Present Progressive—El Presente Progresivo
The present progressive in English is a verb form that uses a conjugation of “to be” followed by a word ending in –ing (called a present participle). It is used to express that an action is currently in progress, or is being repeated.
I am eating.
We are dancing.
The lady in the drawing is running.
You are reading.
Side Note: In Spanish, we call the participle “el gerundio”, not to be confused with the English word gerund, which is a verb used as a noun.
In Spanish, we use a form of Ser, followed by a word ending in -ando or -iendo depending on whether the verb is an -ar, -er, or -ir verb.
Caminar = Alberto está caminando.
To walk = Alberto is walking.
Fallecer = El anciano está falleciendo.
To pass away = The old man is passing away.
Escupir = Flor está escupiendo.
To spit = Flor is spitting.
Estudiar = Las chicas están estudiando.
To study = The girls are studying.
Side Note: In English, we use the progressive tense to explain what is happening at the moment, is in progress, or is repeating itself. …And in English, we commonly use the present progressive to say that something will happen in the future, as in this sentence:
Juliana is cooking chicken and rice tomorrow night. (This will happen in the future.)
In Spanish, this is NOT the case. We only use the progressive tense to describe what’s going on right now, right this second, right this moment, right at a specific moment in time, with an action that is progressive, or with an action that is being repeated.
In Spanish, we say the same sentence like this:
Juliana va a cocinar pollo con arroz mañana por la noche.
Juliana is going to cook chicken with rice tomorrow night.
Juliana cocinará pollo con arroz mañana por la noche.
Juliana will cook chicken and rice tomorrow night.
If we are expressing that Juliana is cooking right now, we say:
Juliana está cocinando pollo con arroz (en este momento).
Juliana is cooking chicken and rice (right now).
1. Yo __________ ahora mismo.
I am studying right now.
2. Si te __________, hay que irte ya.
If you are getting angry, you need to leave now.
3. Noemí __________ pantalones azules hoy.
Noemí is wearing blue pants today.
4. Raquel __________ al lado del niño para que aprenda.
Raquel is painting alongside the boy so that he can learn.
5. Más vale que te __________ para salir. Vamos a llegar tarde.
You’d better be getting ready to leave. We’re going to be late.