The progressive tenses are used to emphasize actions that are ongoing at a given point in time.
There are more progressive tenses, but we’ll cover those in the next lesson. In this lesson we’ll just be covering the present progressive. Once you have the present progressive down, the rest of the progressive tenses will be easy to learn.
The formation of the progressive tenses is made up of two verbs:
Estar tells us who does the action and when it happens, and the present participle tells us what the action is.
If you’ve completed the practice from all previous lessons, then you’ve already learned to conjugate estar in all the ways needed to form the progressive tenses! The only new formation you need to learn is the present participle. So let’s dig in!
* Note: You may also hear the term gerund or gerundio in Spanish to refer to this form. We’ve chosen present participle to contrast with past participle as the terms participle and gerund are a little tricky to define across languages.
Here are some examples of present participles in English:
As you can see, English has present participles that are formed regularly by adding -ing (talking, eating, living). Spanish has both regular and irregular present participles. Let’s start with the regulars.
Finding regular present participle forms is a simple two step process:
Of course, there are some irregulars; here are a few you will encounter in your VerbMaster practice:
OK! Now that we know what the present participle is, it’s time to put it to use with a progressive tense. Let’s start with the present progressive.
Below are some examples of how you can use the present progressive in the real world:
The only way to master these verbs is through targeted practice. Fortunately for you, VerbMaster’s intelligent tutoring system makes conjugation practice a breeze!
In this session, you’ll practice conjugating estar in the present tense paired with the present participles of hablar, comer and vivir to form the present progressive tense. So what are you waiting for? Get to studying, you’re on your way to becoming a VerbMaster!
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