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    #1

    "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, "resemble" is a transitive verb and cannot used in progressive or passive form.

    Is the following sentence wrong?
    "John is gradually resembling his father."

    Should I say, "John is gradually becoming more like his father" instead?


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    #2

    Re: "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    According to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, "resemble" is a transitive verb and cannot used in progressive or passive form.

    Is the following sentence wrong?
    "John is gradually resembling his father."

    Should I say, "John is gradually becoming more like his father" instead?
    I think your sentence is awkward and unspecific.

    John's (outward) appearance is getting more and more similar to his father's.

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    #3

    Re: "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    I think your sentence is awkward and unspecific.

    John's (outward) appearance is getting more and more similar to his father's.

    I have just found the following sentence in one of my dictionaries.

    "He is resembling his father more and more as the years go by."

    I wonder if the above sentence is correct, because the dictionary was published by a Japanese publishing company.

    If the above sentence is acceptable, is it just because "more and more" is used?


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    #4

    Re: "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    Everything is correct.

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    #5

    Re: "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    "John is gradually resembling his father."
    This would be an unusual usage; if a native speaker said it, it might pass unnoticed, but in an ESL speaker, it would probably be taken for a mistake.

    Should I say, "John is gradually becoming more like his father" instead?
    That would be natural and idiomatic.

    Best wishes,

    MrP
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    Not a professional ESL teacher.
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    #6

    Re: "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    This would be an unusual usage; if a native speaker said it, it might pass unnoticed, but in an ESL speaker, it would probably be taken for a mistake.


    That would be natural and idiomatic.

    Best wishes,

    MrP
    Thank you. Will you please answer the following question if you have time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    I have just found the following sentence in one of my dictionaries.

    "He is resembling his father more and more as the years go by."

    I wonder if the above sentence is correct, because the dictionary was published by a Japanese publishing company.

    If the above sentence is acceptable, is it just because "more and more" is used?

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    #7

    Re: "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    Hello Snappy,

    1. He is resembling his father more and more as the years go by.

    This form isn't ungrammatical; but I wouldn't expect to encounter it very often among AmE or BrE native speakers. It would probably give an air of "foreignness" to the English of an ESL student.

    On the other hand, it would not surprise me to hear it from an Indian English speaker, as progressive versions are more common in Indian English.

    Best wishes,

    MrP
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  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "Resemble" can't be used in progressive form?

    Yes, English is very strict about not using progressives as inchoates, anda vice-versa.

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