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Can anyone give me a satisfactory answer to this question?

Why can't we say, "I've been knowing him for years"?

My teacher said that it's because we don't use verbs like "know" in the progressive form, but that answer doesn't tell me very much at all.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
Anonymous
?My father died 4 years ago. I'm slowly forgetting him.

?I've never stopped believing in her.

?I'm remembering the time we went to Monaco.

Yes, there are always exceptions to the rules, or explanations to particular uses/meanings of the verbs...

My father died 4 years ago. I'm slowly forgetting him. As days go by, you are losing all the memories you had of him, one by one... How sad... Didn't you want to say "I'm slowly getting over my loss"? Because you'll never forget him.

I'm remembering the time we went to Monaco. Yes. "Don't disturb me, please...The images of our stay in Monaco are slowly coming back to my mind". It's not exactly the same as "I remember/don't remember the time we went to Monaco"; here you are re-playing your private film of your stay in M.

I've never stopped believing in her. This example is different.It's not a continuous form, it's a gerund."to stop doing something".

Why is it that those verbs are not used in the progressive form?
It has to do with how English treats verbs portraying states and achievements. The core meaning of such verbs is communicated when the simple tenses are used. A special shade of meaning is conveyed when the progressive tenses are used (if they are used at all for a particular verb). [Google Vendler, "event types", aspect, activity, accomplishment, achievement] One can pursue this topic for months and not exhaust all the subtle possibilities.

CJ
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CalifJim One can pursue this topic for months and not exhaust all the subtle possibilities.

CJ
So there no easy answer? What an odd language English can be.
Pieanne
Anonymous
?My father died 4 years ago. I'm slowly forgetting him.

?I've never stopped believing in her.

?I'm remembering the time we went to Monaco.

Yes, there are always exceptions to the rules, or explanations to particular uses/meanings of the verbs...

My father died 4 years ago. I'm slowly forgetting him. As days go by, you are losing all the memories you had of him, one by one... How sad... Didn't you want to say "I'm slowly getting over my loss"? Because you'll never forget him.

I'm remembering the time we went to Monaco. Yes. "Don't disturb me, please...The images of our stay in Monaco are slowly coming back to my mind". It's not exactly the same as "I remember/don't remember the time we went to Monaco"; here you are re-playing your private film of your stay in M.

I've never stopped believing in her. This example is different.It's not a continuous form, it's a gerund."to stop doing something".



So, the first two verbs can be used in the continuous form.
my friend and i have been having an argument akin to this.

I have been having that cd for a while.

She argues that this is wrong. I am blinded by the fact that I am from Southern Louisiana, and this is the way we talk all the time, though I still think I am right.

Please settle this struggle.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
You can say you've been listening (an action) for a while, but not "I've been having" (a state of being) for a while.
my friend and i have been having an argument akin to this.



I have been having that cd for a while.

Interesting -- The second sentence seems very unnatural to me, but the first one seems fine! Perhaps because
having an argument" as it's used here is a recurrent, but not continuous state? Like "I've been having pains in my knee for weeks now " -- not constantly, but recurring.

A phrase that drives me crazy is rapidly spreading through the U.S. restaurant industry. Instead of asking "is everything all right?", or "how is the food?", too many servers are now saying "How is everything tasting today?" I want to try to explain to them that you can say "I am tasting the food" but you can't (or rather, shouldn't) say "the food is tasting great!" But I don't think I could really explain why, and I'm sure they wouldn't care. I'm sure that if I started talking about "stative verbs," I wouldn't see the waiter again for half an hour!

A different, but equally annoying, restaurant problem is "are you still working on that?" Nothing wrong with it grammatically, but I always want to say "They're working on the food in the kitchen. Out here, we're just eating it." Once, when a busboy had removed my silverware but not the plate, the waiter came by and asked "are you still working on that?" I almost said, "I can't -- they took away my tools."
Lord, Khoff, but it's good to have you back!
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Thanks! It's nice to be back! (Nowhere else in my life can I complain about the futility of discussing stative verbs with waiters and be appreciated!)
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