The Spanish Gerundio (also called Gerund or Present Participle) is a verb form in Spanish. It is equivalent to the English “-ing” forms: eating, playing… etc.
The Spanish Gerundio is an important form, mainly because one of its uses: as part of the Present Progressive tense. It has other uses too. Plus, it’s super easy to learn!
In this lesson we will learn all about the Spanish Gerundio, going through the following points:
1. Spanish Gerundio: Forms
For each verb, there is only one Gerundio. We don’t need to learn only one Gerundio 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:
Verb Gerundio Hablar hablando Llamar llamando Comer comiendo Beber bebiendo Vivir viviendo Partir partiendo
1.2. Irregular Gerundios
The following is a list of the most frequent Irregular Gerundios. There are 2 types: for some verbs, there is has a small vowel change in the stem. For others, a letter “y” appears.
Here is a list of Irregular Gerundios:
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 Tense, to express what’s happening at the moment. Click here to learn all about the Spanish Present Progressive.
In Present Progressive, we need to conjugate only “estar” for the specific person, because the Gerundio is the same for all persons.
Example sentences in Present Progressive:
¿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 cases 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 “continue, to keep…”. (Learn more about verb “seguir”):
Por desgracia, sigo fumando.
Unfortunately, I keep smoking.
Los chicos siguen aprendiendo.
The boys keep learning.
¿Sigues tocando la guitarra?
Do you keep playing the guitar?
Or with the verb “pasar”, which means “to spend time”:
Ella pasa todo el día jugando.
She spends her day playing.
Nosotros pasamos horas conversando.
We spend hours talking to each other.
Or with the verb “ir”, which in this case means “to go around doing something”:
Roberto va siempre cantando.
Roberto is always singing around.
¿Por qué vas siempre diciendo tonterías?
Why are you always saying nonsense (around)?
3. Practice the Spanish Gerundio: A Quiz
Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge!: