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rinoceronteI have been seeing him for two years.
I have been knowing him for two years.
What so different do you find between those two pairs, except for the fact that you are not used to the latter? "To know" is as perfect a process or continuity as any other verb.
Rinoceronte:
We will still disagree. Vendler made observations, and classified the verbs from the usage - based on observation and evidence in texts.

I have been seeing him for two years. - Yes, I use this all the time. However, the definition of "to see" is "to date." If two people decide to form a relationship, they can start seeing each other, and then later on, break up and stop seeing each other (i.e. having a relationship.) In between those two points in time, they are seeing each other. So, "I have been seeing him for two years." translates to "we started to date two years ago and we have not broken up yet." People can start and stop having relationships at will. "See" in this context does not mean something you do with your eyes, but with your heart, and the heart is fickle.

On the other hand, once I know something or someone, I do not stop and restart knowing it or them unless I suffer from episodic amnesia or Alzheimer's disease. The knowledge is in my brain. Once it is in my memory, my brain, I know it.

That is the distinction between seeing and knowing.

Waiting -
I have been waiting for you for 10 minutes. Yes, I use this all the time. I can start waiting, and stop waiting. I stop waiting if I just lose patience and give up, or the thing I was waiting for comes to pass.) I can start and stop waiting at will. In between the times when I start waiting and stop waiting, I "am waiting."
AlpheccaStarsOn the other hand, once I know something or someone, I do not stop and restart knowing it or them unless I suffer from episodic amnesia or Alzheimer's disease. The knowledge is in my brain. Once it is in my memory, my brain, I know it. That is the distinction between seeing and knowing.
Alphecca, wonderful. I see that for you (not personally) the verb "to know" seems not to have ending.

1) even if we assume it does not have an ending, for such tense as Present Perfect Continuous it is not needed, because this tense does not have ending. This tense "ends" in a present moment, which is not an end but a point of ongoing action, which may be prolonged into future: "I have been knowing him for two years" means we got acquainted two years ago, and the acquaintance lasts for those two years and is likely to go on in future;

2) if you assume "knowing" does not have ending, you will have to erradicate the phrase "I don't know it anymore" from your language, which would be nonsense;

3) but from my point of view "knowing" may perfectly have an ending. It's ending is were the verb "to forget" is applied. What is "to forget"? It's "to stop knowing", isn't it?

- Do you know the password to that computer?
- No.
- What? But Jack told you one!
- Yes, I had been knowing it for the whole week, but then it slipped from my mind. I forgot it!

or

- Do you know how to play chess?
- Well, in fact I had been knowing it since I was a kid, but with years this knowledge effaced from my memory somehow.

4) when you say your phrase "I had known him for years" you also mean that the process of knowing ended, don't you? So, it's not about your feeling of the verb "to know", it's about a habit;

5) although, the Imperfect Aspect has two points on a timeline (if depicted graphically), the second point does not mean the action's end. That's the essence of Imperfect Aspect: we are not interested in information if the action ended or not. We are only interested in what had been happening between those two points: "What had you been doing between 5 and 6 pm?" - "I had been working". THAT's Imperfect Aspect. Does that mean that the guy stopped working at 6? No way. We don't know. WE DON'T CARE. We care only about processes between two points in time. So, even when we say "I had been knowing it...", in no way we mean that the process of knowing ended: "We married yesterday" - "But you had been knowing each other for a week only!". Does it mean that the process of knowledge was over after that week? No way.

6) and finally, the rule does not say "you can't use the verb "to know" in continuous tenses". It says "you can't use ANY stative verb in continuous tenses". "Know" and "wait" are two ideal stative verbs. You use one of them in continuous tenses heavily, and protest when the other one is used in continuous tenses. That was my point in reminding you of "waiting".
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Hi Rino;
From your insightful analysis, it is clear to me that you are describing how English could or might work in some alternate linguistic universe. This seems logical to you, but it just isn't how English works.

The three words, learn, know and forget, describe different things: acquiring knowledge, having it, and having lost it. Of course, since learn is a process, and I choose to learn something or not, it can be used in a continuous sense: I have been learning to play chess. I have learned to play chess. Once I know how to play chess, I cannot of my conscious volition stop knowing it. That happens, but not where I am consciously "unlearning" it by some activity.

In your examples, this is how I say the same thing:

I knew the password earlier this week, but I forgot (have forgotten) it.
I knew how to play chess when I was a child, but have since forgotten.
I used to know how to play chess, but not anymore.
I don't know how to play chess because I never learned it.

If I say: I have known my neighbor for 5 years. I am not saying that I have forgotten my neighbor, or at this moment in time, that memory of him is erased from my brain! It means that I first met him (got to know him) 5 years ago, and still know him.

So English is perfectly capable of expressing these concepts. We just don't use your prescriptions, we use the ones that come with English's linguistic heritage - for better or worse. That is not to say that the language may evolve to change and erode the present distinction between stative and dynamic usage. It is happening in some dialects as mentioned earlier. Even in the mainstream, the distinction is semantic, so that polysemic words can take on either stative or dynamic qualities depending on context.

