Easy Learning Italian

The present continuous tense - Easy Learning Grammar Italian

  • In Italian the present continuous is used instead of the present simple to talk about what is happening at the moment, when you want to emphasize that it’s happening right now.
Arrivano.They are coming.
Stanno arrivando!They’re coming!
  • The Italian present continuous is made with the present tense of stare and the gerund of the verb. The gerund is a verb form that ends in –ando (for –are verbs), or –endo (for –ere and –ire verbs) and is the same as the –ing form of the verb in English, for example, walking, swimming.
Sto cercando il mio passaporto.I’m looking for my passport.
Sta scrivendo.He’s writing.
Stanno dormendo.They’re sleeping.
Cosa stai facendo?What are you doing?
  • To make the gerund of an –are verb, take off the ending and add –ando, for example, mangiando (meaning eating), cercando (meaning looking for).
    To make the gerund of an –ere or –ire verb, take off the ending and add –endo,
    for example, scrivendo (meaning writing), partendo (meaning leaving).
  • For more information on the Gerund, see The gerund.
TipOnly use the Italian present continuous to talk about things that are happening at this very minute. Use the present simple tense to talk about things that are continuing, but not necessarily happening at this minute.
Studio medicina.I’m studying medicine.
Key points
  • Only use the present continuous in Italian for actions that are happening right now.
  • To make the present continuous, use the present tense of stare and the gerund of the main verb.

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