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Thread: Stative Verbs

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Unhappy Stative Verbs

    From what I know, you can't use stative verbs in the progressive tense. If you can only say :I love you, since love is a stative verb, how come Mcdonalds say in their ads: "I'm loving it"? I know it's a silly question, but a student of mine asked me that while I was explaining to her about stative verbs, and I didn't have an answer for her, which was very embarrassing..

    Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Stative Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    From what I know, you can't use stative verbs in the progressive tense. If you can only say :I love you, since love is a stative verb, how come Mcdonalds say in their ads: "I'm loving it"? I know it's a silly question, but a student of mine asked me that while I was explaining to her about stative verbs, and I didn't have an answer for her, which was very embarrassing..

    Thank you for your help.
    Hmmmm....I am not a great fan of MacDonald's marketing but "I'm loving it" is perfectly fine in the correct context.

    It is a different meaning than associated with "I love you"

    I'm loving it! means you are really happy with something on an ongoing basis.

  3. #3
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Stative Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    From what I know, you can't use stative verbs in the progressive tense. If you can only say :I love you, since love is a stative verb, how come Mcdonalds say in their ads: "I'm loving it"? I know it's a silly question, but a student of mine asked me that while I was explaining to her about stative verbs, and I didn't have an answer for her, which was very embarrassing..

    Thank you for your help.
    Unr,

    It's not a silly question, it's an excellent question. You may have read this in a grammar book; if so, then the grammar book didn't go far enough.

    Try to stay away from absolutes in language teaching. Use normally, generally, because there are always exceptions.

    "I love her" is a state condition versus "I'm loving her" which holds one meaning that the two are involved in intimate actions of some sort.

    Even though "I smell something burning" isn't really a state, we normally/usually/generally deal with it as a state. That doesn't mean that it's impossible to say, "I'm smelling something burning".

    Here are two examples from a Google search.

    Golden Brown Food » Blog Archive » The Kitchen Idiot - Move No 2
    A while in and I’m smelling something burning. My first instinct is to turn off the toaster/convection oven, thinking perhaps the power cord was caught ...


    All of a sudden I'm smelling something burning and look to see that the temperature gauge for the transmission isn't showing a temperature. Uh-oh. ...

  4. #4
    Buddhaheart is offline Member
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    Default Re: Stative Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    From what I know, you can't use stative verbs in the progressive tense. If you can only say :I love you, since love is a stative verb, how come Mcdonalds say in their ads: "I'm loving it"? I know it's a silly question, but a student of mine asked me that while I was explaining to her about stative verbs, and I didn't have an answer for her, which was very embarrassing..

    Thank you for your help.
    ‘Can’t’ is strong word. While most stative verbs can't or shouldn’t be used with the continuous, ‘love’, ‘feel’ & ‘like’ are examples of exception. ‘I’m loving it’ is similar to ‘I’m enjoying it’. Both express an action. ‘Loving’ here expresses active enjoyment, not a permanent attitude or state. I think it’s fine in Mcdonald's ad example you cited.

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