Italian Present Progressive 

What’s the Italian present progressive?

The present progressive tense in Italian is used to describe actions occurring at the moment of speaking. For instance, “sto andando a lavoro” translates to “I am going to work” and indicates the action is happening as you speak.

Conjugating the present progressive is straightforward!

All it takes is using the present tense of the verb “stare” followed by the gerund form of the main verb.

present tense of STARE  + gerund* forms 
conjugation of present progressive in Italian

To form the gerund* in Italian, follow this pattern:

  • Verbs ending in “-are” change to “-ando” (e.g., “andando” for “andare”).
  • Verbs ending in “-ere” and “-ire” change to “-endo” (e.g., “scrivendo” for “scrivere”, “dormendo” for “dormire”).

Present Progressive: The Conjugation

To form the present progressive in Italian, follow this pattern:


present tense of STARE → 
and-ando (going)
scriv-endo (writing)
dorm-endo (sleeping)
Italian present progressive

There are a few irregular gerund forms to be aware of.

  • essere → essendo
  • fare → fare
  • dire → dicendo
  • bere → bevendo 

Remember, the structure is: present tense of “stare” + gerund of the main verb.

Present Progressive vs. Simple Present 

CAREFUL: 

A common mistake for English speakers is to use the present progressive to express general truths or habitual actions, which in Italian are usually conveyed with the simple present tense.

present simpleParlo italiano I speak Italian or I’m speaking Italian as general truth or habitual action 
present progressive Sto parlando italiano I’m speaking italian RIGHT NOW
present simple vs. present progressive

Exercise  1

Translate the following forms into Italian

  1. I’m finishing (right now) → sto finendo 
  2. You’re sleeping (right now) → _____________________________
  3. She’s writing (right now)  → _____________________________
  4. You all reading (right now) → _____________________________
  5. They’re buying (right now) → _____________________________
  6. I’m visiting (right now) → _____________________________
  7. We’re cooking (right now) → _____________________________
  8. He’s listening (right now) → _____________________________
  9. I’m dreaming (right now) → _____________________________
  10.  You all are drinking (right now) → _____________________________
  11. Are you telling?  (right now) → _____________________________

Exercise  2

Form the gerund from the following verbs

venire
venendo
fare
_________________
disegnare
_________________
capire
_________________
avere
_________________
ripetere
_________________
viaggiare
_________________
guardare
_________________
ridere
_________________
finire
_________________
imparare
_________________
camminare
_________________
dare
_________________
insegnare
_________________
svegliarsi
_________________
vendere
_________________

About the Author

Serena Capilli

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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Ciao, I'm Serena!

I’m the creative force behind both this blog and my collection of short stories in simple Italian for language learners, available on Amazon.

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