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  1. #1
    stel1 is offline Newbie
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    Question I love / I'm loving

    hello everyone
    I've got a question that has been baffling me for a long time.It's about the verb LOVE which as a state verb isn't supposed to have a continous form as remains as such in English coursebooks. However I've seen " I'm loving " several times around blogs - in MacDonalds commercial. My students have asked me about it and I replied that the language is evolving....Any help?

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    Re: I love / I'm loving

    The language is evolving.

    Remember, too, that the 'rule' about state/stative verbs not being used in progressive forms was based on observation of how most people used verbs which came to be classed as 'state/stative'. I heard 'I'm loving it here' used at least a decade before MacDonalds took it up.

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    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Re: I love / I'm loving

    Quote Originally Posted by stel1 View Post
    hello everyone
    I've got a question that has been baffling me for a long time.It's about the verb LOVE which as a state verb isn't supposed to have a continous form as remains as such in English coursebooks. However I've seen " I'm loving " several times around blogs - in MacDonalds commercial. My students have asked me about it and I replied that the language is evolving....Any help?
    In addition to 5jj's response I would suggest that you are being very forgiving and kind by explaining to your students that the language (English in particular) is "evolving" and I would suggest also that you explain that McDonalds is by no means an authority on language.

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    Don Carlos is offline Newbie
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    Re: I love / I'm loving

    Verbs are stative or dynamic not per se but depending on the particular shade of meaning they have in each context: "I'm loving this hamburger/book/hotel, etc" means "I'm enjoying it". Just as in "Tom is being naughty" "being" means "behaving", and ditto with see, feel, have, etc.

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    Re: I love / I'm loving

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
    Verbs are stative or dynamic not per se but depending on the particular shade of meaning they have in each context: "I'm loving this hamburger/book/hotel, etc" means "I'm enjoying it".
    I don't think that is necessarily true. The use of the progressive form suggests to me simply that the 'loving' has limited duration.

  6. #6
    Don Carlos is offline Newbie
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    Re: I love / I'm loving

    It's the standard rule you can find in general grammar books. Anyway, I agree that there's a much greater change of meaning in cases such as

    I have a car - I'm having a shower; I see a car - I'm seeing Tom a lot these days

    than in love / am loving. But still, when you say I'm loving this book, you refer to the enjoyment you are experiencing while reading it and you could easily substitute "enjoying", whereas when you say I love this book you cannot so easily substitute enjoy for love, save for more specific cases, e.g. you know the book well and often re-read it.

    In any case, to answer Stel, I would say:

    I
    love hamburgers / ghost stories (in general, it's a permanent fact)

    while I might perfectly (but not necessarily) say I'm loving this hamburger / ghost story (that I'm eating / reading now)

    Love is a big word, used in "noble" contexts, where it is understood to have a more permanent meaning, maybe that's why it acquired its "stative qualification", and is used to praise something like the hamburger you're eating while you are eating it (in rapture!). Remember, all language is metaphorical, so it's ok to pretend you're in love with the hamburger you're eating (I love) and to pretend you're making love to it (I'm loving) Seriously, I love = love-appreciation; I'm loving = love-enjoyment. It all depends on the shade of meaning you want to convey.

    Also, I love this picture but never I'm loving this picture unless it were so big that you hadn't finished looking at it while you said this.

    And by the way, Stel and 5jj (since you're the moderator), there's a long (24 replies) old (May 2009) thread on this, right at the botton in the similar threads section.

    Enjoy

  7. #7
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    Re: I love / I'm loving

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
    It's the standard rule you can find in general grammar books. ...It is not a 'rule' that has to be followed in every case.

    . But still, when you say I'm loving this book, you refer to the enjoyment you are experiencing while reading it and you could easily substitute "enjoying",
    Thst is not to say that 'loving' means 'enjoying
    whereas when you say I love this book you cannot so easily substitute enjoy for love, save for more specific cases, e.g. you know the book well and often re-read it. i.e., you can substitute 'enjoy' sometimes.[...]


    I
    love hamburgers / ghost stories (in general, it's a permanent fact)
    while I might perfectly (but not necessarily) say I'm loving this hamburger / ghost story (that I'm eating / reading now)
    That is the point I made with 'limited duration'

    [...]Also, I love this picture but never I'm loving this picture unless it were so big that you hadn't finished looking at it while you said this.
    I have just borrowed a picture from my friend. It will hang in my sitting room for a month. I am loving this picture.

    And by the way,[...] there's a long (24 replies) old (May 2009) thread on this, right at the botton in the similar threads section
    Note the post from Barb_D:http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...tml#post310408.
    5

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