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Present Continuous Tense #6, by Dennis Oliver

 

Verbs with Both Continuous
and
Non-Continuous Meanings

 

Many English verbs are not usually used in continuous
tenses (including the present continuous). Some of these
verbs have more than one common meaning, however,
and at least one of the meanings canbe used in
continuous tenses. Here are some common ones:

appear
be
feel
have
imagine
include
  mind
remember
see
smell
taste
think

________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

Verb   Notes
appear   One meaning is "seem"; it's
non-continuous. Another meaning
is "be somewhere as a performer,
speaker, etc."; it's continuous.
     
be   The normal meaning for be is
non-continuous; There's also
another meaning (used with
adjectives): "behave." This meaning
is continuous.
     
feel   One meaning is something like
"think" or "believe." A second
meaning is something like "touch."
A third meaning describes one's
physical or mental condition. The
first meaning is non-continuous.
The other meanings are continuous.
     
have  

The normal meaning is "possess';
this meaning is non-continuous.
Several other meanings are continuous:

(1) "have a good (etc.) time"
(= [not] enjoy oneself";

(2) "give birth."

(3) "be involved in ___ " (a meeting,
discussion, bath, etc.

(4) "eat or drink"

     
imagine   One meaning is something like
"pretend"; it's non-continuous.
Another meaning is something like
"guess" or "suppose"; it's continuous.
     
include   One meaning shows the things
that are part of another thing;
this meaning is non-continuous.
Another meaning is something like
"put in" or "enclose" or "add to";
this meaning is continuous.
     
mind   The most common meaning is
something like "object to"; it's
non-continuous. Another meaning
is something like "obey"; this
meaning is continuous.
     
remember   One meaning is "recall" and is
non-continuous. Another meaning
describes a mental action and
is continuous.
     
see   The most common meaning is
similar to "look"; it's non-continous.
Another meaning is something
like "go with" (have regular dates
with);
it's continuous.
     
smell   The physical action of using one's
nose to detect an odor or fragrance
is continuous. The "linking verb"
meaning (where you describe how
something smells) is non-continuous.
     
taste   The physical action of "testing"
something by eating or drinking
a little of it is continuous. The
"linking verb" meaning (where you
describe how something tastes)
is non-continuous.
     
think   One meaning is something like
"believe"; it's non-continuous.
Another meaning describes
a mental action; it's continuous.


Example sentences:

Non-Continuous   Continuous
He appears to
understand us.
  My favorite rock band
is appearing in Miami
next week.
     
Those children
are polite.
  Those children
are being polite.
( = behaving politely)
     
I feel that you are
trying hard.
 

I'm feeling much
better now.

She's feeling her son's
forehead to see if he
has a fever.

     
I have a headache.  

They're having a good
time, aren't they?

She's in the hospital
because she's having
a baby.

I can't disturb them.
They're having an
important meeting.

I think they're having
lunch in the cafeteria.

Sara and Bill are having
coffee in the employees'
lounge. Let's join them.

     
I imagine that Joe
will be here soon.
  I'm not sleeping. I'm
imagining what it
would be like to win
a million dollars..
     
The price of $300
includes tax.
  Bill's a good player.
We're including him
on our team.
     
I don't mind if
you leave early.
  Billy isn't being good.
He isn't minding me.
     
Yes, I remember you!
We met in 1997.
  I'm remembering my
parents. I think of them
every time I hear
that song.
     
Yes, I see Sara
almost every day.
  Bill's seeing Lupe.
I think they're going to
become engaged.
     
That rose smells
really good.
  The dog is smelling.
Bob's clothing. I hope
the dog can find Bob!
     
This soup tastes salty.   He's tasting the soup
to see if it's OK.
     
I think that you
are 100% correct!
  Right now I'm thinking
about what you said.

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