How To Conjugate Spanish Verbs In The Present Progressive Tense

The first thing you should know if you want to learn how to conjugate Spanish verbs in the present progressive tense is that you need two things, the verb estar (to be) for any pronoun in the present tense and the present participle of a verb. For verbs ending in -AR, the present participle is formed by dropping the ending and adding -ANDO. If the regular verb ends in -ER or -IR you add -IENDO. The present participle is the same for all pronouns. Only the verb estar is conjugated according to the pronoun. See example below.

yo estoy viajando – I am traveling
tú estás viajando – you are traveling
él/ella está viajando – he/she is traveling
usted está viajando – you are traveling (formal)
nosotros estamos viajando – we are traveling
ustedes están viajando – you are traveling (plural)
ellos/ellas están viajando – they are traveling (masculine or feminine)

Verbs ending in -IR that change the stem in present tense continue to change the stem for the present participle. Review the following:

1. Verbs changing the stem vowel from e to ie in present tense change the vowel to i for the present particle (ie → i ). Therefore preferir (to prefer) and sentir (to feel) become prefiriendo, and sintiendo respectively.

2. Verbs changing the stem vowel from e to i in present tense also change the vowel to i for the present particle (e → i ). Thus pedir (to ask for) and servir (to serve) become pidiendo and sirviendo respectively.

3. Verbs changing the stem vowel from o to ue in present tense change the vowel to u for the present particle (ue → u). Thus dormir (to sleep) and morir (to die) become durmiendo, and muriendo, respectively.

There are some irregular present participles for verbs such as caer (to fall), creer (to believe), leer (to read), proveer (to provide), and traer (to bring). The present participle ending for these verbs is -YENDO. Their present participles are cayendo, creyendo, leyendo, proveyendo, and trayendo, respectively.

If you are using the Verbarrator Spanish Verb conjugation software to learn this verb tense (and I do recommend that you use the Verbarrator for learning how to conjugate this and other Spanish verb tenses), instead of the “present progressive verb tense,” the Verbarator calls this tense is “estar PLUS gerund.”

Now you know how to conjugate Spanish verbs in the present progressive tense. Be sure to practice daily so that conjugating Spanish verbs becomes easier for you.

How to Survive a Presentation When You Forget Your Speech

I had practiced my speech for two weeks straight, reciting it day in and day out, committing it to memory. A young, confident senior at the University of Southern California at the time, I knew my education had prepared me for this moment… or so I thought.

But then, as I stood on stage in a room full of 60 people, I struggled to remember the first line. It was like trying to swim in a pool of quicksand — the more I tried to remember the words the deeper I sunk. Eventually, I walked off stage without delivering my speech because I just couldn’t find the words. It was one of my most humiliating experiences as a presenter/speaker.

In that moment, I had forgotten one of the cardinal rules of communication and presentation: when you forget your speech, keep going!

The reality is that often no one realizes your mistake but you.

Where we get into trouble is when we bring attention to our mistake by saying things like, “Sorry, I forgot my place,” or stopping our presentation all together. Those actions not only make us self-conscious but they also give the audience anxiety.

This is why it’s dangerous to commit a speech to memory. We get so married to the words that we forget the most important part of our presentation is the overall message and the connection we’ve made with our audience. Like a missing piece of a train track, we can’t proceed unless the railroad is complete. However, if we treat our presentations like a guiding star then it won’t matter if we take a few side roads along the way, as long as we’re going in the right direction.

Here are some ways to survive (and prevent) goof-ups when giving a speech:

  1. Don’t commit your presentation to memory Some people advocate this, but I think it’s dangerous. For one, speakers who memorize feel very mechanic when they present because the written word is different from the spoken word. Second, following a written speech leaves no room for spontaneous connection and communication with your audience that can only happen when you’re present in the moment.
  2. Have a backup plan – If for some (rare) reason you must read your speech verbatim, remember to have the words close by. (I prefer a hardcopy as opposed to electronic. With hard copy you don’t run the risk of a computer or iPad failing on you.)
  3. Pause, ponder, and then proceed – Train yourself to pause whenever you lose your thought. Our natural reaction is to flounder and fill space with meaningless words. Remember that you haven’t failed if you forgot your place and often no knows it but you.
  4. Think about the end goal – If you get stuck, don’t harp on the minutia. Think about the totality of your presentation rather than the words you forgot. Where do you want your audience to be at the end of your talk? What do you want them to feel? Use this as your guide to getting back on track.

Who Says – A Simple Technique to Give Your Business Presentations More Impact

If you’re telling stories in a business setting, add more impact to your presentation by telling some stories in first person (“I”), some stories in second person (“You”), and some stories in third person (“He, She, or They”).

Knowing which voice to use in what setting is the key to being successful with this technique. How do you decide? It all depends on what you’re trying to communicate.

o First-Person Storytelling

Telling “I” stories is a good way to build rapport with your audience. First-person stories, including personal experiences of failures and lessons learned as well as successes, are very powerful ways to communicate your message.

Use a story about yourself to demonstrate that you understand what your audience is feeling, what doubts or fears they may be wrestling with; what disappointments they’ve endured; what hopes they harbor; and what dreams they aspire to.

o Second-Person Storytelling

Use second-person language to communicate empathy, create a sense of urgency, and invite participation. Telling a story that addresses your audience directly is the verbal equivalent of walking with someone hand-in-hand.

“You” is the most powerful word in the English language for a storyteller, because the story immediately becomes the listener’s or reader’s story. And once they’ve claimed the story as their own, they aren’t likely to let go of it.

o Third-Person Storytelling

Third-person stories are great for establishing and building credibility.

Use of the third-person often conveys a sense of authority, which is one reason why good case studies — problem/solution stories — are so compelling.

Another reason to use the third person is to help make difficult or complex ideas easier to understand without diluting their importance. Imbuing an important but otherwise dry or technical explanation with some human interest makes it much more likely your audience will retain what you’ve said.

Clear communication is the only way to guarantee your good ideas are heard. Knowing the best way to present this communication helps ensure your ideas are not only heard but remembered.