Non Continuous Verbs – Examples

We all know that verbs are the words that help us describe an action that we can do. They belong to the eight parts of speech and are a core unit in English grammar. However, you must have learned that all verbs are not the same and cannot be used in every form.

In this article, we will discuss about one such verb called the non continuous verb. Verbs are of different types, and non-continuous verbs are one of them. These are the kind of verbs that cannot be used in a progressive or continuous form, as the name suggests.

So, let us try to go deeper into its meaning and uses to understand and avoid any confusions that are very common while using non-continuous verbs.

What are Non Continuous Verbs?

Verbs are used in all kinds of forms. But some verbs specifically cannot be used in continuous form. So, these verbs that normally cannot be applied in a continuous form are said to be non-continuous verbs. This type of verbs is usually related to mental processes, sense of perception, or emotional states. It means these are basically the verbs that one cannot see someone doing it.

In a simple sense, we can say that non-continuous verbs are more of a state of someone or something rather than an action that can be expressed in a progressive or continuous aspect. They are processes that take place mentally, emotionally, or in a possessive manner.

Let us look at some of the common non continuous verbs.

  • Verbs of emotion: wish, love, hate, hope, etc.
  • Verbs of perception: smell, notice, see, hear, etc.
  • Verbs of thinking: believe, agree, understand, imagine, etc.
  • Verbs of possession: possess, belong, own, contain, etc.

Now, let us try to understand with some examples.

I hear a noise coming from the next room. (Correct)
I am hearing a noise from the next room. (Incorrect)

I hope I can see my dog soon. (Correct)
I am hoping I can see my dog. (Incorrect)

So, we see the verbs related to emotions or perceptions are not used in the continuous tense. In short, they are stative verbs.

Verbs with Different meaning

We have learned that non-continuous verbs are not applicable in progressive aspects. However, some verbs can be a little different. This is where it gets a little tricky, but it is not that hard to understand.

When we say different, it means that some non-progressive verbs can be used in a progressive form. Or simply that some verbs are applicable in both continuous and non-continuous forms. These types of verbs are known as mixed verbs. However, when non-continuous verbs are used in a continuous form, their meaning ultimately changes. Hence, they are different.

For example:

• I see the girl in your class. (non-continuous)
I can see the girl with my eyes.

• I am seeing the dentist tomorrow. (normal)
I am visiting the doctor.

• I miss my home. (non-continuous)
I am emotionally sad I am not home.

• Shreya is missing her dance classes. (normal)
Shreya is not there for her classes.

Here, we can see that when verbs act as non-continuous verbs, they mean different from the normal verbs.

So, these are the basic points that will help you understand non-continuous verbs. While they can be tricky, it is not very hard to learn once you grasp the concept.

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