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The Gerund in Spanish: What It Is, Tips on how to Kind It and When to Use It


Text saying 'Spanish Gerund' with circles on red background

Do you know that you could give orders, descriptions and exclamations all with the identical phrase in Spanish?

What’s that implausible phrase? The gerund.

Most probably you already know a bit about gerunds, the –iendo or –ando type of verbs (corriendo, andando). And in case you do, you’re prepared to start out utilizing the gerund in Spanish in all kinds of various conditions.

Let’s take a look on the some ways we will use the ever-versatile gerund.

Contents

What Is the Gerund in Spanish?

The gerund is a verb type that expresses steady motion (an motion that’s at present occurring). It’s equal to the “–ing” type of a verb in English.

It’s vital to acknowledge that whereas English gerunds act as nouns, Spanish gerunds will all the time stay a verb. 

Listed here are some examples of gerunds:

Estoy cenando. (I’m consuming dinner.)

Mi abuela está hablando con su hermana. (My grandma is speaking along with her sister.)

Andamos buscando el teléfono de Juan. (We’re strolling round searching for Juan’s telephone.)

Tips on how to Kind a Gerund in Spanish

Use this method to type the gerund:

infinitive verb stem + -ando or -iendo

This desk demonstrates what this appears like: 

Verb Kind Gerund Ending Instance
-ar -ando Bajar → Bajando
-ar -iendo Comer → Comiendo
-ir -iendo Abrir → Abriendo

As all the time, there are some exceptions to the traditional method!

For one, verbs that finish in two vowels will use –yendo to type the gerund:

Caer → cayendo

r → oyendo

After which there are the true funky ones, the stem-changers. These are best to recollect in case you simply memorize which verbs they’re, although there are some pointers that may assist:

  • If there’s a to i/ie change within the current tense, the gerund can have within the stem

Pedir → pidiendo

Preferir → prefiriendo

  • If there’s a o to ue change within the current tense, the gerund can have within the stem

Dormir → durmiendo

Poder → pudiendo

Most Frequent Gerunds in Spanish

There are specific Spanish verbs which can be generally made into gerunds. Listed here are a few of the most typical common and irregular Spanish gerunds.

Common Spanish Gerunds

Infinitive Gerund
hablar (to speak) hablando (speaking)
vivir (to reside) viviendo (dwelling)
tomar (to take) tomando (taking)
pensar (to suppose) pensando (considering)
comer (to eat) comiendo (consuming)
beber (to drink) bebiendo (ingesting)
hacer (to do/make) haciendo (doing/making)
tener (to have) teniendo (having)
ser (to be) siendo (being)
llegar (to reach) llegando (arriving)
salir (to depart) saliendo (leaving)
cocinar (to prepare dinner) cocinando (cooking)
bailar (to bop) bailando (dancing)
cantar (to sing) cantando (singing)
poner (to place) poniendo (placing)
ver (to see) viendo (seeing)
necesitar (to wish) necesitando (needing)
escribir (to put in writing) escribiendo (writing)
abrir (to open) abriendo (opening)


Irregular Spanish Gerunds

Infinitive Gerund
leer (to learn) leyendo (studying)
caer (to fall) cayendo (falling)
creer (to consider) creyendo (believing)
cecir (to say) diciendo (saying)
dormir (to sleep) durmiendo (sleeping)
pedir (to ask for) pidiendo (asking for)
sentir (to really feel) sintiendo (feeling)
vestir (to put on) vistiendo (sporting)
mentir (to lie) mintiendo (mendacity)

The extra you hear native Spanish spoken, the extra you’ll choose up on the right way to use gerunds and which of them find yourself being the commonest.

When to Use the Spanish Gerund with Different Verbs

Progressive Constructions

Within the progressive tenses, the gerund is nearly all the time paired with the verb estar to precise an motion in movement. It’s one thing that’s at present occurring, proper now, at this second.

Ronaldo está quejándose. (Ronaldo is complaining.)

Javier Bardem me está seduciendo. (Javier Bardem is seducing me.)

This progressive development may be paired up with nearly any verb tense, however simply keep in mind that it signifies that the motion is/was/shall be constantly occurring.

Right here’s an instance of every progressive development:

Previous progressive: Estuve trabajando como espía en Rusia por diez años. (I used to be working as a spy in Russia for ten years.)

Current good steady: Hemos estado hablando y decidimos que tu blusa es fea. (We’ve been speaking and we determined that your shirt is ugly.)

Future good steady: Elena habrá estado saliendo con Juan por cinco meses en junio. (In June, Elena can have been relationship Juan for 5 months.)

Pluperfect subjunctive: Si hubieras estado prestando atención en la prepa, esto ya lo habrías sabido. (If you happen to had been paying consideration in highschool, you’ll have already identified this.)

