Spanish Present Progressive

In English, when we want to talk about something that is going on now, or something that will be going on over a period of time, we use what is called the present progressive tense. Again, we probably do so without realizing it. In Spanish, this tense is almost used in almost all the same ways that we use it in English, so it makes it an easy transition when thinking about it in this language.

An example of a sentence in the present progressive in English would be:

Ex. Phillip is going fishing.
The sujbect is Phillip. The verb is 'is + go-ing'. So, in english, the present progressive is the verb 'to be' plus a word ending in '-ing', often called a gerund.

This is another point or time where learning a language at a later time in life comes in handy. No child is going to quite grasp or understand this above statement. However, as an adult learner, you might be able to pick this up a quicker. That's a vote of confidence!

7.5 In Spanish, verbs in the present progressive sense are formed similarly to their english counterparts. In English, the verb is formed with the root of the infinitive plus the gerund, or word ending in '-ing'.

In Spanish, the present progressive is formed by using a form of the verb 'estar'.

Infinitives that end in 'ar' are made progressive by dropping the 'ar' ending and adding 'ando'.

Ex. El esta hablando con ella. (He is talking to her.)
*In this sentence, the meaning is clear. The English equivalent is also apparent.
Ex. Ella esta bailando con las otras chicas. (She is dancing with the other girls.)
Ex. Nosotros estamos jugando baloncesto. (We are playing basketball.)

Infinitives that end in 'er' or 'ir' are made progreseive by dropping the 'er' ending and adding 'iendo'.

Ex. El esta escribiendo una carta electronica. (She is writing an email.)
Ex. Ella esta comiendo un cerdo. (She is eating a pig.)

Infinitives that would end in a vowel once the 'er' or 'ir' are removed, we can use a 'y' as a sound and place holder. So, we add the letters, "yendo" instead of 'iendo'.

Ex. Leer (to read)
Nosotros estamos leyendo un libro juntos. (We are reading a book together.)

Ex. Oir (to hear, listen)
Ellos estan oyendo la gente en la calle. (They are listening to the people in the street.)