Present Progressive

Presente progresivo

Present progressive in Spanish
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The Spanish present progressive, or present continuous, is very similar to its English counterpart (to be + -ing). In both languages, the present progressive expresses an in-progress action, with an emphasis on its current, temporary aspect.

Por ejemplo…

Estoy trabajando; no puedo salir. I’m working; I can’t go out.
¿Por qué no estás haciendo caso del profesor? Why aren’t you paying attention to the teacher?
No estamos mirando la televisión. We’re not watching television.

 In English, the present progressive can also be used for something that will happen in the future. Not so in Spanish. This use of the English present progressive is expressed in Spanish with the simple present, future, or near future.

Voy
Iré
Voy a ir
} al banco más tarde. I’m going to the bank later.
Sale
Saldrá
Va a salir
} mañana. He’s leaving tomorrow. 

The Spanish present progressive is usually formed with the present tense of estar + gerund of the action verb.

Estoy leyendo I am reading
Estás hablando You are speaking
Está llorando He is crying

 Variations

There are five other verbs which can replace estar and add a different nuance to the present progressive.

1) andar – to be (in the process of) doing something

Anda buscando sus llaves. He’s looking for his keys.

2) ir – to start doing, to be gradually doing something

Voy comprendiendo la verdad. I’m starting to understand the truth.

3) llevar – to have been doing something (English present perfect progressive)

Llevo dos años trabajando aquí. I’ve been working here for two years.

4) seguir – to go on/keep/continue doing something

Sigue lloviendo. It’s still raining.

5) venir – to have been doing something (English present perfect progressive)

Es lo que vengo diciendo. That’s what I’ve been saying.

Spanish quiz Present Progressive Quizzes

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Spanish present progressive