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Lesson Transcript


Hi everybody! Marika here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Italian questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What is gerundio?
Gerundio, or in English “gerund,” is a verb nonfinite mood. This means that you don’t need to conjugate it.
It’s very similar to the continuous form of English verbs, ending in -ing.
As we said, it’s very convenient as you don't need to conjugate it. It only has two endings: -ando for verbs in -are, and -endo for verbs ending in -ere and -ire.
Another reason why it’s easy is that it only has two tenses: present and past.
Here are some verbs in the present gerund:
Parlando, “talking,” from parlare, “to talk.”
Cadendo, “falling,” from cadere, “to fall.”
Dormendo, “sleeping,” from dormire, “to sleep.”
To form the past gerund, use the right auxiliary, essere (“to be”) or avere (“to have”) in the present gerund, plus the past participle of the main verb. Here’s the past gerund of the same verbs:
Avendo parlato, “having talked.”
Essendo caduto, “having fallen.”
Avendo dormito, “having slept.”
You can use the gerund alone:
for two actions happening at the same time:
Studio ascoltando musica.
“I study listening to music.”
to say why something happens:
Essendo stanca, andò a letto.
“Being tired, she went to bed”
to express a possibility, a hypothesis:
Volendo, potremmo andare al cinema.
“If we wanted to, we could go to the movies.”
Another way you can use the gerund is combined with the verb stare (“to stay, to be”):
If you combine the present tense of stare and the gerund, you get the present continuous. For example:
Sto studiando italiano. (“I am studying Italian.”)
Tu stai leggendo. (“You are reading.”)
If you combine the imperfect tense of stare and the gerund, you get the past continuous:
Stavo studiando italiano. (“I was studying Italian.”)
Tu stavi leggendo. (“You were reading.”)


Pretty easy, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A presto! “See you soon!”

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Can you write a sentence using gerundio?