The present progressive stresses that an action is in progress at a given moment. It is equivalent to the English -ing ( the gerund form). It is formed as follows:

estar (conjugated to subject) + present participle


Ellos están comprando un regalo en la joyería.


infinitive stem

+ ending = present participle
-ar verbs cantar -ando cantando
-er verbs comer -iendo comiendo
-ir verbs escribir -iendo escribiendo

The present participle does not change to agree with the subject, and thus will always end in -o. Estar, however, MUST agree with your subject (it must be conjugated correctly ,after all)!!!


Some frequently used irregular present participles are:

decir (i) diciendo
pedir (i) pidiendo
sentir (i) sintiendo
repetir (i) repitiendo
dormir (u) durmiendo
morir (u) muriendo
leer (y) leyendo

While the present tense is used to describe actions that occur in the present or in the immediate future, the present progressive is used only to emphasize that an action is occuring at the very moment tge person is speaking.


Trabajo todos los días. I work every day.
Estoy trabajando. I am working (right now).


Ustedes leen los apuntes. You all read the notes.
Ustedes están leyendo los apuntes. You all are reading the notes (right now).


Javier duerme mucho. Javier sleeps a lot.
Javier está durmiendo. Javier is sleeping (right now).


**Note: the verbs ir and venir are not commonly used in the progressive.