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GrammarVerbs not Used in the Continuous

Verbs not Used in the Continuous

Verbs not Used in the Continuous

In English, some verbs are not used in the continuous be it: Present Continuous, Past Continuous or future continuous. That is to say, These verbs rarely take the ING form. They are often Verbs that describe states of being, thinking, possessing or feeling.

I am liking sports

✔ I like sports

Here is a list of the most frequent verbs not used in the continuous:

1. Verbs of being: be, consist of, contain, exist

2. Verbs of possession: belong to, have (= own), include, lack, own, possess

3. Verbs of feeling: adore, desire, despise, detest, dislike, envy, hate, like, love, need, pity, prefer, trust, want, wish

4. Verbs of thinking: believe, doubt, expect, feel (= think), forget, imagine, intend, know, realise, recognise, remember, see (= understand), suppose, think, understand

5. Verbs of appearance: appear, resemble, seem

6. Other verbs: concern, depend, deserve, fit, matter, measure, mean, mind, weigh

Yet, many verbs mentioned before may be used in the continuous, but the verb either has a different meaning or expresses a temporary action.

I am thinking of buying a new car (thinking = considering)

Check this table to see the differences:

  • Verb: Be
    • Use in the present simple: He is a careful person
    • Use in the present continuous: He is being careful (= is behaving carefully)
  • Verb: Have
    • Use in the present simple: I have a car (I own it)
    • Use in the present continuous: The kids are having fun at the park (are experiencing)
  • Verb: Think
    • Use in the present simple:  I think the patient is getting better
    • Use in the present continuous: I am thinking of buying a new car (thinking = considering)
  • Verb: Mean
    • Use in the present simple:  The sign means ‘pay attention’
    • Use in the present continuous: Tom is always meaning to help us (= intending/willing)
  • Verb: Appear
    • Use in the present simple: Quinn appears to be a kind person (=seems to be)
    • Use in the present continuous: The actor is appearing on the stage (=is performing)
  • Verb: Weigh
    • Use in the present simple: She weighs 70 kilos
    • Use in the present continuous: I am weighing the flour (= action of weighing)

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