English Grammar Lesson - Non-Progressive Verbs

grammar Jan 11, 2021

I am writing this lesson on my new laptop right now. ← I used the verb write in its progressive form (also called present continuous) because I am writing now. We use action verbs in the progressive form when we talk about actions that are happening right now. The grammar pattern is the BE VERB + ING form. Here are some other examples:

  • I am working until 10pm tonight.
  • Jack’s sister is staying at his house this weekend.

Most present actions are described using the progressive form with verbs that show an action. However there are several kinds of verbs that are not used in the progressive, even if we are talking about right now. That’s because those verbs don’t show actions - they show states or situations. Today, I want to show you this English grammar and give you some example sentences.

First of all, there are verbs that show mental states (such as believe, know, remember, want, etc):

  • believe she has the correct answer. Not, I am believing ~
  • know how to fix most basic computer problems.

Next, there are verbs that show emotions (such as love, like, hate, prefer, etc)

  • love listening to jazz.
  • prefer coffee to tea, but I do enjoy drinking a cup of green tea on a cold day.

Third, there are verbs of the senses. These verbs (feel, hear, see, smell, sound, & taste) are not used in the progressive when they refer to the action of the senses. Generally, the subject of the sentence is the thing being described:

  • Does this cheese smell right to you?
  • A lot of classical music sounds so relaxing.

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