Present Participles in Spanish: Principles, Examples & More

You wish the present participle in Spanish in the clone way you require it in English to indicate continuous reactions or activities in progress. This article tells how to form the present participle of Spanish verbs.

When you are getting some new grammar point that relates to Spanish you are strengthening your fluency. In fact, the verbs ‘getting’ and ‘strengthening’ are in the present participle form. In other words, the present participle represents things that are presently happening. They are the ‘-ing’ ending of verbs and the same employs to Spanish verbs. Let’s learn to form the present participle of 3 different groups of Spanish verbs. Let’s begin.

The Spanish verb form identical to -ing verbs in English is recognized as the present participle or gerund. The present participle always ends in -ando, iendo, or rarely -Yendo. The Spanish present participle is worked much less than the “-ing” verbs of English, however.

Present Participles in Spanish

Present Participles in Spanish

What Is Present Participle?

Present Participle is a participle that simply represents present action in relation to the time expressed by the finite verb in its clause and that in English is formed with the suffix -ing and is used in the formation of the progressive tenses.

Stems Ending in a Vowel

We have some exemptions here. When you drop the ending of many verbs that end in -er or -ir, the stem you have ended in a vowel, in that case, you must add a different ending. Let’s take a look at this table with the most common verbs that occur in this category.

Stems Ending in a Vowel

Stems Ending in a Vowel

Stem Changing Verbs Ending in -Ir

There are verbs that end in -ir but they also have branches that change when you conjoin them in the simple present tense. If you are not familiar with these stem adjustments, don’t sweat it. You can learn the table below as it represents the most natural verbs in the present participle form. As you see, the present participle finishing is always iendo.

Stem Changing Verbs Ending in -Ir

Stem Changing Verbs Ending in -Ir

Present Participles Used Mostly With Other Verbs

One of the major variations between the present participles in English and Spanish is that while the English present participle can rapidly be used as a noun or an adjective, in Spanish the present participle is nearly ever used in conjunction with other verbs. Here are some examples of the present participle in use:

Present Participle of Most Verbs

Present Participle of Most Verbs

  • Estoy pensando en ti. (I am thinking about you.)
  • Anda buscando el tenedor. (He is walking around looking for the fork.)
  • Sigue estudiando los libros. (She keeps on studying the books.) Haces bien estudiando mucho. (You’re doing well by studying much.)

At this stage, you do not need to evaluate these sentences or guess the details of how the present participle is practiced. Note, however, that in all these examples the gerund is used to point out some form of continuing action, and that it can be spelled out using an “-ing” verb (although it doesn’t have to be).

Cases where you wouldn’t use the Spanish participle to translate an “-ing” verb consists of particulars where the English present participle is used as a noun or adjective. Note these examples:

  • Ver es creer. (Seeing is believing.)
  • Tiene un tigre que come hombres. (She has a man-eating tiger.)
  • Hablar español es divertido. (Speaking Spanish is fun.)
  • Me gusta comer. (I like eating.)
  • Compré los zapatos de correr. (I bought the running shoes.)

Also note that while in English we can handle the present progressive tense to hint to a future event (as in “We are leaving tomorrow), that can‘t be performed in Spanish. You must use either the simple present tense or future tense.

Conjugating Spanish Present Participles

The Spanish present participle of regular verbs is formed by eliminating the -ar ending and replacing it with -ando, or by eliminating the -er or -ir ending and replacing it with -iendo.

Here are examples of each of the verb types:

  1. hablar (to speak) — hablando (speaking)
  2. beber (to drink) — bebiendo (drinking)
  3. vivir (to live) — viviendo (living)

The verbs that have irregular present participles almost regularly use the same -ando and -iendo endings, but they have changed in the stems. For example, if we see the present participle of venir (to come) is viniendo (coming), and the present participle of decir (to say) is diciendo (saying).

To prohibit awkward spellings, a few verbs use a -yendo ending in the participle rather of -iendo. For example, if we see the present participle of leer (to read) is leyendo (reading).

Using Present Participle for the Progressive Tenses

As a starting Spanish student, the way you are most presumably to use the present participle is with the verb estar (to be) to form which is known as the present progressive tense.

Here are some examples of that:

  1. Estoy estudiando. (I am studying.)
  2. Está lavando la ropa. (He is washing the clothing.)
  3. Estamos comiendo el desayuno. (We are eatingbreakfast.)

Here we show present-tense indicative conjugation of estar mixed with a sample present participle to form the present progressive tense:

  1. yo — Estoy comiendo. — I am eating.
  2. tú — Estás comiendo. — You are eating.
  3. él, ella, usted — Está comiendo. — He/she/you is/is/are eating.
  4. nosotros, nosotras — Estamos comiendo. — We are eating.
  5. vosotros, vosotras — Estáis comiendo. — You are eating.
  6. ellos, ellas, ustedes — Están comiendo. — They/you are eating.

The same can be done with other tenses and moods. Although it isn’t mandatory to learn these yet if you’re a starter, here are some examples to understand the concept:

  1. Estaré escribiendo. — I will be writing.
  2. Espero que esté escribiendo. — I hope you’re writing.
  3. Estaba escribiendo. — I/you/he/she was/were writing.

The progressive tenses are used lower in Spanish than they are in English. As a normal rule, they place a significance on the continuing nature of the action. For example, the difference between “leo” and “estoy leyendo” is roughly the difference between “I am reading” and “I am in the process of reading.” (“Leo” can also mean simply “I read,” indicating a habitual action.)


What Are Regular Present Participles In Spanish?
The Spanish Present Participle Of Regular Verbs Is Formed By Removing The – Ar Ending And Replacing It With – Ando, Or By Removing The – Er Or – Ir Ending And Replacing It With -iendo.

What Is Present Tense In Spanish?
The Spanish Simple Present Tense (El Presente. Or El Presente Del Indicativo. ) Can Be Used To Talk About Habitual Actions, Routines, Things Happening Now Or In The Near Future, Universal Truths, Facts, Hypotheticals, Lapses Of Time, And For Ordering In Restaurants And Stores.

What Is A Spanish Participle?
Present Participles In Spanish Are Verb Forms Used To Express Continuous Or Ongoing Actions. Spanish Present Participles End In – Ndo, Which Is The Equivalent Of The English Ending – Ing.

How Do You Form A Present Participle?
The Present Participle Is Formed By Adding – Ing To The Base Form Of A Verb (Infinitive Without To). For Verbs Ending With The Letter –E, Eliminate The –E Before Adding –Ing.

What Is The Present Participle Of Conseguir?

What Is A Gerundio In Spanish?
The Word Gerundio (Heh – Room – Deeoh), Which Means ‘gerund’ Is To Indicate Only That A Spanish Verb Ends In ‘ndo’, Which Is The Equivalent Of ‘ing’ In English. This Means That The Gerundio In Spanish Is Used To Express Actions That Are Happening As We Speak But Also About Actions That Are Continuous.