3 great ways to use seguir, llevar and volver
We know that llevar has loads of meanings and it's a very useful word, but one use
If we use llevar in the way I'm going to explain it, it means "to have been", so we're using llevar in present tense to actually express past tense.
We can combine it with a gerund, an adjective or a location.
Llevar and a gerund
We can add a gerund and make it mean "to have been doing something".
When using llevar this way it's necessary to add the duration of the action (for how long someone has been doing something) or since when:
Juan lleva quejándose todo el día - Juan has been complaining all day.
We have the duration "all day"
Gerardo lleva trabajando allí desde que tenía 20 años - Gerardo has been working there since he was 20 years old. We know since when he's been working there.
Llevar and adjective
Instead of a gerund we can use an adjective, a describing word, describing feelings or states usually.
Jose lleva enfermo desde el lunes - Juan has been sick since Monday.
Manuela lleva cansada toda la mañana - Manuela has been tired all morning.
Llevar and location
Finally, we can use a location after llevar, to say someone or something has been in that place for some time.
Llevo en esta casa dos años - I have been in this house for two years.
Llevan en la cola más de media hora - They have been in line for more than half an hour.
Llevar in imperfect
We can use llevar in past tense (imperfect) and then the meaning would be "had been" instead of "has/have been", so basically the same but one step further into the past:
Julia llevaba estudiando toda la noche antes del test - Julia had been studying all night before the test.
(With a gerund)
Julia ya llevaba unos días consciente de la información - Julia had already been aware of the information for a few days.
(With an adjective)
Julia llevaba en el hospital dos días cuando yo la visité - Julia had been in hospital for two days when I visited her.
(With a location)
If you want to know more meanings of llevar check out this post.
Seguir means "to keep" or " to continue" in the cases we're going to use it here:
Just like llevar it can also work with a gerund, with a describing word or a location.
Seguir and gerund
If I add a gerund, that means "to keep doing" or "to still be doing" something.
¿Vas a seguir gastando tanto dinero? - are you going to keep wasting so much money?
Seguimos ayudando en las protectoras el fin de semana- We still help/ we keep helping in shelters at the weekends.
Seguir and adjective
If I use an adjective/describing word it means to "still be" in a certain way, usually a temporary state or feeling.
¿Sigues enfadada todavía? - Are you still angry?
La casa sigue desordenada - The house is still untidy.
Seguir and location
Finally, a place or space where something or someone still is or continues being.
Seguimos en casa porque estamos en confinamiento - We are still at home because we are in lockdown.
La ropa sigue encima de la silla - The clothes are still on/ on top of the chair.
This one is a short one. Volver means to go back somewhere, to return, but if we use volver a and then an infinitive it means to "go back to doing something" or to "do something again":
¿Vas a volver a llamar? - Are you going to call again?
Él dijo que nunca iba a volver a fumar - He said that he was never going to smoke again.
¿Quieres volver a intentarlo? - Do you want to try again?
Voy a volver a estudiar español - I'm going to study Spanish again.
Remember, you don't need to add the word "again" if you use this.
Fill in the gaps with a form of present tense of llevar, seguir or volver.
- _______ enfermo un par de semanas- I've been ill for a couple of weeks.
- ¿______ cansado? - are you still tired?
- _______ intentando contactar con ellos horas - We have been trying to contact with them for hours.
- ¿Vosotros ________ en el cine todavía? - are you guys still at the cinema?
- ¿Juana __________ aprendiendo inglés? - Does Juana keep learning English? / Is Juana still learning English?
- _______ a abrazarnos - We'll hug again.
- ¿El niño ______ viendo los dibujos? -Is the kid watching cartoons still?
- ________ en casa- We are still at home.
- ¿_______ esperando mucho? - Have you been waiting long?
- ¿Vais a ______ a salir a correr? - Are you going to go running again?
I highly recommend to put a bit of work into these as they are worth it!
¡Hasta pronto! :)