"va" instead of "está" in progressive. e.g. "voy aprendiendo"
Can someone help me master this usage? An example from the Spanish forums today:
"Hola, recién voy aprendiendo ingles ..."
I see this construction only occasionally, so I haven't been able to master it. In fact, usually I can't even clearly describe it to someone, so they know what I'm talking about.
It's always a form of ir instead of estar in progressive forms. It apparantly has nothing to do with "going." My questions:
- Can you use it for any progressive verb?
- Does it change the meaning of the progressive? Does it give a different flavor to the sentence? How is this sentence different from, "estoy aprendiendo"?
- Can you use any other verb besides ir in this construction? Can you use andar?
- Can you please give me a few examples, hopefully with some variety, so I can get a better grasp of it?
I think that the structure
IR + Gerund
it is refered to:
a) An espacial movement executed in some way or direction
-Voy cantando a mi casa
-Vas manejando tu auto
b) A progressive, continous or slow action
-Ella iba entendiendo
-Creo que me voy enamorando
c) a continuos , difficult effort.
-Así fue construyendo su imperio
-Ya voy progresando
Now, the structure
Andar + gerund
It is a colloquial equivalent (or maybe vulgar) to Estar+gerunde
-Te andas enfermando
-Que andas haciendo?
To Mexican ears, does andar+gerund just sound informal? Or does it sound uneducated?
I think that it is informal In Mexico everybody use it. Maybe not in a lecture or in a cocktail party.
I'm a native speaker. I might not know a lot of the theory/rules behind it becuase I just speak it as it, but I what I can suppose thinking about it, is:
Yes, you can use that construcction for any verb, but it depends on the nature of the verb of what auxiliar (Ir, Estar, Andar) you are going to use.
It doens't really change the meaning, but it emphasize that it is happening RIGHT NOW, as you speak.
Regarding the second part of the second question and the third one, I could say:
"IR + prog. verb" is used when the prog. verb is referring to motion, movement, change of place or state.
ESTAR is used when the verbs is referring to an action, therefore the most of the remaining verbs. Personally, I find the construcction "ANDO + prog. verb" more colloquial, innapropiate, but at the end of the day, equivalent to "estar". I could totally understand it, but I avoid to use it; the same goes for "ir", but it would definitely sound more awkward.
- To not finish without examples, I'll use the construction for the verbs previously used by J.R.Nogal: Voy cantando a mi casa Vas manejando muy rápido Vamos platicando de camino a la escuela Ve empezando sin mí Ella estaba entendiendo Creo que me estoy enamorando (I'd never heard voy enamorando) El país está progresando lentamente Está enamorada ¿Estás enfermo? Estoy terminando mi tarea.
JR and ereyesc, this is exactly what I needed! Explanation and plenty of good examples. I always need examples! I'll be able to use these models and try some sentences, and make some mistakes, I'm sure. But that means I'm learning. Thank you.
Yes and no. Seguimos aprendiendo makes perfect sense in the primary definitions of the verbs - we continue learning. But the examples above don't make sense if you limit them to the primary definitions, to go or to walk.
- me voy enamorando
- Vamos platicando
- Te andas enfermando
- Que andas haciendo?
- Ella iba entendiendo
- Ve empezando sin mí
Well, ir itself is a special verb in that so a lot of gerund can be paired with it easily. Some of your pairings above does not sound natural to me. For example, "Te andas enfermando" is very strange even if it may be grammatically correct.
The same concept can be extended to other verbs as long as pairing makes sense. For example:
Viajo tomando notas de todos los sitios para publicarlas en mi blog después.
Basically for this construct to work two actions should be happening in parallel. This case, taking notes and traveling are going on in parallel.
It does not have to be right after the verb. For example,
Viajo por el país tomando notas de todos los sitios para publicarlas en mi blog después.