The Present Progressive

present-progressive

Use the Present Progressive it to talk about things that are happening right now! Think of it as progress in the present: working, shopping, talking, studying.

The Present Progressive is roughly equivalent to the ing ending in English. It's easy to learn. There are no irregular verbs in this tense! Even more good news:

the Present Progressive conjugation is the same for all persons of speech: eu, você, ele, a gente, nós, vocês, eles. *Virtually unheard of.

Using the Present Progressive

ar verbs

Eu estou trabalhando. » I'm working.

er verbs

Você está correndo? » Are you running?

ir verbs

Eu estou subindo agora. » I'm coming up now.

*SUBIR often takes the meaning of coming up as in: coming up the elevador.

The verb estar is always right before the verb in the this tense. That's because the grammar is identical to English in that you/he/she/we/they are doing something. The formation is totally consistent and there are no irregulars at all.

Forming the Present Progressive

-ar verbs
She's arriving Ela está cheg ando
Who's talking? Quem está fal ando?
-er verbs
I'm eating. Eu estou com endo
He's losing. Ele está perd endo
-ir verbs
He's insisting. Ele está insist indo
She's driving. Ela está dirig indo

You can also use the Present Progressive when talking about the past!

You can place it in the past when describing what was happening. In this case ESTAR is going to be in the imperfect past tense because you'll always be talking about action that was ongoing in the past:

Eu estava tentado te ligar. » I was trying to call you.

*It's understood that the action was ongoing because in a sentence like this you are really saying something like, I was trying to call you (yesterday, when I was driving to work). If you just wanted to say that you tried to call yesterday you would say, Eu tentei te ligar.

Ela estava dormindo. » She was sleeping.

*Again, this is in the context of a conversation in which it's being said that "She was sleeping when something else..."

Ele estava trabalhando ontem. » He was working yesterday.

Examples of the Present Progressive

More great examples of the Present Progressive in action here.