Observe that these progressive tenses can’t be used with venir, ir and estar as their predominant verbs. For instance, you can not say: estoy yendo*, estoy viniendo*, and estoy estando*. These are all incorrect. 

With Ir, Andar and Venir

If you wish to specific a bit extra emotion, you need to use the gerund with ir. As well as, you need to use it to precise actions which can be regularly unfolding over time.

¿Quién va conduciendo el tren? (Who’s driving this prepare?!)

Poco a poco Ricardo fue convirtiéndose en todo un hombre. (Little by little, Ricardo was changing into a person.)

You too can use the gerund with andar and venir. Utilizing one in all these verbs will add the thought of a repeated or insistent motion to your sentence.

 Roberto viene buscando chicas para conquistar. (Roberto is trying to choose up chicks.)

España anda siempre aguantando millones de huelgas. (Spain is all the time placing up with tons of strikes.)

Reflexive Gerunds

When a reflexive Spanish verb is made right into a gerund that comes after one other verb, the reflexive pronoun both comes earlier than the previous verb, or tacked on to the tip of the gerund:

Me estoy lavando las manos. (I’m washing my arms.)
Estoy lavándome las manos. (I’m washing my arms.)

Se están olvidando algo. (They’re forgetting one thing.)
Están olvidándose algo. (They’re forgetting one thing.)

When to Use the Spanish Gerund on Its Personal

Now that you simply’ve received the fundamentals of utilizing a gerund mastered, I’m going to make all of it so much simpler for you: you don’t all the time want to make use of a predominant verb.

There are a variety of situations when you need to use the gerund all by its lonesome with out even worrying about estar or having to conjugate something.

Present Actions

As we simply realized, the gerund is used to precise that one thing is within the strategy of occurring. Solely this time, you don’t want the primary verb.

And right here’s the most effective factor: it might probably refer to the current, previous or future

¿Qué haces? — Nada, relajándome un poquito. (What are you doing? — Nothing, enjoyable a bit.)

¿Y Paz? ¿Qué hacía? — Tomando un té. (And Paz? What was she doing? — Ingesting tea.)

How One thing Has Been Achieved

Just like the development in English, you need to use the Spanish gerund to explain how one thing is completed or carried out.

Viajando, conocí muchos países, mucha gente y a mi esposa. (By touring, I received to know many nations, folks and my spouse.)

Comiendo mucho, me engordé. (By consuming so much, I received fats.)

Describing Conditions

You should use the impartial gerund to explain photos and conditions.

Mi hijo, ganando el premio Nobel. (My son, successful the Nobel Prize.)

¿Dónde está la escuela? — Saliendo del metro, a la izquierda. (The place’s the varsity? — On the left if you get off the metro.)

Exclamations and Interrogatives

Use the gerund if you need to say that you simply suppose somebody spends an excessive amount of time doing one factor. Use this with expressions like siempre or otra vez.

¡Otra vez comiendo McDonalds! (Consuming McDonalds once more? (with all these scrumptious tapas round?))

¡De nuevo estudiando! (Learning once more! (Get exterior!))

Sarcasm

You should use the impartial gerund for conditions by which it’s apparent what’s occurring. You possibly can ask questions that don’t require a response this fashion.

¿Qué? ¿Comiéndote mi tortilla? (Consuming my tortilla, I see.)

Giving Orders

You should use the gerund to provide orders.

¡Vamos a perder el bus! ¡Corriendo! (We’re going to overlook the bus. Run!)

Nunca vas a terminar. Trabajando. (You’re by no means going to complete. Get to work.)

When To not Use the Gerund

Though you need to use the gerund in a complete bunch of superior methods, there are some things you need to be cautious (ojo) of as effectively.

First, the gerund isn’t a noun like in English. In Spanish, you need to use the infinitive type of the verb if you would like the motion to behave as a noun.

Me gusta nadar. Nadar es divertido. (I like swimming. Swimming is enjoyable.)

The gerund isn’t an adjective both in Spanish. As a substitute, use a previous participle or restructure the sentence.

Los niños que griten serán premiados con una visita al director. (Screaming kids shall be rewarded with a visit to the principal.)

Tips on how to Observe Spanish Gerunds

Now that you recognize all these new and fabulous ways in which gerunds are going to make your life simpler, it’s time to place them to follow!

Listed here are some issues to attempt:

  • Discover follow workouts on-line. Bowdoin School has some nice workouts, and Lingolía has this free one (there are extra, however you’ll have to buy them).
  • Learn Spanish books to see how gerunds are written.
  • Observe incorporating gerunds into your personal speech. The extra you employ them your self, the higher you’ll perceive them.
  • Watch Spanish motion pictures to see how gerunds come up in pure speech. FluentU might be an ideal possibility for this because it offers you Spanish movies that includes native audio system in pure contexts. 

 

Now you need to use gerunds to provide orders and describe conditions, so get on the market and use them!

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