Unit 4.2

Gerund

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Introduction

The gerund [gerundio] is one of the non-personal forms of the verb, which has neither gender nor number. It is used to express simultaneity or anteriority.

Form

The gerund is formed by adding the desinences –ando (first conjugation) and -iendo (second and third conjugation) to the verb stem according to the following structure:
Root of the verb + -ando/-iendo.

1.a (-AR) 2.(-ER) 3.(-IR)
Infinitivo hablar comer vivir 
Gerundio hablando comiendo viviendo

The gerund is used

Example

  • Estoy hablando con Marta y dice que tiene calor;
  • El helado está muy frío, comiéndolo solo conseguirás que te duela la cabeza;
  • Están viviendo en Roma y ven la ópera todos los días;
  • Mis padres están hablándolo, pero yo sigo pensando que sentarse cerca de la televisión no daña la vista;
  • Yo comiendo cosas que me salen por un ojo de la cara y vosotros viviendo a lo grande.

Use

The gerund is used to:

  • talk about the action that is taking place;
  • express action simultaneous with or before that of the main verb;
  • express that the action is not finished and is continuing (imperfective and progressive value);
  • to indicate how the action is carried out (functions as an adverb of manner);
  • describe an action in progress at the moment of speaking (in the periphrasis estar + gerund).

Summary

The gerund is an impersonal verb form that expresses the simultaneity or anteriority of action with the time in which it is spoken.

In Spanish, it is formed according to this formula:
Root of the verb + -ando/-iendo.

For example:
— «Estoy yendo al trabajo.» = The action that is taking place (the periphrasis estar + gerund);
— «Esther organiza su trabajo apuntando todo en el calendario.» = How the action is carried out.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on the {Example} sections, which shows you the usage in context.

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