"A menina está a espera de comida."
"Esperando por comida / pela comida / a comida".
But the actual translation here should be "A menina espera por comida", which means the same thing anyway.
Surely, this sentence ought to be in the form 'A menina esta a esperar de comida'. Certainly, I have always been taught that the Present Progressive tense takes the form of 'estar a' plus the infinitive. Is this different in Brazilian Portuguese? What part of speech is 'espera' in the given sentence anyway?
"estar + a + infinite" is the progressive form for Portugal Portuguese... in Brazilian Portuguese it is "Estar + gerund"... since these lessons are focusing on the Brazilian Portuguese, the latter should be accepted
I think that "espera" here is a noun = "wait" or "delay" in English. "a espera de" is a standard expression, meanining "waiting for" in English e.g. "A espera de um milagre" = "waiting for a miracle"