From this reference:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/progressive.htm
Kolln (Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln. 4th Edition. MacMillan Publishing Company: New York. 1994. ) suggests that we think of the difference between stative and dynamic in terms of "willed" and "nonwilled" qualities. Consider the difference between a so-called dynamic adjective (or subject complement) and a stative adjective (or subject complement): "I am silly" OR "I am being silly" versus "I am tall." I have chosen to be silly; I have no choice about being tall. Thus "tall" is said to be a stative (or an "inert") quality, and we cannot say "I am being tall"; "silly," on the other hand, is dynamic so we can use progressive verb forms in conjunction with that quality.

By the way, since wait is an activity of volition, it is not a stative verb.
What are you doing?

I am just sitting and waiting. I'll wait for 10 more minutes, and then leave.

Here is a list of stative verbs:

http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/support-files/stative-verbs-list.pdf
AlpheccaStarsI knew the password earlier this week, but I forgot (have forgotten) it. I knew how to play chess when I was a child, but have since forgotten.I used to know how to play chess, but not anymore.I don't know how to play chess because I never learned it.
You hide behind the simple tenses. Simple tenses are not an issue. It's (Perfect) Continuous vs. Perfect.
AlpheccaStarsIf I say: I have known my neighbor for 5 years
You misread my example. It was talking about Past Perfect: I had known my neighbor.
AlpheccaStarsWe just don't use your prescriptions
I didn't suggest ANY prescriptions. I said that the grammar is mangled and explained why.
AlpheccaStarsBy the way, since wait is an activity of volition, it is not a stative verb.... Here is a list of stative verbs:http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/support-files/stative-verbs-list.pdf
1) Agree, believe, disagree, dislike, doubt, hate, impress, like, love, mind, prefer, suppose, surprise, wish are all clearly volitional. But you call them stative. "Wait" can be called volitional more than contentiously, but you refuse to call it stative. Despite that "waiting" can extremely hardly be something else than a state;

2) What kind of volition do you see in a prase "He had to wait"? Or "The kidney stone is waiting for its turn to be destroyed with ultrasound"?

3) Volitional vs. Non-volitional is not the same as Stative vs. Dynamic. For now we have been prohibited to use Stative verbs, which describe states. "Waiting" IS a state, and in many cases it is NOT volitional. Actually, I can think of "waiting" as a volitional act only in a context when someone "decided to wait" or if he has an option whether to wait or not. Count yourself the cases when the girl that has been waiting for a baby, has been doing it volitionally.

Martha Kolln might have written an interesting book, but her "will"-"non-will" ideas shoud in no way be used as a base for another Wendler-like erroneous theory that would lead the grammar to a dead-end. That's again "Dancing with Aspects". You didn't introduce the aspects when the rest of the world did, and ever since have been trying to invent the bicycle.
AlpheccaStarsWe just don't use your prescriptions
You are not ready to use my prescriptions (which I never suggested), but you are ready to follow the prescriptions of Martha Kolln, like you followed earlier the prescriptions of Zeno Vendler. The whole stative-dynamic-volitional-nonvolitional story is about aspects, since the endpoint of the story is that we become prohibited to use 50% of verbs in imperfect aspect/tenses. Neither you, nor Zeno, nor Martha do not know what the aspects are, what they look like, and what they are for, because you never had the category of aspects in your grammar. I do, because the aspect is as an essential category in my grammar, as the category of number in yours. Tell me when you are prepared to listen to the prescriptions of people like me (who come from aspectful grammars) as to how to unbend the damages caused by ignoring the category of aspects centuries ago, and how to conform English grammar to world's aspects system as painlessly as possible.
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Hi Rino;

English, age 1617, was declared deceased on August 21, 2010 by a Pulitzer-prize winning author. Its obit was published somewhat belatedly on Sept. 26, 2010.

So, rest in peace. It will suffer no more slings and arrows of outrageous pedants with erroneous theories.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/13/AR2010091304476.html?nav=emailpage

It's been nice while it lasted.

All the best,
A-Emotion: stars
AlpheccaStarsHi Rino;English, age 1617, was declared deceased on August 21, 2010 by a Pulitzer-prize winning author. Its obit was published somewhat belatedly on Sept. 26, 2010. So, rest in peace. It will suffer no more slings and arrows of outrageous pedants with erroneous theories. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/13/AR2010091304476.html?nav=emailpag... been nice while it lasted.All the best,A-s
I don't find it very senseful. To kill is easier than to heal. If you want your language to keep on being a language of international communication, you should do something about its problems, which are crying. Spanish is approaching, and believe me, a third-worlder, I'm not gonna think twice as to what language to incline to. All the best to you too.
AlpheccaStarsby a Pulitzer-prize winning author
Suggest Gene an alternative title for his article: "1617 Years without Aspects".
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Wow, how did this topic become so popular? haha

my Email is being flooded : P
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