Spanish Gerund Form | SpanishDict Answers

The gerund, also known as the present participle, is used to express several continuous actions in Spanish. You can find the gerundio right under the definition when you conjugate a word using our conjugator.

The Gerund

To form the gerund of regular verbs, drop the infinitive ending (-ar, -er, -ir) and add -ando to the stem of -ar verbs and -iendo to the stem of -er and -ir verbs.

How to Form the Gerund

infinitive stem gerund
-ar verbs hablar habl- hablando
-er verbs tener ten- teniendo
-ir verbs vivir viv- viviendo

There are a few irregular gerund endings which help to maintain pronunciation:

Unstressed I Between Vowels

If the stem of -er or -ir verbs ends in a vowel, -iendo changes to -yendo.

  • Whenever an unstressed i appears between two vowels, the spelling always changes to a y, not just in the following gerunds.

Yendo Gerunds

infinitive stem gerund
er verbs atraer atra- atrayendo
caer ca- cayendo
contraer contra- contrayendo
creer cre- creyendo
leer le- leyendo
traer tra- trayendo
ir verbs construir constru- construyendo
contribuir contribu- contribuyendo
excluir exclu- excluyendo
destruir destru- destruyendo
huir hu- huyendo
incluir inclu- incluyendo
influir influ- influyendo
oír o- oyendo
ir yendo

Irregular IR

Ir (to go) is irregular in many tenses. If you were to treat it as a regular -ir verb, take away the -ir, you would be left with simply -iendo. When the [ie] combination is stressed, it changes to a [y], making the gerund for ir: yendo.


No Need for I Here

If the stem of -er or -ir verbs ends in ll or ñ, -iendo changes to -endo. (Since ll and ñ already have an i sound in them, it is not necessary to add it to the gerund ending.)

Ñendo Gerunds

infinitive stem gerund
er verbs tañer tañ- tañendo
ir verbs bullir bull- bullendo
engullir engull- engullendo
escabullirse escabull- escabulléndose
mullir mull- mullendo
gruñir gruñ- gruñendo
reñir reñ- reñendo
teñir teñ- teñendo

There are also some verbs that need a stem-change before adding the gerund ending to maintain pronunciation:

  • Any -ir verb that has a stem-change in the third person preterite (e->i, or o->u) will have the same stem-change in the gerund form. The -er verb poder also maintains its preterite stem-change in the gerund form.

Stem-Change Gerunds

infinitive 3rd person preterite gerund
advertir advirtió advirtiendo
competir compitió compititendo
conseguir consiguió consiguiendo
consentir consintió consintiendo
convertir convirtió convirtiendo
decir dijo diciendo
hervir hirvió hirviendo
mentir mintió mintiendo
pedir pidió pidiendo
reñir riñió riñendo
repetir repitió repitiendo
seguir siguió siguiendo
servir sirvió sirviendo
sugerir sugirió sugiriendo
venir vino viniendo
poder pudo pudiendo
dormir durmió durmiendo
morir murió muriendo

Uses of the Gerund

1. The progressive tenses

See the progressive reference for a full explanation, examples, and irregulars. The progressive tenses describe an ongoing action where the verb estar indicates tense.

Present Progressive

estar + present participle * Él estaba leyendo. (He was reading.) * Estoy pensando en ti. (I am thinking about you.)

2. As an Adverb

The gerund can function as an adverb, modifying the action of another verb in the same phrase.

  • Pasé el día leyendo. (I spent the day reading.)
  • Viviendo en España, era fácil hablar español. (Living in Spain, it was easy to speak Spanish.)

3. To Express Continuous Action

When used in conjunction with andar, ir, seguir, or venir, the gerund emphasizes the idea of a continuous, ongoing action.

  • Anda buscando sus llaves. (He is walking around looking for his keys.)
  • Vas saliendo de la enfermedad. (You are gradually coming out of your sickness.)
  • Seguimos estudiando los libros. (We keep on studying the books.)
  • Vengo sintiendo un gran consuelo. (I´ve been feeling a great comfort.)

When NOT to Use the Gerund

1. As a noun

English nouns that end in -ing are expressed using infinitives, not gerunds in Spanish.

  • Me gusta hablar español. (I like speaking Spanish.)
  • Ver es creer. (Seeing is believing.)
  • Correr es bueno para la salud. (Running is good for your health.)

2. As an adjective

English adjectives that end in -ing are also expressed using infinitives or other conjugated verbs, not gerunds in Spanish.

  • Tengo los zapatos de correr. (I have running shoes.)
  • ¿De quién es el bebé que llora? (Whose is this crying baby?)

3. To Express the Future

In English, it is common to use the present progressive to express an event that will happen in the future. Spanish uses the present tense or the future tense to do this.

  • Salimos el lunes. (We are leaving on Monday.)
  • Irémos a España mañana. (We are going to Spain tomorrow.)

Exercises

Part 1: Write out the gerund present participle for each given infinitive.

Example: saltar -> saltando

  1. bañar
  2. leer
  3. salir
  4. bailar
  5. dar
  6. ir
  7. comer
  8. hablar
  9. escribir
  10. dormir

Part 2: For each sentence, choose the word that fits and write its gerund to complete the sentence.

Example: Mi mamá está ___|\___|\___|\___|__ la cena. -> cocinando

Word Bank

escribir dormir servir sacar hervir

  1. La camarera está ___|\___|\___|\___|__ el café.
  2. Estoy ___|\___|\___|\___|\___|_ los huevos.
  3. Los niños están ___|\___|\___|\___|\___|__, porque es muy tarde.
  4. Nosotros estamos ___|\___|\___|\___|\___|\___| muchas fotos.
  5. Mi padre está ___|\___|\___|\___|\___|\___| un libro de la historia argentina.

Answers

Part 1

  1. bañando
  2. leyendo
  3. saliendo
  4. bailando
  5. dando
  6. yendo
  7. comiendo
  8. hablando
  9. escribiendo
  10. durmiendo

Part 2

  1. sirviendo
  2. hirviendo
  3. durmiendo
  4. sacando
  5. escribiendo