I am aware that the verb want is a stative verb and many grammar books and teachers say it is correct to use it in the continuous form. But as is the case with lot of stative cases, there some instances in which they can be used to the continuous form to communicate a different flavor of meaning. So that has gottem me thinking about if it is possible to use want in the continuous form to express a stronger desire for something or to do something. For example:

I am wanting that phone really bad.

If it is possible, then how commonly is it is used in the progressive form by English native speakers?

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? "I am wanting food"; Does it sound strange or not? Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:39
  • I am wanting that is definitely not "okay". Native speakers almost never use the continuous form with stative verbs (verbs that express a state or condition, such as want, like, be, love, feel, know, appreciate). Also note that inappropriate use of the continuous is a well-known shibboleth marking out non-native Anglophone speakers of "Indian English" in particular (many of whom speak a lot of English, and are relatively fluent, but they converse almost exclusively with others for whom English isn't their mother tongue either, so it goes uncorrected). Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:50
  • This comment would make a great answer Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 13:56
  • I wanted to add a bit more background there specifically for you. We get lots of questions about this, but as implied above, they're usually from "IE" speakers, whereas you're essentially East European / Russian. So your linguistic background may present different problems in terms of how to "get your head around" the issue. Mine is only one closevote, and it may be that your question will survive if it turns out answers here are more specifically useful to people in your situation. But I don't think I should dup VTC and post an actual answer! Commented Dec 13, 2019 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Grammatically, it's wrong - but some people might say it. Colloquial speech sometimes bends the rules of grammar, which I know isn't helpful to someone learning English.

For example, McDonald's advertising slogan "I'm lovin' it" is grammatically wrong because "love" is a stative verb, and stative verbs cannot be used in the continuous tense. But people do say "I'm loving this", and in an attempt to be zeitgeisty, the slogan mimicks that kind of colloquial speech.

If "I'm lovin' it" is acceptable, then "I'm wanting that" might be too, but they are not grammatically correct.

If you want to express a stronger desire than simply saying you "want" something, and you want to be grammatically correct, there is the expression to have a longing for.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .