[Time tenses in Portuguese] – The present continuous Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Grammar, Learning, Vocabulary

[Tempos verbais em Português]

Ei, galera! Hey, guys!

Possibly one of the greatest challenges for Portuguese learners is mastering the large variety of time tenses in our language. With that in mind, we are going to run a new post series with the aim of showing and explaining verbs in the past, present and future.

Then let’s start with an easy one, the present continuous, also known as present progressive, a verb tense used to talk about what is happening at the moment. Therefore, the present continuous indicates an action that is still going on or that is prolonged in time without being finalized yet, thus expressing the idea of duration and continuity.

In English, we form the present continuous with the verb to be in the present plus a verb in the ING, as in: I am speaking, we are walking. The good news is that the same goes for Portuguese! The present continuous is composed of the verbo estar (to be) in the present and a verb in the gerúndio (gerund), with the ending NDO.

First of all, let’s review the verbo estar in the present:

eu estou (I am)

ele/ela está (he/she is)

você está (you are)

nós estamos (we are)

vocês estão (you are)

eles estão (they are)

Take a look at how verbs are formed in the gerund, that is, the verb root + the ending NDO:

sorrir = sorr + ndo = sorrindo (to smile – smiling)

viver = viv + ndo = vivendo (to live – living)

andar = and + ndo = andando (to walk – walking)

abrir = abr + ndo = abrindo (to open – opening)

correr = corr + ndo = correndo (to run – running)

falar = fal + ndo = falando (to talk – talking)

Now read some samples sentences in the present continuous in Portuguese and see if you get the general idea:

  • Esperem por mim, estou chegando (Wait for me, I’m coming)
  • O que você está fazendo aqui tão tarde? (What are you doing here so late?)
  • Meus cães estão brincando no parque (My dogs are playing at the park)
  • Por que você está chorando? (Why are you crying?)
  • Estamos indo embora, venha se despedir (We’re leaving, come say goodbye)
  • Nunca entendo o que ele está dizendo (I never understand what he is saying)
  • Fale baixo, as crianças estão dormindo (Keep it down, the children are sleeping)
  • Esqueci meus óculos em casa, não estou enxergando nada (I forgot my glasses at home, I can’t see anything)
  • Não podemos sair agora, está chovendo (We can’t leave now, it’s raining)
  • O que você está comendo? (What are you eating?)
  • Olhe, o avião está decolando (Look, the plane is taking off)
  • Aonde vocês estão indo? (Where are you going?)
  • Não ligue para a mamãe agora, ela está trabalhando (Don’t call mom now, she is working)
  • Já se passaram quarenta minutos e ainda estou esperando o ônibus (It’s been 40 minutes and I’m still waiting for the bus)
  • O que está acontecendo aqui? (What is going on here?)
  • Estamos fazendo o possível para ajudar (We are doing our best to help)

Check out this previous post for more information:

E aí, estão aprendendo? So, are you learning? Até mais! See you later!

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  1. Rick:

    Why are your talking about the verb SER?
    To form the present continuous form one uses the ver ESTAR, and besides you are actually conjugating the verb ESTSAR anyhow?

    • carol:

      @Rick Rick, you are absolutely right! The present continuous is formed with the verb ‘estar’, thanks for the heads up. There was a slight mix up because the verb ‘to be’ in English means both ‘ser’ and ‘estar’! Anyway, it is fixed now, I appreciate your advice.
      Thanks for reading our blog,

  2. Rick:

    My pleasure. Mixups do happen from time to time. The good news is…… I finally understand Portuguese well enough to see these errors.

    • carol:

      @Rick Hey, that is good news! Identifying mistakes in a foreign language is always a great step towards fluency!