The Spanish Progressive Tense

Posted on 6th July 2012 in Conjugation

The Spanish Progressive Tense

By Russell Sabo

The Spanish progressive tense is one of the easiest tenses to learn, and, as luck would have it, isn’t used as much by native Spanish speakers as it is by English speakers. In English, the Spanish progressive tense takes on the duties of the gerunds and the present participles, or words that end with “-ing.” Running, hopping, skipping, talking, learning…all of these can be expressed with the Spanish progressive tense.

Click here to learn more about the Progressive Tense – Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 1 Nivel 1

To form the Spanish progressive tense, use the correct tense of “estar” followed by the present participle. Remove the infinitive ending (AR/ER/IR) and add “-ando” or “-iendo” depending on the verb ending that was removed. For verbs that end with AR, add the “-ando” ending and for verbs that end with ER and IR, add the “-iendo” endings.

For example: To say “I am talking right now” you would say “Estoy hablando.” To say “You are eating right now” you would say “Tú estás comiendo” or “Estás comiendo.” And to say “He is writing right now” you would say “Él está escribiendo.”

The Progressive Tenses

Present estoy, estás, está, estamos, estáis, están hablando
Preterit estuve, estuviste, estuvo, estuvimos, estuvisteis, estuvieron comiendo
Imperfect estaba, estabas, estaba, estábamos, estabais, estaban viviendo
Future estaré, estarás, estará, estaremos, estaréis, estarán leyendo
Conditional estaría, estarías, estaría, estaríamos, estaríais, estarían muriendo
Subjunctive que esté, que estés, que esté, que estemos, que estéis, que estén consiguiendo

A special note for the subjunctive example above. I used the Present Subjunctive form as an example, but you can use the other subjunctive forms as well.

The Spanish Progressive Tense and Reflexive Verbs

When dealing with the progressive tense and reflexive verbs, you can place the reflexive pronoun before ‘estar’ or you can attach the relexive pronoun to the gerund (present participle)

Reflexive Pronoun Before Estar

  • ducharse – to shower
  • Yo me estoy duchando
  • Tú te estás duchando
  • Usted, él, ella se está duchando
  • Nosotros/as nos estamos duchando
  • Vosotros/as os estáis duchando
  • Ustedes, ellos, ellas se están duchando

Reflexive Pronoun Attached to Gerund

  • acostarse – to lie down
  • Yo estoy acostándome
  • Tú estás acostándote
  • Usted, él, ella está acostándose
  • Nosotros/as estamos acostándonos
  • Vosotros/as estáis acostándoos
  • Ustedes, ellos, ellas están acostándose

The Spanish Progressive Tense with Direct Object Pronouns

Direct object pronouns work in the same manner as the reflexive pronouns. They can go either before ‘estar’ or they can be attached to the the gerund (present participle).

  • comer – to eat
  • Ella está comiendo la comida. – She is eating the food.
  • Ella la está comiendo. – She is eating it.
  • Ella está comiéndola. – She is eating it.

Other examples

  • Estoy leyendo las revistas. – I am reading the magazines.
  • Las estoy leyendo. – I am reading them.
  • Estoy leyendolas. – I am reading them.
  • Él está destruyendo los libros. – He is destroying the books.
  • Él los está destruyendo. – He is destroying them.
  • Él está destruyendolos. – He is destroying them.
  • Estamos limpiando el piso. – We are cleaning the floor
  • Lo estamos limpiando. – We are cleaning it.
  • Estamos limpiándolo. – We are cleaning it.
  • Ustedes están construyendo una casa. – You (plural) are building a house.
  • Ustedes la están construyendo. – You (plural) are building it.
  • Ustedes están construyendola. – You (plural) are building it.

The Spanish Progressive Tense with Indirect Object Pronouns

As with the reflexive verb pronouns and the direct object pronouns, indirect object pronouns are also placed either before ‘estar’ or they can be attached to the gerund (present participle).

  • Él me está entregando el paquete a mí. – He is delivering the package to me.
  • Él está entregándome el paquete a mí. – He is delivering the package to me.
  • Te estamos mostrando la pintura a tí. – We are showing the painting to you.
  • Estamos mostrándote la pintura a tí. – We are showing the painting to you.
  • Le estoy diciendo el cuento a ella. – I am telling the story to her.
  • Estoy diciéndole el cuento a ella. – I am telling the story to her.
  • Le estoy diciendo el cuento a él. – I am telling the story to him.
  • Estoy diciéndole el cuento a él. – I am telling the story to him.
  • Le estoy diciendo el cuento a usted. – I am telling the story to you. (formal)
  • Estoy diciéndole el cuento a usted. – I am telling the story to you. (formal)
  • Ella nos está vendiendo el carro a nosotros. – She is selling the car to us.
  • Ella está vendiéndonos el carro a nosotros. – She is selling the car to us.
  • Os estoy trayendo el periódico a vosotros. – I am bringing the newspaper to you. (plural, informal)
  • Estoy trayendoos el periódico a vosotros. – I am bringing the newspaper to you. (plural, informal)
  • Les estás dando los libros a ellos. – You are giving the books to them. (all males or a mixed group)
  • Estás dándoles los libros a ellos. – You are giving the books to them. (all males or a mixed group)
  • Les estás dando los libros a ellas. – You are giving the books to them. (all females)
  • Estás dándoles los libros a ellas. – You are giving the books to them. (all females)
  • Les estoy dando los libros a ustedes. – I am giving the books to you. (plural)
  • Estoy dándoles los libros a ustedes. – I am giving the books to you. (plural)

The Spanish Progressive Tense with Double Object Pronouns

Double object pronoun placement is handled in the same manner as above. Double object pronouns are placed either before ‘estar’ or they can be attached to the gerund (present participle). Remember that the indirect object pronoun comes first, followed by the direct object pronoun. If you are using a reflexive verb, the placement will be: reflexive pronoun, indirect pronoun, and then the direct object pronoun. For easy memorization of this, just remember: RID (reflexive, indirect, direct). With no reflexive pronoun, then you just have ID (indirect, direct).

  • Él me lo está entregando a mí. – He is delivering it to me.
  • Él está entregándomelo. – He is delivering it to me.
  • Te la estamos mostrando a tí. – We are showing it to you.
  • Estamos mostrándotela. – We are showing it to you.
  • Se lo estoy diciendo a ella. – I am telling it to her.
  • Estoy diciéndoselo a ella. – I am telling it to her.
  • Se lo estoy diciendo a él. – I am telling it to him.
  • Estoy diciéndoselo a él. – I am telling it to him.
  • Se lo estoy diciendo a usted. – I am telling it to you (formal)
  • Estoy diciéndoselo a usted. – I am telling it to you (formal)
  • Ella nos lo está vendiendo a nosotros. – She is selling it to us.
  • Ella está vendiéndonoslo. – She is selling it to us.
  • Os lo estoy trayendo a vosotros. – I am bringing it to you. (plural, informal)
  • Estoy trayendooslo. – I am bringing it to you. (plural, informal)
  • Se los estás dando a ellos. – You are giving them to them. (all males or a mixed group)
  • Estás dándoselos a ellos. – You are giving them to them. (all males or a mixed group)
  • Se los estás dando a ellas. – You are giving them to them. (all females)
  • Estás dándoselos a ellas. – You are giving them to them. (all females)
  • Se los estoy dando a ustedes. – I am giving them to you. (plural)
  • Estoy dándoselos a ustedes. – I am giving them to you. (plural)

 

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Click here to learn more about the Progressive Tense – Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 1 Nivel 1
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