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Recently I've seen a sentence with "looking forward". Could you explain why it contains a progressive aspect. Doesn't this phrase mean a thought process which cannot be seen and thus must be regarded as stative and be used without progressive?

Consider a sentence like

I am looking forward to repaying your kindness.

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It would be helpful to see the entire sentence and to know something of its context. –  Barrie England Mar 8 '12 at 7:39
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To me, "Look forward" describes a static continuous state; "looking forward" is more transient. "I'm looking forward to your call, but if someone shows me a LOLcat I'll probably forget about it." –  Joe McMahon Mar 9 '12 at 2:44
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are a number of verbs expressing perception, emotion, wishing and thinking that do not normally have a progressive form, and it's reasonable to think that look forward to should be among them. In fact, both I look forward to . . . and I am looking forward to . . . are possible in your example. The progressive form implies a more temporary state and, for that reason, is probably more likely to be used in speech than in writing.

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