I found the information below in a grammar book:

The following verbs are not normally used in the present continuous : like, love, hate, want, need, prefer, know, realize, suppose, mean, understand, believe, remember, belong, fit, contain, consist, seem.

  1. Are there any other verbs which are not used in present continuous?
  2. If yes, why are the above verbs not used in present continuous?
  • 1
    I'm loving your question! Apr 3, 2015 at 8:52
  • 1
    ... but seriously, I think "I'm loving" is a modern habit that started in advertising, and to me suggests fickleness [just now, I'm loving X's flat whites, but who knows what I'll love tomorrow?]. In truth, liking, loving and hating are states that last too long to apply to the present continuous. 'Want' is an oddity, tho: it would be reasonable to want something at the moment and not later, so "I'm wanting a coffee" ought to make sense. Apr 3, 2015 at 8:56
  • And for fit, it depends on the meaning. We probably wouldn't say "this shoe is fitting me perfectly", but there's nothing wrong with "the tailor is fitting the suit for him now". Apr 3, 2015 at 10:41
  • I am not understanding the relevance of the "if yes" in question 2.
    – Kimball
    Apr 3, 2015 at 12:32
  • "If yes" in the above question means that only 18 words (like ~seem) are not use in present continuous.
    – David Son
    Apr 5, 2015 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


The words on the OP list are:

  • states (know, understand, remember, etc.),
  • general realities (belong, fit, contain, consist, seem, etc.),
  • emotions and wishes (like, love, hate, etc.)

Though experienced in a continuous aspect, they tend to transcend present time.


  • I know 15 digits of pi, because I memorized them in eighth grade, and will not forget them until my brain disintegrates.
  • I belong to the human race just like my parents did, my children do, and my grandchildren will.
  • I like reading, have liked it longer than I can remember, and probably always will.

States, general realities, emotions and wishes are part of the simple present aspect:

It is commonly referred to as a tense, although it also encodes certain information about aspect in addition to present time. [Discussion omitted]...
[C]ertain verbs expressing a state, such as be and know, are used in the simple present even when referring to a temporary present state. [Discussion omitted]...

  • To refer to an action or event that takes place habitually. In the other hand to remark habits, general realities, repeated actions or unchanging situations, emotions and wishes. [Examples omitted]...
  • With stative verbs in senses that do not use progressive aspect (see Uses of English verb forms: Progressive), to refer to a present or general state, whether temporary, permanent or habitual.

Emphasis mine

Even with active verbs, I eat, engages past, present and future simultaneously, while I am eating emphasizes the present.

General reference Wikipedia.org

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