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Thread: I am liking

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    #1

    I am liking

    In a current text I have read the expression 'I'm liking my life.' Is this a recent development in the English language that you can use the progressive form for static verbs in certain contexts? When would the progressive form be OK for verbs like 'like'?

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    #2

    Re: I am liking

    Interesting question. It reminds me of the McDonald's slogan "I'm lovin' it" which I never quite understood.

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    #3

    Re: I am liking

    It's true that we don't usually use stative verbs with the progressive tense - note the emphasis on 'usually'.

    As with most things English, there are exceptions. Some of these stative verbs can be used as dynamic verbs, depending on context. Normally this is to somehow emphasize an ongoing situation that's different from the past.

    I think it's a case where students are given an over-simplified rule of "don't use stative verbs with the progressive tense", because the nuances of when it's okay may be considered too much information to a new learner.

    I don't have any evidence to support it, but I do suspect that there probably is a trend towards an increase in using stative verbs dynamically, or at least an increase in which static verbs can also be made dynamic.

    I also don't understand why anybody would be loving McDonald's food, but that's a separate discussion.
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    #4

    Re: I am liking

    One like isn't enough for post #3.
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    #5

    Re: I am liking

    Quote Originally Posted by Julie17 View Post
    When would the progressive form be OK for verbs like 'like'?
    NOT A TEACHER

    Hello, Julie.

    Here is some information that may interest you.

    1. "The movie is costing $3.50." (unacceptable)

    2. "Your education is costing me a bundle." (acceptable)

    a. Two scholars explain: "Just as with the other verbs of state ... cost can take the progressive aspect when it is used in an active sense. It seems to take the ING, for example, any time someone is being assessed the cost of something."



    Source: Marianne Celce-Murcia and Diane Larsen-Freeman, The Grammar Book / An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course (1983 edition).

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    #6

    Re: I am liking

    The progressive form is used much more frequently in Indian English than any other version.

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    #7

    Re: I am liking

    Thank you for your replies. I can understand the examples given, where static verbs are used with an active meaning.

    I've read 'I am liking my life.' in a novel by Val MacDermid, so it's British English. Skrej said that the progressive form can emphasize "an ongoing situation that's different from the past." Would that be the meaning behind my example?

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    #8

    Re: I am liking

    Without the full context, it's impossible to say if the writer was referring to an situation which differed from a previous (less enjoyable) situation, but I would expect that to be the meaning.

    I like my life. (Straightforward statement of fact.)
    I'm liking my life here in Spain. (The suggestion is that the speaker enjoyed life elsewhere, at some other time, less, although that isn't necessarily the case. They might go on to clarify what they mean.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: I am liking

    Sometimes I think we use this structure as more of a statement of realization or confirmation. It might not be so much that I'm necessarily liking my life more now than in the past, it's just that I'm more aware of how much I like it at the moment, or that I want to declare how much I'm enjoying it.
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    #10

    Re: I am liking

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I don't have any evidence to support it, but I do suspect that there probably is a trend towards an increase in using stative verbs dynamically, or at least an increase in which static verbs can also be made dynamic.
    I have also noticed this- it's anecdotal, but I hear liking/needing/wanting, etc, more than in the past.

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