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Grammar - Using 'ing' with Spanish Verbs

In the Spanish Easy Review quiz series, the Spanish Medium Review quiz series and here in the Spanish Difficult Review quiz series you have been learning how to conjugate verbs in the past, present and future tenses. Those three tenses will get you through a lot situations where you will be able to speak Spanish. However, there are other verb tenses to learn. Most of those few remaining tenses are covered in more advanced Spanish courses, including conversational Spanish courses. However, there is one additional tense that you should be aware of at this time and that is the progressive tense. Therefore, in this Spanish Difficult Review quiz you will be looking at progressive verbs, i.e., verbs that end with the letters of 'ing'.

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'ing' Verbs

Words that end in 'ing' can either be an adjective, a noun, an adverb or a verb. It can be very confusing to know what they are unless you look at the meaning of the word in the context of the sentence in which it falls. For this particular quiz, you will only be looking at 'ing' verbs.

In Spanish, when an 'ing' word is being used as a verb, the verb tense is, again, known as the progressive tense. Progressive tense verbs are used with the 'to be' verb. The 'to be' verb to use in Spanish is the verb of estar. In other words, you would not say: he sleeping. Rather, you would say: He is sleeping. Both 'is' and 'sleeping' must be used together in order to show the action. It is because they are used together that they are progressive.

The Spanish 'ing' Endings

As you need to use two verbs and here in this instance those two verbs are estar and dormir, estar gets conjugated as it normally would in the present, past and future tenses. However, the second verb of dormir, which is an irregular IR verb gets translated differently. The root form of the verb become 'durm' after dropping its IR ending and then the letters of 'iendo' are added to the end of the root word. Therefore, dormir becomes durmiendo. As you can see, it remains an irregular verb in the progressive tense.

Now let’s take another look of the above sentence that reads: He is sleeping. The progressive sentence in Spanish will read as: Él está durmiendo.

To make an ER verb an 'ing' progressive verb tense you will also drop the ER ending and add the letters of 'iendo'. However, to make an AR verb a progressive tense verb, when you drop the AR ending, you will need to add the letters of 'ando'.

As is might be very new to many of you, please do take your time going through this quiz. Think about the verbs and remember that some verbs are irregular in different tenses. There are no new verbs presented here so you will only be given verbs that you are already familiar with. Therefore, in the quiz section below you will be given ten sentences in English and your challenge is to locate the Spanish translation of the progressive tense verb in that sentence. Again, pay close attention to spelling and whether the verb in its base form is an AR, ER or IR verb.

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  1. Janet is walking home.
    The first step to take here is to determine which pronoun can replace Janet. That would be she or ella so you now have 'She is'. The first and last answers read: They/you [plural formal] are. That is not correct. The Spanish base verb for to walk is caminar. It is an AR verb. The second and last answers show the progressive tense verb ending for ER and IR verbs making them both incorrect. The third answer reads: She is walking. That is correct.
  2. William is running the store.
    The first step to take here is to determine which pronoun can replace William. That would be he or él so you now have 'he is'. Each answer has correctly translated this. Next is the word of running. The Spanish base word for to run is correr. It is an ER verb. This means that the first and third answers can be eliminated as they do not show the correct verb. The last answer shows the progressive tense verb ending for an AR verb so it, too, can be eliminated. The second answer reads: He is running. That is correct.
  3. They are losing money.
    In this sentence the pronoun is given to you, i.e., they. When dealing with the progressive tense, the 'to be' Spanish verb is always estar. The second and third answers show the 'to be' verb of ser. Therefore, they can be eliminated. The last answer shows the 'to be' verb pronoun form for he/she/you (singular formal)/it which is not correct. The first answer reads: They are losing. It is correct.
  4. We will be praying for you.
    In this sentence the pronoun is given to you, i.e., we. You should also note that the word 'will' is before the 'to be' verb which means that the 'to be' verb will be in the future tense. The Spanish verb for to walk is orar. It is an AR verb. The first and third answers show the present tense 'to be' verb so they can be eliminated. In addition, the second and third answers show the progressive tense verb ending for ER and IR verbs making them both incorrect. The last answer reads: We will be praying. That is correct.
  5. You were living with your sister. (singular familiar)
    In this sentence the pronoun is given to you, i.e., you (singular familiar). You should also note that the 'to be' verb is in the past tense. Each answer has correctly translated this verb. The Spanish base verb for to live is vivir. It is an IR verb. The first, third and last answers each show the incorrect verb. The second answer reads: You were living. It is correct.
  6. I am returning the car.
    In this sentence the pronoun is given to you, i.e., I. Each answer properly shows the proper pronoun form for 'I am'. The Spanish base verb for to return is regresar. It is an AR verb. The first, second and last answers each show the incorrect verb. The third answer reads: I am returning. It is correct.
  7. John and Thomas will be studying for the test.
    The first step to take here is to determine which pronoun can replace John and Thomas. That would be they or ellos so you now have they. You should also note that the word 'will' is before the 'to be' verb which means that the 'to be' verb will be in the future tense. The Spanish base verb for to study is estudiar. It is an AR verb. The second answer shows an improper verb making it incorrect. The third answer reads: he/she/you (singular formal)/it is. The last answer reads: they are. Both are the incorrect 'to be' verb tense. The first answer reads: They will be studying. It is correct.
  8. Mr. Arnold is managing the team.
    The first step to take here is to determine which pronoun can replace Mr. Arnold. That would be he or él so you now have 'he is'. Each answer has correctly translated this. Next is the word managing. The Spanish base word for to manage is dirigir. It is an IR verb. The first, third and last answers each show the incorrect verb. The second answer reads: He is managing. It is correct.
  9. You were composing music. (plural familiar)
    In this sentence the pronoun is given to you, i.e., you (plural familiar). You should also note that the 'to be' verb is in the past tense. The second answer shows the 'to be' pronoun form for 'they/you [plural formal] were' so it can be eliminated. The first answer shows the present tense form of the 'to be' verb and the third answer shows the future tense of the 'to be' verb. Therefore, they both can be eliminated as well. The last answer reads: you were composing. It is correct.
  10. You and I are working for a good grade.
    The first step to take here is to determine which pronoun can replace you and I. Since 'I' is part of it, it would be 'we' so you now have 'we are'. The second and third answers read: They/you [plural formal] are. This means that they can be eliminated. The Spanish base verb for to work is trabajar. It is an AR verb. The first answer shows the progressive tense verb ending for ER and IR verbs making it incorrect. The last answer reads: We are working. It is correct.

Author: Christine G. Broome

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