El Presente Progresivo

 

This is our last little bit of grammar for the year.  Throughout the course of this year, students in grades 1-5 have been exposed to the same grammar, vocabulary, and culture that would typically be presented in a high school Spanish 1 or college Spanish 101 class.  Pretty cool, eh?  We definitely haven't mastered these concepts yet, but to put a foundation in place upon which the students can build in the future is a really important start.  When students hear about these concepts again as they get older, they will find the ideas much easier to grasp because they have heard it all before.

 

So this is the present progressive.  We don't actually use this verb form much in Spanish because it can only be used to describe events which are in the process of happening.  Since it is not typical to go around giving a running commentary on what we or others are currently doing, it doesn't get used too often!  One good example of when it would be used is when we are talking on the phone and asking someone what he or she is doing at the moment.

 

The present progressive is pretty easy to form.  First, we use our old friend, the verb "estar" (to be).  We conjugate that verb for the person who is doing an action.  Next, we add a present participle.  We form this by taking our action word and removing the -ar and adding -ando or removing the -er/ -ir and adding -iendo.  These endings are the same as adding -ing to a verb in English.  So to say, "I am speaking" I use the verb "estar" for "yo" and say "Estoy."  To that, we add the present participle "hablando" and we get "Estoy hablando."  "You are eating" would be "Estas comiendo."  "We are writing" would be "Estamos escribiendo."  And that's that!

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