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.Frequent 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
- 5.1.Practice the gerund
- 5.2.Do you know the gerund?
- 5.3.More practice of the gerund
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)
Frequent 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 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 hear)||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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Elena is an excellent teacher and a very nice person. I have been training in Spanish with Elena for quite some time now after her being recommended to me by a friend, and have consistently been very pleased with our lessons. While I do not consider myself to be very good at learning foreign languages, Elena is very patient and adapts the lessons to my ability, making me feel at ease. In fact, I find her to be extremely skilled at assessing exactly where I am at any given time with respect to my individual learning situation, and structuring the lessons accordingly. I think I probably would have given up trying to learn Spanish had I not began my study with Elena; and that would have been a shame considering where I am now with the language. Because of Elena's skilled help, I am extremely pleased to not only be conversant in basic Spanish, but also have confidence that I will one day reach full proficiency with the language. No other learning method I tried before meeting Elena compares to the one-on-one, personalized instruction I receive from her, which comprises reading; writing; developmental exercises; and most importantly, conversation. To be able to look at Spanish now and have it appear largely familiar is extremely satisfying. I even plan to study Italian with Elena after reaching my desired level in Spanish. These are not things I ever imagined would occur at the beginning stages of my studies. I am a native English speaker and find Elena's English to be excellent. She had no difficulty instructing me from the very beginning levels where it was necessary that a lot of English be spoken in our lessons, to where we are now with much less English being spoken. The friend who recommended Elena to me learned Dutch from her, and is equally pleased with their experience. I would not hesitate to learn from Elena any of the languages she teaches. I give Elena my highest recommendations and thank her for all the help she has provided me.
Thank you for your feedback, Brandon! I am very happy to know that you are so satisfied with the lessons. I've always believed that you could make it and I am glad that we never gave it up. The right attitude and a high level of perseverance have been the keys to your success. It has been a pleasure to be your guide in your learning process. I know that you can do much more, so let's continue towards a next level!
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An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
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This student is one of the best ones I ever had in my long teaching career. She is always so diligent and willing to learn more and more. I am so happy to work with her and see the immense progress she has made since we first started working together. Thank you Silke!
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We are an Italian family residing in France for 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the children two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with the choice. Nous sommes une famille italienne résidant en France depuis janvier, nous avons deux enfants de 10 ans qui viennent de commencer la CM1. Nous avons demandé à Natalia de leur donner deux leçons par semaine pour accélérer leur apprentissage. Nous sommes super contents de Natalia. We are an Italian family living in France since 3 months, we have two 10 year old children who have just started attending CM1. We asked Natalia to give the kids two lessons a week to speed up their learning. We are super happy with this choice.
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