The progressive tense in Spanish is almost the same as in English. In English, we can say “I do” and “I am doing”, where “I am doing” is the progressive form. In Spanish, the progressive tenses are formed by combining the verb ESTAR – to be and a present tense participle:
ESTAR + present PARTICIPLE
Present tense participle:
Spanish present tense participle is equivalent of English –ING form of verb.
For –AR verbs, change the ending to –ANDO
For –ER and –IR verbs, change the ending to –IENDO
HABLAR – to speak, HABLANDO – speaking
HACER – to do, HACIENDO – doing
SERVIR – to serve, SERVIENDO – serving
ROMPARSE – to get broken, ROMPANDOSE – being broken (reflexive)
Generally, all you need to know for the progressive tense is conjugation of ESTAR in all previously considered tenses (present, past I, past II, future, conditional mood).
Here are the examples with the pronoun Yo – I for all previously considered tenses:
Yo estoy escribiendo – I am writing
Yo estaba jugando – I was playing
Yo estuve aprendiendo – I was learning
Yo estaré cocinando – I will be cooking
Yo estaría manejando – I would be driving
Form present tense participles out of these verbs and conjugate them in all tenses:
Luchar – to struggle, Combatir – to fight, Gastar – to spend (money), Pasar – to spend (time)/to pass, Mover – to move, Mudarsese – to move oneself, Mirar – to look at, Mirarse – to look, Vaciar – to empty, Acabar – to finish, Cambiar – to change, Nadar – to swim, Ofrecer – to offer, Oler – to smell.
Irregular participles have the same letter in stem as in the Past tense II. E.g. Repetir – I repeat, Repitió – I repeated, Repitiendo – repeating.
Dormir – to sleep, Durmiendo – sleeping
Mentir – to lie, Mintiendo – lying
Decir – to say, Diciendo – saying
Venir – to come, Viniendo – coming
Yo estuve reparando mi bicicleta durante tres horas – I was repairing my bicycle during three hours
Ayer el caballo estuvo corriendo por el campo – The horse was running through the field yesterday
Nuestros amigos estarán mudándose el proximo mes – Our friends will move (themselves) next month
Mi cerveza está acabándose – My beer is getting finished
Trabajando aquí, yo me canso – Working here, I get tired
Use verbs in progressive tense conjugating ESTAR with participle out of given verbs.
- ¿Cuándo ? (ACABAR – to finish) – When will you(tú) be finishing?
- ¿Qué ? (HACER – to do) – What are you doing?
- Yo la casa (CONSTRUIR – to build) – I am building the house
- la habitación cuando estabas ocupado (LIMPIAR – to clean) – We were cleaning the room when you were busy
- Juan a las diez (DORMIR – to sleep) – Juan was sleeping at 10 o’clock
- Unas chicas al cielo en la tarde (MIRAR – to look) – Some girls were looking at the sky at evening
- hasta que me llamaste (COSER – to sew) – I was sewing until you called me
- Nosotros a la casa nueva la semana pasada (MUDARSE – to move) – We were moving to new home in the previous week
- Cuando estábamos en París, muchas fotos (TOMAR – to take) – When we were in Paris, we were taking a lot of photos
a: estarás acabando, b: estás haciendo, c: estoy construyendo,
d: estábamos limpiando, e: estaba durmiendo, f: estuvieron mirando, g: estaba cosiendo, h: estuvimos mudándonos,
i: estuvimos tomando