=================================== Spanish Grammar Lesson The Present Progressive Tense by Patrick Jackson © Patrick Jackson - All Rights Reserved 2004 http://www.learningspanishlikecrazy.com ===================================
Spanish Grammar Lesson The Present Progressive Tense
The progressive tense is used to describe actions that are in progress at a specific moment in time (the present). In English, it is auxiliary verb “to be” and present participle. In layperson terms, “present participle” means verbs with “ing” attached to end of verb.
The present tense is used much more frequently in English than it is used in Spanish. As in Spanish, we use it to talk about actions that are in progress “now” or “right now.” But in English, we also use present progressive tense to describe habitual actions or to speak in general. For example:
I am living in suburbs. I am working in post office. I am taking Spanish lessons.
In Spanish, present tense is used to emphasize that an action is taking place now. But many Spanish grammar books do not indicate that there is another use for present progressive tense. And that present progressive tense can be used to stress that an action is continuous.
I learned this one from trial and error. As embarrassing as it is to admit, a five year old little girl corrected my Spanish grammar. That’s how I found out.
The first time it happened it happened with an adult. I was trying to tell an adult that I am learning Spanish. Since Spanish grammar books taught me that Spanish present progressive tense is only used to describe actions that are in progress “right now,” I did not use present progressive tense to say that “I am learning Spanish.” Because I was not learning Spanish at that specific moment. At that very moment, I was trying to talk to her in Spanish. So I said “Aprendo español.” She politely corrected me and said “se dice estoy aprendiendo español”.
At time, I thought that maybe she was wrong and that my textbook was right. So I tried telling my next door neighboor’s five year old that “Yo aprendo español” who proudly corrected my Spanish. She told me: you’re supposed to say ‘“yo estoy aprendiendo español.”
Forming Present Progressive Tense
In Spanish, we form present progressive tense by conjugating verb “estar” with present participle. You form regular “ar” present participles by dropping “ar” and adding “ando.” And you form regular “er” present participles by dropping “er” and adding “iendo”