Gerund in Spanish (el gerundio)
In Spanish, the verb form that ends in -ndo is called the gerundio. It is used in compound verb forms, such as estoy cantando. (I'm singing). This -ing form, in English can also be used as an adjective or a noun.
- What are you doing?
- The setting sun.
- Swimming is fun.
- 1.Gerund formation in Spanish
- 2.Uses of the gerundio in Spanish
- 2.1.To form continuous tenses with estar
- 2.2.To Express Ongoing Actions
- 2.3.As Adverbs
- 3.Frecuent use of verbs with gerund
- 4.The gerund of irregular verbs
- 4.1.Highly irregular verbs
- 4.2.Verbs with vowel changes e→i e→ie
- 4.3.Verbs with -uir
Gerund formation in Spanish
To form the gerund of regular –ar verbs, take off the –ar ending of the infinitive and add –ando. To form the gerund of regular –er and –ir verbs replace the endings with –iendo.
|Verbs in -ar||Verbs in -er||Verbs in -ir|
Ending replaced by
Ending replaced by
Ending replaced by
|hablar → hablando||comer → comiendo||vivir → viviendo|
|viajar → viajando||beber → bebiendo||salir → saliendo|
Uses of the gerundio in Spanish
To form continuous tenses with estar
- Estoy trabajando (I am working)
- Estamos comiendo (We are eating)
To Express Ongoing Actions
Gerundios can be used with verbs like ir , seguir , andar and venir , to emphasize the idea of an ongoing action.
- Anda buscando su movil. (He is walking around looking for his phone)
- Vas saliendo del estado de meditación. (You are gradually coming out of the meditation state)
- Seguimos estudiando las candidaturas. (We keep on studying the application forms)
- Vengo sintiendo una gran paz interior. (I've been feeling a great peace inside of me)
Gerundios can function as adverbs, modifying the action of another verb in the same phrase.
- Pasé el día leyendo. (I spent the day reading)
- Cantando y bailando, se fueron de la fiesta. (Singing and dancing, they left the party)
Frecuent use of verbs with gerund
|Verb in Spanish||Verb in English||Examples|
|estar + gerund||to be doing something||
Qué estás haciendo? (What are you doing?)
Estoy estudiando (I am studying)
|empezar + gerund||to begin doing something||La profesora empieza la clase pasando lista. (The teacher starts the lesson by doing the registration)|
|llevar + gerund||to be doing something a a period of time||Cristina lleva 3 meses viviendo en Barcelona. (Cristina is living in Barcelona for 3 months now)|
|ir + gerund||to start doing something||Álvaro va empezando a caminar. (Álvaro is gradually doing his first steps)|
|continuar/seguir + gerund||to keep doing something||Patricia sigue trabajando en Valencia (Patricia is still working in Valencia)|
|acabar/terminar + gerund||to end up doing something||Terminan graduandose en el colegio. (They end up graduating at school)|
The gerund of irregular verbs
Some verbs have an irregular gerund form.
Highly irregular verbs
|ser (to be)||siendo|
|ir (to go)||yendo|
|decir (to say)||diciendo|
|ver (to see)||viendo|
|poder (to be able to)||pudiendo|
|dar (to give)||dando|
|venir (to come)||viniendo|
|dormir (to sleep)||durmiendo|
|leer (to read)||leyendo|
|oir (to ear)||oyendo|
|traer (to bring)||trayendo|
|caer (to fall)||cayendo|
|morir (to die)||muriendo|
Verbs with vowel changes e→i e→ie
All verbs with a vowel change from e to i or ie in the present also have a vowel change in the gerund.
- pedir → pidiendo
- seguir → siguiendo
- reir → riendo
Verbs with -uir
For all the verbs ending in -uir, i becomes y.
- destruir → destruyendo
- construir → construyendo
You can practice the gerund form with the exercises. Good luck!
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