Today we are dedicating our article to Spanish verbs, we will explain when and how to use gerund (gerundio) in Spanish.

Gerund is the same as a verb with –ing in English (singing – cantando, sleeping – durmiendo, working – trabajando etc.). The most common use of gerund in Spanish is in present continuous tense when we want to express that something is happening right now. We make present continuous tense in Spanish using the verb estar + gerund.

José está hablando sobre sus vacaciones. (José is talking about his holidays.)
Estamos esperando al bus. (We are waiting for a bus.)

Let’s see how to make a gerund. Regular verbs ending in –ar (trabajar) – trabajando, verbs ending in –er/-ir (comer, vivir) – comiendo, viviendo.

Be careful with irregular verbs:
decir – diciendo (e – i), pedir, venir, sentir,…
dormir – durmiendo (o – u), morir, poder,…

There are other irregular verbs that contain vocals –er/-ír, such as leer (read), oír (hear), ir (go). These verbs in gerund look like this – leyendo, oyendo, yendo. However, there are two exceptions: reír (laugh) and freír (fry) – riendo (laughing), friendo (frying).

Present continuous is not the only situation in Spanish when we use gerunds. Gerunds are also used to talk about an action that is happening at the same time as another action:

Me encanta cocinar escuchando música. = Me encanta cocinar mientras escucho música. (I love cooking while listening to music.)

Gerunds are also used to express a manner or mode in which something is done:

No me hables gritando. (Don’t talk to me shouting/ Don’t shout at me while talking.)
Leyendo puedes conocer muchas culturas. (You can get to know many cultures by reading.)

There are also two commonly used expressions with gerunds:

Seguir + gerundSigo buscando piso. (I keep looking for a flat.)

Llevar + gerundLlevo 3 años viviendo en España. (I have been living in Spain for 3 years.)

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