Gerund periphrasis: Verbs “seguir”, “continuar”

gerund spanish seguir continuar

In Spanish, there are many grammatical structures that we use to talk and give more coherence. These structures can be composed of two, three, or more verbs. But, when you put these verbs together, their meanings might change a bit. So, they will take on a new one. If you’re an English speaker, you probably know this as verbal periphrasis. Yet, we call it Perífrasis verbal in Spanish.

There are many types of Perfirasis verbales. However, one of the most common is la Perífrasis de Gerundio. Using a perifrasis verbal this way will help you speak in an impersonal way. Then, it might be helpful in many situations. In this brief explanation, we will show you how to use la Perífrasis de gerundio: seguir/continuar + gerundio. If you want to learn how to use it, read on.

How to use the Perífrasis Verbal del Gerundio

As we said, a verbal periphrasis is a structure that you can form with two or more verbs that, when you put them together, their meaning will change. It’s like the English phrasal verbs.

When speaking Spanish, we can use a verb in gerundio to build a perífrasis verbal. But, you can also use a verbo en infinitivo or en participio. It’s not surprising that it will all depend on what you’re trying to express. A common verbal periphrasis in Spanish is Ir a + infinitive which helps us talk about plans and things we will do soon.

Spanish gerunds are easy to identify. The only thing you need to know is that they all have an -ando or -iendo ending. Their ending will depend on the verb you’re using. In general, Spanish speakers form a Perífrasis Verbal with a verbo auxiliar (auxiliary verb), a preposición, and the verbo principal (main verb). The auxiliary verb will help us to indicate the timing and mood, and the main verb appears in several ways: infinitivo, participio, or gerundio. Let’s see the formula to understand it better.

Auxiliary verb + verb in gerund + complement.

Here are some examples:

Estoy caminando lo más rápido que puedo, espérame/

I’m walking as fast as I can, wait for me.

 

Claudia lleva trabajando dos semanas en su ensayo, espero que todo salga bien

Claudia has been working on her essay for two weeks, I hope everything goes well.

 

Seguiré viendo la serie y te aviso si me gustó o no/ I’ll keep watching the series and let you know if I liked it or not.

Please note that we conjugated the verbo auxiliar in different ways. In the first two examples, we have conjugated the auxiliary verb in the present tense while in the third example, it’s in the future tense.

How to use the Perífrasis Verbal with several auxiliary verbs

There are several auxiliary verbs you can use with the gerund, for example, Estar (to be), Ir (to go), Continuar, and Seguir (to keep/to continue)

Here are some examples of some of these auxiliary verbs:

El año que viene, para esta fecha, estaré entrando en la universidad /

Next year, by this date, I will be entering university

 

Deberíamos ir viendo qué nos vamos a poner para la fiesta de mañana /

We should go see what we are going to wear for tomorrow’s party

 

Sigue estudiando en vez de andar viendo la televisión /

Keep studying instead of watching TV

 

You may notice that we use two perífrasis verbales in the last example. Hearing two perifrasis in the same sentence is common when talking to Latin Americans. However, Spaniards don’t use that structure so often.

How to use Perífrasis de Gerundio with Seguir/Continuar

Seguir and Continuar are verbs that have the same meaning in Spanish. They have several uses but, in some situations, we use them differently. Let’s see a formula to learn first how to build sentences using a Perífrasis de Gerundio.

Seguir/Continuar (as auxiliary verbs) + verb in gerund + complement.

Let’s have a look at some examples.

Seguiré haciendo la cena, hablamos luego. /I’ll keep making dinner, we’ll talk later.

¿Cuándo seguirán filmando la serie? / When will they continue filming the series?

Yo puedo continuar haciendo el trabajo, no te preocupes / I can continue to do the work, don’t worry.

Please note that we can build perifrasis de gerundio with more than just 2 verbs. When using verbs like deber, poder, or querer, you will end up using a 3-verb periphrasis. As a result, the verb in the middle (seguir or continuar) will be conjugated in the infinitive form. Let’s take for example the last sentence above.

In summary, there are many types of perífrasis verbales. However, las perífrasis de gerundio are among the most common and help us talk about actions in progress. Also, we can build a 3-verb periphrasis by using verbs like poder, querer, and deber.

Then building perífrasis de gerundio, the main verb will always be a gerund. Yet, the auxiliary verb may have different conjugations. Seguir and continuar are two verbs that have the same meaning but depending on the context, one will be a better option than the other. It’s better to say “seguiré haciendo la cena” than “Continuaré haciendo la cena”. It’s just a matter of communicating clearly without complexity.  Understanding how to use these perífrasis completely will require some practice. Therefore, start doing your work ASAP and become a great Spanish speaker in no time.

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