los examenes. - By studying, you will pass the exams.
The most common stem changes in the present tense do not occur in the present participle.
pensar (pienso): Estoy pensando en el verano. - I'm thinking about summer.
almorzar (almuerzo): ¿Dónde estás almorzando? - Where are you having lunch?
The stems of some -ir verbs change from e to i. Some examples of this type verb include:
competer (to compete) conseguir (to obtain) corregir (to correct)
reír (to laugh) repetir (to repeat) seguir (to follow)
sentir (to feel) mentir (to lie) sonreír (to smile)
vestir (to dress) servir decir
pedir venir  
decir (dice, dijo): Ella está diciendo la verdad. - She is telling the truth.
pedir (pide, pidió): Estoy pidiendo más dinero. - I am asking for more money.
A few irregular verbs that have the stem change o to u in the preterite, have this change in the present participle. Ejemplos: morir, dormir, poder.
morir (murió): Me estoy muriendo de miedo. - I am dying of fear.
dormir (durmió): Yo estaba durmiendo en la playa. - I was sleeping on the beach.
Verbs ending in -aer, -eer, -uir and the verbs oír and ir have a y instead of the i in the ending -iendo. Examples:
caer - cayendo construir - construyendo creer - creyendo
huír - huyendo oír - oyendo leer - leyendo
ir - yendo traer - trayendo  


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Jaime El Sabio