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 “change”.   We drop the letter “e”, and add the ending “ ing” to form “changing”.   In other cases, such as the 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, the the following verbs have irregular forms.

          consentir, to consent: consintiendo

                        like consenter                           adherir, to adhere                    advertir, to advertise

                        arrepentir, to repent                 asentir, to assent, agree            concernir, to concern

                        conferir, to confer, award        consentir, to consent, allow     controvertir, to controvert, dispute

                        convertir, to convert                 deferir, to defer                        diferir, to differ, disagree

                        digerir, to digest                      divertir, to enjoy                       hervir, to boil

                        inferir, to infer                          ingerir, to ingest                       invertir, to invert

                        mentir, to lie, speak falsely      pervertir, to pervert                  preferir, to prefer

                        preterir, to leave out                proferir, to profer                     referir, to refer

                        rendir, to yield                         rendirse, to surrender               requerir, to require

                        sentir, to regret, to feel sorry    sentirse, to feel well or ill         sugerir, to suggest

                        transferir, to transfer

          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 wear tight fitting clothing, encircle, to put on clothing

                        competir, to compete               concebir, to conceive               derretir, to melt

                        despedir, to say goodbye         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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