In English, a gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding -ing. It can act as the subject, the object of a sentence, or the complement. In English, a gerund is made by adding -ing to a verb. In Spanish, it's the -ndo form. Using gerunds in Spanish can be a little bit tricky.
Spanish gerunds - When and how to use?
Spanish gerunds and formation
In Spanish, a gerund is formed by dropping the infinitive ending of a verb and adding –ando for –ar verbs and –iendo for –er and –ir verbs.
-AR verbs: Drop the infinitive ending and add -ando.
mirar - mirando
hablar - hablando
tomar - tomando
-ER, -IR verbs: Drop the infinitive ending and add -iendo.
comer - comiendo
describir - describiendo
poner - poniendo
Verbs with stem ending in vowel: Drop the infinitive and add -yendo.
caer - cayendo
leer - leyendo
traer - trayendo
-IR verbs with stem-change in third person preterite: the same stem-change in the present participle.
poder - pudiendo
When to use gerunds in Spanish?
To express an onging action
In Spanish, gerundios can be used with verbs like andar, venir, ir, and seguir to express something is in the process of happening.
Seguimos estudiando los libros - We keep on studying the books
Anda buscando sus llaves - He is walking around looking for his keys
It can also be used to refer to the action of another verb in the same phrase. In this case, it functions as an adverb.
Pasó todas sus vacaciones esperando una sorpresa - He spent his entire vacation waiting for a surprise
To express how something has been achieved
Comiendo mucho, me engordé - By eating a lot, I got fat
¿Qué? ¿Comiéndote mi tortilla? - Eating my tortilla, I see.
As exclamations and iterrogatives
You can use the gerund when you want to express that you think someone spends too much doing one thing.
¡Otra vez comiendo McDonalds! - Eating McDonalds again?!
- Spanish gerund isn't a noun like in English. You have to use the infinitive form of the verb if you want the action to act as a noun.
Me gusta nadar. Nadar es divertido - I like swimming. Swimming is fun.
I like speaking Spanish - Me gusta hablar español
- In Spanish, a gerundio is not used when translating English adjectives that end in -ing. Instead, they are translated as phrases beginning with de (of/from) or que (that/which).
Me compré unos zapatos de correr - I bought myself some running shoes
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