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Italian Language/expressing the present progressive

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about expressing the English present progressive verb tense in Italian.

I understand that both the “Italian present indicative” and the use of “stare plus the gerundio” are used to express the English present progressive.  But, I am wondering how one chooses when to use the Italian present indicative and when to use stare plus the gerundio.  

Can you please tell me how to make this determination?   Which method would an Italian native speaker use?

For example, if I am in an airport should I say - “Cerco le mie valige” (I am looking for my luggage) or should I say  – “Sto cercando le mie valige”  (I am looking for my luggage).

Thank you very, very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

It is true that  both the Italian present indicative and the construction “stare plus the gerundio” are used to express the English present progressive.  

As for how one chooses when to use the Italian present indicative and when to use “stare plus the gerundio”, it depends on the speaker’s choice, so that e.g. if you are in an airport, you can say either  “Cerco le mie valige” (I am looking for my luggage) or  “Sto cercando le mie valige”  (I am looking for my luggage).

It is therefore the speaker that decides what to choose between the Italian present indicative and the construction “stare plus the gerundio”.

Best regards,

Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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