If you start to learn Spanish grammar it isn't long before you come across participles, past and present. Whilst using big grammar terms like past participle and present participle can be daunting, they are not really that difficult to understand. Hopefully if I keep using the words enough times they will get less intimidating through repetition. They are words you will generally find at the top of verb tables in the dictionary.
The present participle is the one I find simpler. In English it always ends in 'ing'. In Spanish it usually ends in 'ando' for -ar verbs and 'iendo' for -ir or -er verbs. Here are a few examples (with the full Spanish verb in brackets).
talking = hablando (hablar)
eating = comiendo (comer)
running = corriendo (correr)
going = yendo (ir)
walking = andando (andar)
raining = lloviendo (llover)
These verb forms can often be used in the same way as in English.
estoy comiendo = I am eating
estaba hablando = I was talking
está lloviendo = it is raining
In English, 'ing' words are also used as adjectives and nouns, but these uses don't generally use the present participle in Spanish.
the walking man = el hombre que anda (literally 'the man that walks')
I like skiing = me gusta esqíar (lit. 'I like to ski')
all the living things = todas las cosas vivientes
Watch out for past participles in a future post.