Stative Verbs in the Progressive Form

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important, significant, considerable, momentous, essential, decisive, critical

Hello teacher,
I have a question:
I want to know if ‘miss’ (to feel sad about someone because they are not with you any more) is a stative or a dynamic verb? If we use this as a dynamic verb with no change in meaning, can we say ‘I am missing you’?

You may have heard about Stative (or ‘state’) Verbs– they are the ones that can’t be used in the progressive form. Here’s an example:

  • I like it.

‘Like’ is a stative verb, so we can’t say ‘I’m liking it’. This would be a mistake and your teacher would correct it if you wrote it in a composition.

 

If you’re not familiar with state verbs, please click on this link first:

All State Verbs List in English with Examples!

 

However, if you are around native speakers a lot, you might notice that they actually say things like ‘I’m liking it.’ or ‘I’m hearing you.’ or ‘I’m missing you.’

How unfair! Language learners all over the world memorize long lists of stative verbs and make sure they don’t use them in the progressive form, while native speakers are free to use them as they please. Or so it seems.

 

WHY DO THEY DO IT?

The progressive form expresses a temporary state and this is what you can emphasize when employing it.

  • I’m liking my new car.

This sentence expresses the idea that it’s something happening around now and it’s not a permanent state. The excitement might soon wear off and I might stop enjoying the experience soon.

Similarly, when we say ‘I’m missing you.’, it shows how intense this emotion is right now.

 

This use hasn’t been around for a long time and is still considered incorrect by many teachers. It’s also informal, so you should definitely avoid using it in formal writing.

 

Read more:
List of Verbs Followed by ING Form or Infinitive

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