The Spanish Gerundio

The Spanish Gerundio (also called Present Participle or Gerund in English) is a verb form. It is equivalent to the English “-ing” forms.

The Gerundio is important because we use it as part of a tense called Present Progressive, and it has other uses too. Plus, it’s super easy to learn!

In this lesson we will learn all about the Gerundio, going through the following points:

1. Spanish Gerundio: Forms

For each verb, there is only one Gerundio. We don’t need to learn one form for each person.

Also, most verbs have a regular Gerundio. However, there are some irregular ones. Let’s learn both the regular and irregular forms:

1.1. Regular Gerundios

We form Regular Gerundios by adding these endings to the verb’s stem:

  • Verbs ending in “-ar” —>  -ando
  • Verbs ending in “-er”, “-ir”  —> -iendo

Here are some examples:


1.2. Irregular Gerundios

The following is a list of the most frequent Irregular Gerundios. There are 2 types: either the verb has a small vowel change in the stem, or a letter “y” appears.

With vowel change
decir → diciendo
dormir → durmiendo
morir → muriendo
pedir → pidiendo
preferir → prefiriendo
repetir → repitiendo
seguir → siguiendo
vestir → vistiendo
servir → sirviendo

Letter "y" appears
creer → creyendo
leer → leyendo
ir → yendo
oír → oyendo
traer → trayendo

2. Uses of the Gerundio

2.1. As part of the Present Progressive, expressing an ongoing action

We use the Gerundio coupled with the verb “estar” to build sentences in Present Progressive, to express what’s happening at the moment. Click here to learn all about the Spanish Present Progressive.

In Present Progressive we only need to conjugate “estar” for the specific person, because as we explained the Gerundio is the same for all persons.

Example sentences:

¿Qué estás haciendo?
What are you doing?

Estoy haciendo mis tareas.
I’m doing my homework.

¿Estáis cocinando carne?
Are you guys cooking meat?

Estamos cocinando pescado.
We are cooking fish.

Ana está estudiando.
Ana is studying.

Pablo y María también están estudiando.
Pablo and María are also studying.

2.2. In other types of sentences, also expressing an ongoing action

In this case the Gerundio still expresses an ongoing action, but it is coupled with another verb instead of “estar”.

For example, it can be coupled with the verb “seguir”, which means “to keep on”:

Los chicos siguen aprendiendo.
The boys keep on learning (Learn more about verb “seguir”).

Or with the verb “pasar”, which means “to spend time”:

Ella pasa el día jugando.
She spends the day playing.

Or with the verb “ir”, which in this case means “to go around doing something”:

Él va siempre cantando.
He’s always singing around

3. Practice the Spanish Gerundio: A Quiz

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge!:

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