Non-Continuous Verbs

The group of Non-Continuous Verbs contains those verbs which are rarely or never used in continuous tenses.

For example, let's the verb hate.We can not say:

  • I'm hating you.

But we can say:

  • I hate you. 

Well, that might not have been the best verb to use... :-)

Anyway, the Non-Continuous Verbs can be divided into several categories.

Mental and Emotional Verbs

  • believe
  • dislike
  • doubt
  • imagine
  • know
  • like
  • love
  • hate
  • prefer
  • realize
  • recognize
  • remember
  • suppose
  • understand
  • want
  • wish

Communication Verbs

  • agree
  • astonish
  • deny
  • disagree
  • impress
  • mean
  • please
  • promise
  • satisfy
  • surprise


Abstract Verbs

  • be
  • want
  • cost
  • seem
  • need
  • care
  • contain
  • owe
  • exist


Sense Verbs

  • appear
  • hear
  • see
  • seem
  • smell
  • sound
  • taste


Possession Verbs

  • to possess
  • to own
  • to belong


I know: the list is long. But don't worry—you do not have to know all these verbs by heart! The best way to avoid mistakes is to read as much as you can in English. After a while, it will become easy for you to tell whether a given verb takes continuous form or not.

Also, there is a very interesting group of verbs whose meaning can change depending on which form they take—continuous or non-continuous.


    What's also so stupid about

    What's also so stupid about this rule is 'non-continuous verbs are never or rarely used in continuous tenses'

    hello! wat the heck is 'rarely used'? if rarely used, then they can be used and must not be incorrect. that's why they are used, rarely or whatever. whoever 'invented' this so-called grammar rule must be a total retard, otherwise, he would be able to tell and clearly mention all those rarely used verbs, which would then NOT be technically non-continuous verbs.

    language isn't science. so

    language isn't science.

    so ya, there are non-continuous verbs and rules about them that native speakers can break.

    it's the same thing in all languages. sometimes native speakers can break the rules and not look like they're making a mistake. but non-native speakers look like they're making a mistake when they break the rules.

    i'm a native english speaker and a non-native speaker of two other languages. so i know what i'm talking about.

    Me again. It is now proved

    Me again. It is now proved that this whole rule of non-continuous verbs is not an English grammar rule. A Google search for "will be needing" (future continuous+(so called) non-continuous verb) on returned over 13000 results.

    I've read best-selling

    I've read best-selling novels by native English speakers, big-shot writers such as Stephen King, Sidney Sheldon, Dan Brown, and others, and have seen several of the above mentioned so-called non-continuous verbs used in continuous tenses (not present and past continuous tenses, though, but in present perfect continuous, past perfect continuous, future continuous, and future perfect continuous tenses), is it that English is a confused (not confusing) language? Can someone please demystify why writers like King, Sheldon, Brown and others used the so-called non-continuous verbs in continuous tenses in their best-selling novels if non-continuous verbs used in continuous tenses are incorrect grammar?

    It's me again. Alright,

    It's me again. Alright, continuous tenses are present continuous, past continuous, and future continuous, not perfect continuous. But how would you define McDonalds slogan "I'm Loving It?" Are you trying to say that those thousands of dollars that McDonalds paid to the native english speaker writer have gone in vain and that the native english writer was and is wrong? I really think that this rule that there exist this kind of verbs called non-continuous verbs and then they can't be used in continuous tenses is a lie. I think that some non-native english speaker somewhere on the internet came up with this rule and wrote about it and then other so-called english teaching websites stupidly copied the rule on their websites. Seriously, what's wrong with "I am loving these pies"? "I am not understanding your questions" and lots of other continuous tense sentences having the so-called non-continuous verbs?

    Haha so funny that you have

    Haha so funny that you have given the McDonalds slogan as an example. I was totally stumped teaching an English lesson about non-continuous stative verbs when a student asked me this. There are 2 answers.
    1)McDonalds paid someone a lot of money (I think it was Interbrand) to come up with that slogan. The very fact that it is irregular is what makes it stand out. Very good slogan indeed. Even people who can’t speak English know it.
    2) Language is transient and dynamic. Always has been. The rules of grammar slowly become obsolete as colloquial language changes. Another thing people have started to say is ‘Hating on’ someone or something, rather than simply hating it. I think that one comes from black vernacular. Apparently English will be reduced to pidgin form over the next 2 decades anyway. Which will put a lot of teachers out of a job for one thing.

    Me again. Another proof that

    Me again. Another proof that the rule under discussion is a lie: Consider the last part of the last sentence of my last post:

    "...and lots of other continuous tense sentences "having" the so-called non-continuous verbs?"

    note the use of "having" above. now, who is saying that just 'have' was to be put there?

    I am so happy that I saw

    I am so happy that I saw this discussion. I was studying and than I found this wierd rule that made no sense to me. So, I searched more to see if I could find better explanations about it, but I didn't find it. It's like you said, it seems someone posted it on internet and other people copied. Its always the same text about the supposed three types of verbs, some with a few changes,nothing significantly. But, if it is REALLY true, can someone indicate me a BOOK ( not a webpage) with this rule?