If the present participle continuous form is not used for stative verbs then why do we sometimes see stative verbs as gerunds, such asloving, believing, knowing, hating, being, etc.?

For example:

Loving my children is not just my duty as a parent, it is inherent in my very being.

When I googled, I found the book Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse by Nicholas Asher which says "No stative verbs have gerund forms" so I was totally confused: are stative verbs used as gerunds or not?


1 Answer 1


Stative verbs are used in the gerund form as second verbs, not in continuous tenses.

I love knowing that I've helped someone understand a point in English.

When two verbs are together, depending on the first verb, the second verb might be in the full or bare infinitive, a gerund, or to + gerund.

I want to believe it's true.

Let me believe in you, if no one else will.

I love knowing I've helped someone.

I look forward to understanding computers better, with your help.

Stative verbs as gerunds can start a sentence.

Believing in yourself is necessary to succeed in life.

From the source http://www.myenglishteacher.net/gerunds.html :

"Even stative verbs (those verbs that almost never have -ing) can be turned into gerunds. A native speaker of English would NEVER say I am believing you. However, a native speaker could say"

"Believing in God is important."

"Believing, here, is a gerund. It is NOT a verb. Believing in God is a gerund phrase."


To qualify the source, because of a comment made, being a native speaker of English is no guarantee that the language will be used correctly. The obvious implication of the statement in the quote is a native speaker who speaks educated English.

Note: Some so-called stative verbs can be used in a continuous tense, but with a different meaning. For example: I see you now. I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow.

  • Actually what my question is " even stative verbs (those verbs that almost never have 'ing' ) can be turned into gerunds" is this correct?
    – madan
    May 17, 2016 at 11:32
  • @santu Yes. But not for continuous tenses. Either as second verbs or to start a sentence. May 17, 2016 at 12:31
  • Ok, but when I googled what I have found in the book "Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse by Nicholas Asher" is "No stative verbs have gerund forms".., so totally I was confused whether stative verbs are used as gerunds or not??
    – madan
    May 17, 2016 at 13:47
  • 1
    @santu Mistake in the book. May 17, 2016 at 14:46
  • 1
    @ I hope my edited answer covers your question. In case it doesn't, obviously there are native speakers of English who speak incorrect English. The quote obviously refers to educated native speakers who speak correct English. I hope this covers your comment. The statement is a quote from a source. May 18, 2016 at 7:27

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