Verbs not used in progressive forms

March 9, 2011pdf

Some verbs are not used in progressive forms.

  • I love you. (NOT I am loving you.)
  • I like this color. (NOT I am liking this color.)
  • I rang her up because I wanted to speak. (NOT I rang her up because I was wanting to speak.)

Many of these non-progressive verbs refer to states rather than actions.

Common non-progressive verbs

Here is a list of some common verbs which are not often used in progressive forms.

Believe, doubt, feel, imagine, know, dislike, love, hate, prefer, realize, recognize, remember, see, suppose, think, understand, want, wish, appear, hear, look, see, seem, smell, sound, taste, agree, deny, astonish, disagree, impress, mean, please, promise, satisfy, surprise, belong, concern, consist, depend, fit, involve, lack, matter, need, owe, own, possess, weigh etc.

Notes

Feel does not have a progressive form when it means ‘have an opinion’.

  • I feel you are making a mistake. (NOT I am feeling you are making a mistake.)

See does not have a progressive form when it means ‘understand’.

  • I see what you mean. (NOT I am seeing what you mean.)

Look does not have a progressive form when it means ‘seem’.

  • She looks like she is rich. (NOT She is looking like she is rich.)

Weigh does not have a progressive form when it means ‘have weight’.

  • He weighs 70 kilos. (NOT He is weighing 70 kilos.)
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