Grammar Reference

Stative verbs in the continuous form

Verbs with two meanings

Some state verbs can be used in the continuous form to talk about a temporary action or an action happening in the present. However, some state verbs can be used as action verbs in the present continuous form with a change of meaning. Here are some examples:

Bernard looks healthy. (his appearance now)
was looking out the window at the rain. (watching the rain)

Does Maria have a piano? (own)
They are having lunch with their mother today. (eating)

don't hear the music playing. (hear with my ears) 
Our manager will be hearing our presentation today. (will be listening to)

Lola feels that we were rude. (thinks)
How has your father been feeling? (how is his health)

That perfume smells good. (has a good scent) 
The boy is smelling the flowers. (sniffing at)

The new baby weighs 3 kg. (her weight is 3 kg)
The woman is weighing the apples. (measuring their weight)

They are good writers. (it's a fact)
Bob is being crazy. (behaving in a crazy way)

What do you see on the wall? (notice with your eyes) 
They are seeing their cousins tomorrow. (will visit)

Informal English

In very informal English, the continuous form is sometimes used with state verbs. An example is the restaurant advertisement that says, ‘I’m loving it!’ You might also hear someone say, ‘I’m hating this movie.’ The -ing form of the verbs in these examples have a sense of being temporary.

(Right now) I’m hating this movie.
(General opinion) I like the move I saw last week.