The Gerund or Present Participle (-ing)


 

Formation

Remove the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, or -ir) of a verb
And add -ando for -ar verbs
Or add -iendo for -er and -ir verb

caminar -> caminando - walking
volver -> volviendo - returning
abrir -> abriendo - opening

Warning: Nearly always the infinitive is used in Spanish.
The gerund / present participle (-ing) in English is replaced by the infinitive in Spanish

Me gusta nadar - I like swimming
Vivir en Santiago es agradable - Living in Santiago is pleasant
Sin comprar nada - Without buying anything

So when do we use the gerund in Spanish?

1. To help form the continuous tenses
Estoy comiendo - I am eating
Estabas hablando - You were talking

2. Time expressions with seguir or continuar
Voy a seguir estudiando - I'm going to continue studying

3. Time expressions spent doing something
Llevo 1 hora esperando - I've been waiting for an hour
Pasé 20 minutos leyendo - I spent 20 minutes reading

4. Expressing slow but gradual action
La situación va mejorando - The situation is getting better


Warning: Don't use the Spanish gerund as an adjective
In English, we can. In Spanish, find an adjective or short phrase instead.

La siguiente historia - The following story
El discusión interesante - The interesting debate
Una caña de pescar - A fishing rod
Una sala de esperar - A waiting room
Un permiso de conducir - A driving license
Zapatos de baile - Dancing shoes

 




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