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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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I'm afraid that your teacher is right-- in your grammar book there should be a section on verbs that we do not usually use in progressive forms. Some of them are: like, love, need, prefer, know, seem, mean, own, etc. They are mostly verbs of sensations and mental states.
Agree. It must be, "I've known him for years".

Let me add some more verbs which cannot be used in progressive forms:

hate, want, wish, desire, see, hear, feel, notice, understand, remember, forget, believe, recognize, appear, possess, contain, consist, etc.

By the way, Mister Micawber, I wonder if the verb wonder may be used in progressive. Can I say, "I am (was) wondering if this phrase is (was) acceptable"? It is a progressive form here, isn't it? I have seen such constructions before but I am not sure they are correct (in BrE).
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RuslanaBy the way, Mister Micawber, I wonder if the verb wonder may be used in progressive. Can I say, "I am (was) wondering if this phrase is (was) acceptable"? It is a progressive form here, isn't it? I have seen such constructions before but I am not sure they are correct (in BrE).

Yes, you can use it there. Also considering, thinking, pondering, etc.
Mister MicawberI'm afraid that your teacher is right-- in your grammar book there should be a section on verbs that we do not usually use in progressive forms. Some of them are: like, love, need, prefer, know, seem, mean, own, etc. They are mostly verbs of sensations and mental states.

I thank you for that list, but it still doesn't mean much to me. Why is it that those verbs are not used in the progressive form?
I said, 'we do not usually use' them in progressive forms. Most of them also occur thus. They are usually used non-continous forms, I suppose, because they represent non-physical states: they are feelings, not actions, and show no activity (relatively speaking).

Perhaps Paco has a more definitive answer for you.
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Anon#1, just memorize this peculiarity of English language.

Anon#2, thank you.
Either you know a person or you don't. It's not a voluntary act from you. You cannot decide to engage in the process of "knowing", then stop it. It's an "either / or" situation, same as "to like, love, understand, believe, forget, remember, etc, etc..."
PieanneEither you know a person or you don't. It's not a voluntary act from you. You cannot decide to engage in the process of "knowing", then stop it. It's an "either / or" situation, same as "to like, love, understand, believe, forget, remember, etc, etc..."

?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.
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