We’ve talked about the present tense for several times, but when we really want to express what we’re doing in this exact moment, we don’t use the present tense. If you want to say, “I am reading a book” in Portuguese is:
- Eu estou a ler um livro.
So, we need the present from the verb “estar” plus the preposition “a” plus the verb we really want to express in the infinitive.
Let’s have a look at more examples:
- Eu estou a comer um bolo agora. (I’m eating a cake right now)
- Tu estás a fazer o jantar? (Are you cooking dinner?)
- Você está a jogar às cartas. (You are playing cards)
- Ele está a ver televisão. (He is watching tv)
- Nós estamos a estudar português. (We are studying Portuguese)
- Vocês estão a ouvir radio. (You are listening to the radio)
- Elas estão a tocar piano. (They are playing the piano)
So, the general idea is that when we use this “estar in present” + a + “verb in the infinitive” we express what we’re doing right now, the moment we’re speaking.