"Mi esposa busca un reloj para su padre."
Translation:My wife is looking for a watch for her father.
I wrote "my wife LOOKS FOR a watch..." and it was marked correct, but I'm curious. Duolingo always seems to translate the English gerund ("ing") form into the Spanish present indicative... Is it more common in Spanish to use the present indicative in a situation where we would use the gerund in English??? ie. The spanish COULD be "mi esposa esta buscando ..." Thanks
Estar + gerund is an immediate situation occurring. In English, we have a bit of flexibility, where the I'am X-ing form doesn't necessarily mean immediate action, which is why they can be a bit interchangeable. In Spanish, it's clear whether this is something ongoing in the present, but not necessarily at this moment vs. currently.
You'll need to be a bit more careful with your verb endings.
It'd be, 'Mi esposa
está buscando un reloj...'
But keep in mind that unlike in English, when you use the present progressive in Spanish you're really saying that something is happening right at that moment.
Likewise, while in Spanish the simple present tense indicates a current or near-future activity, in English we prefer to use it to mean an ongoing or habitual one. ("I run" vs. "I am running," for instance.)
This is part of the danger of expecting any language to translate word-for-word with another. It's best to learn the grammar of the target language as best you can, instead of assuming that the same rules apply across the board.