I have seen the sentence in a book prepared by a reputed English institute in India. I know that words like 'want' and 'need' do not take the progressive form. Is it possible to use want in the progressive form in an informal speech?

I would like you to respond to my question because most of the users on our site are also using 'need' and 'want' in the progressive form and the sentences are not being edited.


1 Answer 1


You are correct: want and need are state, non-continuous or stative verbs, and aren't used in continuous tenses.


However, they are widely used in continuous (progressive) forms in informal speech. I blame McDonald's for their "I'm lovin' it" slogan. It may also be more prevalent in Indian English (Chandrika Balasubramanian, Register Variation in Indian English, Volume 37 of Studies in corpus linguistics, 4.2.1 p.90).

  • 2
    "I have been wanting to do [something] for a long time" is perfectly idiomatic English. Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 16:36
  • I disagree with a lot of that first list in thinking they cannot be used in continuous tenses. Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 17:33
  • l am thiking of going to kashmir is ok but can we say that I am thinking you are right? Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 17:39
  • ..and aren't normally used in continuous tenses.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 21:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.