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estas haciendo y estaban hablando

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estaban hablando .......... what is its equivalent in english?
estas haciendo............. what is its equivalent in english'

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updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by davit871

3 Answers

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estas haciendo............. what is its equivalent in English?

The equivalent makes no sense, unless you write "estás", with an accent, but after making that adjustment, "are you doing".

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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Oops. I just noticed that in the final example of usage it should be "Esperaba que estuvieran viendo el programa de la tele". Sorry about that.

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
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"Estaban hablando" = They were talking.
"Estás haciendo" = You are doing/making.

Those are examples of the progressive tense (imperfect indicative progressive and present indicative progressive, respectively.)

To form the progressive tense you conjugate the verb "estar" in the desired tense (present, past, future, condtional) and mood (depending on whether it can be declared or not.)

Then, you use the gerund form of the other verb, which is formed by taking off the infinitive ending of the verb (-ar, -er, or -ir) and adding -ando for -ar verbs, and -iendo for -er/-ir verbs. -IR verbs that have a stem change in the present indicative have a stem change e -> i or o -> u (for example, dormir, which has a stem change o->ue in the present indicative [duermo, duermes, duerme,etc.] is formed like this: dormir - ir = dorm- -> durm- + iendo = durmiendo.)

Now, the progressive tense is used to emphasize that the action of the verb is happening RIGHT NOW. I'm sure native speakers will be able to tell us more about its usage/use in speech. I think students, me included, tend to overuse the progressive A LOT, so lately I've been trying to use the simple form of the verb (hablaban, instead of estaban hablando, haces, instead of estás haciendo).

Examples of its usage:
Estoy viendo el programa de la tele. (present indicative progressive)
Estaba viendo el programa de la tele. (imperfect indicative progressive)
Espero que estén viendo el programa de la tele. (present subjunctive progressive)
Esperaba que estaran viendo el programa de la tele. (imperfect subjunctive progressive)

Go here if you want practice with this: http://www.studyspanish.com/lessons/presprog.htm

updated JUL 26, 2009
posted by Nick-Cortina
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