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Jan 3, 2007, 5:34 PM

Post #1 of 4 (3621 views)


Presente Progresiva?

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I was working with one of my students from El Salvador on verb conjugations.

The example that I used was the following:

Present Progressive - Presente Progressiva
I am going to the bank. - Estoy yendo al banco.

My student said that yendo was not good Spanish, and that I was wrong. I think he implied that he had not heard of it. I got it out of my 501 Spanish Verbs, which labeled it the Gerund, which I understand is the same as the Present Participle.

He, like many Hispanics, says: "I go to the store." when he walks out the door. I explained to him that he should say "I am going to the store", which is present progressive in English. My understanding is that in English, the Present Progressive is used for an action in progress, a firm plan in the near future, temporary actions, or trends. My 501 Spanish verbs says that in Spanish, the present progressive tense is used mostly for emphasis. You could say "hablo" or "estoy hablando", with "estoy hablando" being a little stronger.

Am I right about the translation? Is the present progressive not used much in modern Spanish? Or does it depend on the country and/or education? In English, we use the present progressive more often than the present tense, so it is rather important. I can see that part of the problem is that the present progressive tense is used somewhat differently in English and Spanish.



Jan 3, 2007, 7:40 PM

Post #2 of 4 (3616 views)


Re: [raferguson] Presente Progresiva?

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Hello Richard,

You are OK. You are grammaticaly correct. And your student is also right.

Here in Zacatecas, I have never heard estoy yendo..... not once in 18 years.

Here if the verb is to go, my cohorts always use the simple present voy al banco, la tienda, etc...

And of course that simple present is also used for the immediate future as well. Voy al banco mañana.

Now with other verbs yes, the present progressive is used all the time. Estoy hablando....cállate for example.

Now the past progressive is a different matter. Estaba yendo al banco cuando vi un choque horrible.

Sr Quevedo?

Adiós. jerezano.


Jan 3, 2007, 9:19 PM

Post #3 of 4 (3609 views)


Re: [jerezano] Presente Progresiva?

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The present is generally used to express activity that will take place in the near future. It's called the dramatic present (el presente dramático).

Mañana vuelvo a casa. Tomorrow I (shall) go return home.
Esta noche salimos para Guadalajara. We (shall) leave tonight for Guadalajara.
Aquí me quedo hasta la mañana. I (shall) stay here till morning.
En junio viajan por todo México. In June they (shall) travel all over Mexico.

Yes, in theory the gerund form is used to indicate the progressive construction. In practice, it's used very little by native Mexican Spanish speakers.

¿Con quién hablas? Hablo con Luisa.
No puedo jugar contigo ahora. Hago mi tarea.

The gerund form of a verb is frequently used, but in other types of construction.


Jan 5, 2007, 2:50 PM

Post #4 of 4 (3579 views)


Re: [esperanza] Presente Progresiva?

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The present progressive tense is used very often in English but not in Spanish. A gerund is a present participle (verb form) that functions as a noun. It can be used as the subject of a sentence (Swimming is fun./Exercising is good for your health.) Both "swimming' and "exercising" are called "gerunds." But in the present progressive and past progressive tenses (I am swimming./We were exercising.), "swimming" and "exercising" are called "present participles" (verb forms) because they are functioning as verbs, not nouns.
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