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  1. emka's Avatar
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    #1

    Stative verbs: want

    I understand the difference between stative and dynamic verbs. I know that, as a rule (and I normally understand the exceptions, too), stative verbs don’t take the continuous/progressive [-ing] tenses.

    But I have heard and read the verb “want” used in the progressive form and don’t understand why this is so. Is there a subtle difference between the continuous and the simple verb form?

    Examples I don’t understand would be:
    1) So you are wanting to improve your English pronunciation and speak English more clearly! (from an Australian English teaching website).
    [I don’t think there is any justification for an exclamation mark either.]

    2) Is this what you are wanting? (a New Zealand shop assistant to me when I asked for a certain product).

    Why not simply “want”? Is this Antipodean English?

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Stative verbs: want

    'Want' (present simple) would be more natural and common, in my opinion, but the use of the progressive (continuous) form gives an immediacy to the questions you posted.

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    #3

    Re: Stative verbs: want

    NOT A TEACHER

    (1) Here in the United States, many people have no problem in sometimes using the

    progressive with so-called stative verbs if there is the idea of "more and more" involved

    in the idea of the sentence:

    (a) At first, I didn't like X. But as I get to know X better, I am liking him much more.

    (b) You and Mona have been dating for one year. I am guessing that you two will soon get married.

    (c) Many people in many countries are getting very impatient because they are hearing the same old lies that they have heard for years.

    (d) [This was said by the executive of a famous company] We are understanding that we are in a tough economic environment and that we have to innovate and invest.

  3. emka's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Stative verbs: want

    Thanks for explaining.
    I think I get the idea of "more and more" because such a usage expresses a process happening in my mind. The examples you have given wouldn't sound too weird to me.
    But the two sentences I gave do sound extremely strange.

    So the rule of thumb for a learner would probably be: play it safe and stick to the rule (= don't use the progressive forms), and you won't go wrong. Yet be aware that it might be used in the continuous form to express immediacy or "more and more".

    Just as an aside:
    Would McDonald's "I'm lovin(g) it" be a "more and more" thing (the more of the spongy rolls I eat the more I'm loving them) or just another marketing gimmick to attract attention, at least in the grammarian community?
    (I don't love it anyway.)

    And a second aside:
    How do you write a genitive if the noun already is one, i.e. if it already has an apostrophe and an s? I hesitated for a moment. Simply MacDonald's? Can't be MacDonald's's for sure. And can't be MacDonald's' either.

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    #5

    Re: Stative verbs: want

    I'd use MacDonald's + noun.

  4. emka's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Stative verbs: want

    ?? I don't understand.
    Do you mean "MacDonald's company" or "MacDonald's restaurant chain"? This would make sentences sound rather clumsy.

    I've just noticed that MacDonalds is actually written McDonald's. Ha, ha - I'm clearly not a regular.
    Last edited by emka; 10-Oct-2011 at 06:30. Reason: McDonald's

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