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Using progressive tenses Progressive tenses are used to talk about things that are happening at a particular point in time: Progressive tenses are NOT used to talk about states (i.e. the way things are or the way things feel): Bill was painting the kitchen when I arrived. What are you eating? My brother belongs to a boxing club. (NOT 'is belonging') Each envelope contained twenty dollars. (NOT 'was containing') The cat sensed danger so it turned and ran away (NOT 'was sensing') Verbs with 'state' meanings which are NOT used in progressive tenses include: LIKES and DISLIKES NEEDS and WANTS SENSES KNOWLEDGE OPINIONS COMPOSITION APPEARANCE POSSESSION RELATIONSHIPS EXISTENCE

admire, adore, likeldtslike, love, prefer, hate need, lack, want feel, hear, wish, see, notice, smell, taste, sound, sense forget, know, realize, remember, understand believe, doubt, feel, imagine, suppose, suspect, think comprise, consist of, contain, include appear, be, seem, look, resemble have, belong to, own, possess, owe come from, concern, involve, depend, fit, suit be, exist

Remember that many verbs have both 'action' and 'state' meanings. Compare: George is having a bath. George has two sisters and one brother. (NOT 'is having') r*.


I'm thinking about where to go for my next holiday. I think history lessons are boring. (NOT 'am thinking') f-

Remember that the progressive form of a verb (be + -ing) is not the same as the-fng form. r





I was not having a watch and so I didn't h 6 w the time. J I didn't have a watch and so I didn't know the time. J Not having a watch, I didn't know the time.


When a verb is used to describe a state, the simple form-afid the -ing form may be used, but not the progressive form. -

C i


Longman Dictionary of Common Errors  
Longman Dictionary of Common Errors