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  1. #1
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    Default I am liking/I am enjoying

    Hi,
    I have a CELTA preperation question which asks why "I'm liking this" is incorrect.

    I know that "I have a liking for" is the correct use of liking; I also know that I am + ing can be correct with this, for instance "I'm enjoying this;" so why is "I'm liking this" wrong?

    I've come up with 3 or 4 different answers for this and they're all wrong.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    "I'm liking this" is perfectly correct, if the speaker is deliberately limiting the statement to the present instance. For example, I generally don't enjoy job interviews, but "I'm liking this one." It can also be used to dispell an opposite anticipation: my wife went to a sci-fi movie with me, despite being sure she would not enjoy it. She leans over and whispers, "I'm liking this." Meaning she doesn't like sci-fi, but this time only, she finds she is.

    However, for general enjoyment of something habitually liked, "I like this" is the usual phrase, and "I'm liking this" cannot correctly be used.

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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    Quote Originally Posted by benji View Post
    Hi,
    I have a CELTA preperation question which asks why "I'm liking this" is incorrect.

    I know that "I have a liking for" is the correct use of liking; I also know that I am + ing can be correct with this, for instance "I'm enjoying this;" so why is "I'm liking this" wrong?

    I've come up with 3 or 4 different answers for this and they're all wrong.
    Thanks.
    The verb "like" is a stative verb. Therefore, we do not typically use it as a progressive or continuous verb. When we say we like something it is a state. We don't normally think of "like" as a continuous action. We either like something or we do not. Using "liking" to mean "enjoying" is okay for informal usage, but it is not considered standard, and some people would never use it nor accept it as "correct" language.

    Sometimes people use "like" as a progressive verb to emphasize their approval of something, a situation, or a circumstance. I've heard people use like as a progressive verb as in, "I'm liking it", but I haven't and probably would not. I am all for forms of informal style and usage. This is not one of them, however. It's okay for others, but it's not something I'd say. Though it does kill me to hear people say "I'm liking it" and also insist that we must say "It is I". I've come across this odd and inconsistent viewpoint just once, but I'd say there's likely more of the same - out there somewhere.

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    And there's one idiomatic usage where it's almost always in the present progressive. In TV cop shows 'I'm liking him for the murder' means 'I'm becoming increasingly convinced that he did it'.

    So, in short: reproduce the party line about stative verbs, but add that the party line isn't always observed by native speakers in all registers. Depending on the level of the class you're giving, you may want to consider these usages. (And even in beginners' classes, someone is bound to ask about the McDonalds ads. )

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 22-Jan-2010 at 14:20. Reason: Fix typo

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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    ps In the case of 'enjoy', there is the unquestionably correct: 'I've been reading the works of Jane Austen. I am enjoying Pride and Prejudice at the moment. I read it every night before I go to sleep, and each new page is a delight.'

    b

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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    And there's one isiomatic usage where it's almost always in the present progressive. In TV cop shows 'I'm liking him for the murder' means 'I'm becoming increasingly convinced that he did it'.

    So, in short: reproduce the party line about stative verbs, but add that the party line isn't always observed by native speakers in all registers. Depending on the level of the class you're giving, you may want to consider these usages. (And even in beginners' classes, someone is bound to ask about the McDonalds ads. )

    b
    Hi Bob,

    Taking this into consideration, maybe you'd like to chime in - comment here? Please? This can all get rather subjective - formal usage informal usage - this is okay with me but not okay with him. It's all very well and good, but ...

    Yes, there's the McDonald's advertisement, but the food is ten times worse than using "like" progressively or continuously. So the way I see it is this: not so good usage - even worse food. Don't language and food go hand in hand?

    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...tml#post510729
    Last edited by PROESL; 04-Sep-2009 at 00:07.

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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    Thanks a lot for the replies they've been very helpful.
    How would you explain why this is to someone before simplification?

    I think I would say that "I like that flower" expresses a whole fact about part of me, my state of mind. It's not a changing process with a beginning, a middle, and an end or something that I am doing to the flower.
    Thanks again.
    -Ben

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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    And there's one isiomatic usage where it's almost always in the present progressive. In TV cop shows 'I'm liking him for the murder' means 'I'm becoming increasingly convinced that he did it'.

    So, in short: reproduce the party line about stative verbs, but add that the party line isn't always observed by native speakers in all registers. Depending on the level of the class you're giving, you may want to consider these usages. (And even in beginners' classes, someone is bound to ask about the McDonalds ads. )

    b
    To me, it's not simply a party line, if you don't mind me saying so. Using "like" as a continuous verb is not something I've done or would do. Only after learning the term "stative verb" did I understand why it simply doesn't sound good. Most native speakers of English can tell when something doesn't sound right or sound good, but not very many can say why. That's an important thing for me - being able to say why - being able to explain.

    Independent thinker
    Last edited by PROESL; 03-Sep-2009 at 21:16.

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    Default Re: I am liking/I am enjoying

    Quote Originally Posted by benji View Post
    Thanks a lot for the replies they've been very helpful.
    How would you explain why this is to someone before simplification?

    I think I would say that "I like that flower" expresses a whole fact about part of me, my state of mind. It's not a changing process with a beginning, a middle, and an end or something that I am doing to the flower.
    Thanks again.
    -Ben
    There's no action involved in liking something. There's no movement of any kind physically in a concrete way, nor mentally in an abstract way.

    I'm thinking about it. Here, the verb "think" means "consider". There's activity going on in someone's mind. So we can use "think" as a progressive verb.

    I think this CD is great. - Here, the verb "think" is used to express an opinion. When one has an opinion, there is no activity going in one's mind, so "think" is a stative verb in such cases.

    I'm thinking this CD is great. - This is not typical and usual, though one could hear native speakers say it.

    In the list of stative verbs, there are a number of verbs that are both stative and progressive. Here's one example: see.

    The doctor is not seeing any patients today. see - for accepting appointments or receiving visitors - see used progressively to mark an action or event as temporary, as in "I think you're seeing things. Why don't you sit down and relax? There are no pink elephants in the garden."

    I see something going on in the distance. - see for vision - typically not used as a progressive verb. One is not active in any way when one sees something, which is unlike "look" and which also involves visoin. However, "look" is voluntary and one can think there is motion of some sort. If you see something, it's not voluntary - there's no motion or action involved in seeing something.

    I'm seeing something in the distance now - wait. - It wouldn't surprise me if a journalist said this while reporting on a war in a live broadcast. A journalist might use a stative verb as a progressive verb to intensify what's happening at that moment. I've heard it on the radio and in the news before. It's not often that it happens, I don't think, but it can happen.
    Last edited by PROESL; 04-Sep-2009 at 00:04.

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