When and How To Use The Imperfect Progressive Tense [+7 Examples & Quiz]

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In this Spanish grammar lesson you will learn about when and how to use the imperfect progressive tense.

In this lesson you will learn about:

  • when to use the imperfect progressive tense in Spanish
  • how to form the imperfect progressive tense in Spanish
  • how the imperfect is used in sentences in Spanish
  • how you can quiz yourself on when and how to use the imperfect progressive tense
  • how you can practice with flashcards on when and how to use the imperfect progressive tense
  • how and why you should use the courses of Language Atlas to learn Spanish

By the end of the lesson you will know all about when and how to use the imperfect!

Table of Contents

When to Use the Imperfect Progressive Tense

You will use the imperfect progressive tense to express actions that are continuing or ongoing actions in the past.

Here are examples where continuing and ongoing actions in the past are expressed:

llorar

En mi sueño, tú estabas llorando mucho.

In my dream, you were crying a lot.

comprar

Ella estaba comprando el pan.

She was buying bread.

bailar

Nosotras estábamos bailando en medio de la pista.

We were dancing in the middle of the dance floor.

ver

Vosotros estabais viendo una película.

You were watching a film.

How to Form the Imperfect Progressive Tense

estargerund of -ar verbsgerund -er & -ir verbs
estabaandoiendo
estabasandoiendo
estabaandoiendo
estábamosandoiendo
estabaisandoiendo
estabanandoiendo

To form the imperfect progressive tense, you will take estar in the imperfect tense, and add the gerund.

caminar

Yo estaba caminando por el puerto cuando Rafael me llamó.

I was walking along the harbour when Rafael called me.

coger

Ustedes estaban cogiendo el autobús para ir al aeropuerto.

You were taking the bus to the airport.

salir

Ellos estaban saliendo de casa cuando empezó la tormenta.

They were leaving the house when the storm started.

Please read the lesson on how to form regular gerunds and on how to form irregular gerunds if you need a refresher on the topic.

Example Sentences on When and How to Use the Imperfect Progressive Tense

This section of the lesson on when and how to use the imperfect progressive tense is about seeing it used in sentences.

This is valuable because you can improve your understanding of when and how to use the imperfect progressive tense through examples.

llorar

En mi sueño, tú estabas llorando mucho.

In my dream, you were crying a lot.

comprar

Ella estaba comprando el pan.

She was buying bread.

bailar

Nosotras estábamos bailando en medio de la pista.

We were dancing in the middle of the dance floor.

ver

Vosotros estabais viendo una película.

You were watching a film.

caminar

Yo estaba caminando por el puerto cuando Rafael me llamó.

I was walking along the harbour when Rafael called me.

coger

Ustedes estaban cogiendo el autobús para ir al aeropuerto.

You were taking the bus to the airport.

salir

Ellos estaban saliendo de casa cuando empezó la tormenta.

They were leaving the house when the storm started.

Quiz Yourself on When and How to Use the Imperfect Progressive Tense

At the end of every lesson you can do a small quiz.

You will see the sentences of the previous chapter.

You will either need to fill in the blanks, choose the correct multiple choice option, or both.

Once you are done the correct answer will be shown.

You can redo the quiz as many times as you want!

Fill in the Blank!María visitarme todas las tardes. [soler]

Maria used to visit me every afternoon.
Fill in the Blank!
Mis padres muchos perros cuando yo era pequeña. [tener]

My parents had a lot of dogs when I was little.
Fill in the Blank!
Toda esta llanura antes un bosque frondoso. [ser]

All this plain was once a lush forest.

How to Practice With Flashcards for This Lesson

Using flashcards is an absolute necessity when it comes to learning a language!

It is the best way to memorize what you learn, you can personalize your progression because it adapts to your actions, and all flashcards have audio to improve your hearing and pronunciation.

Please read our article on how to learn a new language for more information on flashcards and the best way to learn a new language.

There are two ways to practice with Flashcards for this lesson.

  1. Anki
  2. The Flashcards in our Courses

Anki is a free software with which you can create and practice flashcards.

After you have downloaded Anki for free, you can get our Spanish A2 Anki Deck.

This Anki Deck contains 3,568 flashcards with which you can practice absolutely everything for Spanish A2.

All the flashcards have text, images, explanations, and audio.

You can also use our courses that have flashcards integrated alongside lessons with audio, quizzes and much more!

However, I am sure you are wondering, what are your courses, and why should I take them?

The Courses of Language Atlas

Have you ever wondered what the best way is to learn a new language?

I have been learning languages for over 20+ years and I was always frustrated with books, courses, and classes that I had tried.

It never really seemed to work for me.

I wanted to learn a language in the most effective and efficient way, and there was nothing out there for me.

So I thought, “why not make something myself?“.

Using my experience and by doing research I created Language Atlas, a platform where people can learn French and Spanish in the most effective and efficient way.

I created free lessons and quizzes so that there would always be an easy and accessible way for people to learn or brush up on their language skills.

However, I also created courses that are much more comprehensive and in-depth.

These courses are easy to follow, clear, and allow you to become fluent in the most effective and efficient way.

The courses of Language Atlas have:

  • 800+ Lessons with audio
  • 800+ Quizzes
  • 10,000 Flashcards with explanations, images, and audio
  • A gamified way of learning a new language
  • A vibrant community (including support from me)

You can register for free and try the French A0/A1 and Spanish A0/A1 Courses for free!

This includes over 60 lessons and quizzes, 500 flashcards that adapt to how you learn, and access to the community (including support from me).

All you have to do is study 30 minutes a day and you will be fluent in no time!

Don’t miss out – register for free and start learning!

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