A linguistic system is a series of different sounds combined with a series of different ideas.

Ferdinand de Saussare (1857-1913), Swiss linguist


Chapter 18   --   The “ ing” form of verbs

Similar to English, the “ ing” form of a verb, called the gerund, is formed by taking the stem of a verb, and adding an ending.  

An example from English is the verb to verb “walk”, we just add “ ing” to form “walking”.

A similar process occurs in Spanish, namely that certain endings are added to the verb stems.


In Group 1, the ending -ando is added to the stem of the infinitive.

          examples:    cantar:   cant + ando = cantando     formar:   form + ando = formando

Fortunately, group 1, which is the largest of the verb groups, has no irregularities.


In Groups 2 and 3 , the ending -iendo is added to the stem.

          examples:    comer:   com + iendo = comiendo       vivir:   viv + iendo   = viviendo

In group 2, there is only one irregularity, which the verb poder, having the form pudiendo.

In Groups 2 and 3, if the infinitive ends in a double vowel ( such as caer, creer, fluir, traer, and so on), the ending -yendo is used.
Thus, cayendo, creyendo, fluyendo, trayendo, and so forth.


In group 3, When the vowel "e" occurs before the group ending, that vowel is changed to "i".

model verb = consentir, to consent: consintiendo           like consentir:

acomedirse, to settle

despedir, to fire a person

preferir, to prefer

adherir, to adhere

desvestir, to undress

presentir, to presage

advertir, to advertise

diferir, to differ, disagree

preterir, to leave out

arrepentir, to repent

digerir, to digest

proferir, to profer

arrepentirse, to rue, regret

disentir, to disent

referir, to refer

asentir, to assent, agree

divertir, to enjoy

rendir, to yield, to rend

comedirse, to eat up

herir to hurt

rendirse, to surrender

concernir, to concern

hervir, to boil

requerir, to require

conferir, to confer, award

inferir, to infer

revestir, to coat

consentir, to consent, allow

ingerir, to ingest

sentir, to regret, to feel sorry

controvertir, to dispute

invertir, to invert

sentirse, to feel well or ill

convertir, to convert

mentir, to lie, to tell a falsehood

sugerir, to suggest

deferir, to defer

pervertir, to pervert

transferir, to transfer

desmentir, to deny

preconcebir, to preconceive


decir, to say, to tell: diciendo                        like decir

bendecir, to bless

contradecir, to contradict

desdecir, to disagree

interdecir, to forbid

maldecir, to curse

predecir, to predict

dormir, to sleep: durmiendo                        like dormir

dormirse, to fall asleep             morir, to die (thing or animal)                    morirse, to die (a person)

ir, to go: yendo

pedir, to ask a favor or a price:   pidiendo              like pedir

ceñir, to encircle

competir, to compete

concebir, to conceive

derretir, to melt

despedir, to fire a person

embestir, to assault, attack

expedir, to send off

gemir, to groan

heñir, to knead

impedir, to impede

medir, to measure

rendir, to yield

rendirse, to surrender

revestir, to cover

revestirse, to face someone

reñir, to quarrel

repetir, to repeat

servir, to serve

teñir, to tint, dye

vestir, to dress

vestirse, to dress oneself

reírse, to laugh: riendo                      like reír

freír, to fry                               refreír, to refry                         sonreír, to smile

venir, to come: viniendo                   like venir:

circunvenir, to circumvent

convenir, to convene

intervenir, to intervene

prevenir, to prevent

reconvenir, to reconvene

revenirse, to change one’s mind

The “ ing” form is used with the verb estar (to be), and with verbs of motion to stress that an activity is, was, or will be in progress.

Some examples follow.

          The surprises just keep coming.                 Las sorpresas siguen viniendo .

          The children are playing.                           Los niños están jugando .

          She left crying.                                         Ella salió llorando.

          Please, keep reading.                                Por favor, siga leyendo.

          They will continue studying.                      Ellos continuarán estudiando.


In English,it is common to use gerunds as the names of things, especially in reference to activities.   We say “Bowling is fun.   Fishing is restful.   Swimming is good exercise.” and so on.
The Spanish equivalent is the article “el” plus an infinitive.

          example: Swimming is good exercise.        El nadar es buen ejercicio.

Another difference is the usage after prepositions.   Some examples follow.

          She entered without saying anything.                    Ella entró sin decir nada.

          We talked instead of playing tennis.                     Hablamos en vez de jugar tenis.

          Upon winning the race, the team cheered.            Al ganar la carrera, el equipo vitoreó .


In English, gerunds are often used to describe things (“a winding road”), but this usage does not occur in Spanish.   The Spanish form in such cases will be an adjective.


This book is available from lulu.com under item number 3352644. Books purchased from Lulu are accompanied by a complete list of irregular verbs and all of their forms.

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