Verbs not used in the continuous

Verbs not used in the continuous

In English, there are some verbs that 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 Use in the present
simple
Use in the present
continuous
 be  He is a careful person  He is being careful (= is behaving carefully)
 have  I have a car (I own it)  The kids are having fun at the park (are experiencing)
 think  I think the patient is getting better  I am thinking of buying a new car (thinking = considering)
 mean  The sign means ‘pay attention’  Tom is always meaning to help us (= intending/willing)
 appear  Quinn appears to be a kind person (=seems to be)  The actor is appearing on the stage (=is performing)
 weigh  She weighs 70 kilos  I am weighing the flour (= action of weighing)

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