I posted a question today about "Have to / having to?"
and I used the verb "find" in the progressive.
: I'm finding more and more that "having to" is also used instead of "have to".

Someone comments it's a "recency illusion" or a stereotypical characteristic of Indian English.
I'm not a native speaker of English, and I never have been in touch with Indian a bit.

I've been reading about stative verbs in the progressive
and I've seen and heard them not a few times in movies, dramas, novels, games, grammars,
most of which are put out in the U.S.A. or the U.K.,
so I thought it would be OK to use the special progressive use in proper contexts,
but now I think I'm missing something important, and I'm confused a lot.
If you know what it is, please tell me about it with good explanations and examples.

Now I'm going to show you some of the examples of the progressive with stative verbs
that I've been collecting on my own for two years or so,
(quite a few of them from grammars, some from dramas, novels and stuff...)
and I want to know you native speakers' opinions on that.

If your views on the usage diverge a lot, I'm going to have to think about which side I'm on,
and one of the two is preferred over the other, then I'll follow it.

  1. It’s mattering more and more which university you get your degree at.
  2. She is not finding London totally easy.
  3. I’m finding (=discovering, realizing) that his problem is more complicated than I had expected.
  4. No, I’m sort of thinking that I’d like to try a bit higher level heel, anyway.
  5. I’m thinking that we should pay a short visit to Clara.
  6. One night in the middle of the night, I'm hearing dripping.
  7. How are you liking your new job?
  8. I was quite liking the performance until the first interval.
  9. Tim, are you wanting any fruit?
  10. It sounds that you're wanting to take care of yourself physically as well.
  11. The only thing I'm lacking is a wardrobe.
  12. He’s forgetting his French faster and faster.
  13. I'm already forgetting what I was taught this morning.
  14. You're forgetting that our resources are not unlimited.
  15. I’m forgetting that I promised to visit Smith this evening.
  16. The river is smelling particularly bad today.
  17. My scarf is no longer smelling of lavender.
  18. She’s looking much stronger this week.
  19. You’re looking more like a sleep dog than most sleep dogs.
  20. He’s looking worse and worse by the minute.
  21. Your soup is tasting better every day.
  22. That example is sounding less and less acceptable with each repetition.

※. What I'm asking you is as follows:
1. the validity of the expression "I'm finding more and more that..." in the context of the original post
2. whether or not stative verbs in the progressive is widely acceptable
    and questions about your opinions on that
    (As I already said, if most of you reject the usage like the examples, then I should avoid it.
     If most of you welcome it, I'll keep on with it.)

  • 3
    All of these examples are perfectly natural in AmE. None of them sound specifically like InE.
    – user230
    Aug 6, 2014 at 14:57
  • @snailplane Thanks. Did you check the previous question? I've put up a link to it and typed the sentence again up in this page, so I'd like to ask you to check it out and tell me about it. Thanks again.
    – daemang
    Aug 6, 2014 at 15:23
  • Ah, I see the comment now. The commenter who wrote that is a native speaker of BrE; I am a native speaker of AmE, which is full of so-called stative progressives.
    – user230
    Aug 6, 2014 at 15:27
  • However, there is a rather large difference between InE and AmE uses of the progressive with verbs that are usually stative. None of the examples above would identify a speaker's dialect as InE, but there are a number of progressives that would.
    – user230
    Aug 6, 2014 at 15:29
  • 2
    An interesting and recent paper: "I'm loving you - and knowing it too": Aspect and so-called stative verbs.
    – user230
    Aug 7, 2014 at 11:45

2 Answers 2


Most of the examples sound fine, but these examples sound strange to me, and would make me believe the speaker is not native:

  1. 06. One night in the middle of the night, I'm hearing dripping
  2. This example sounds strange to me because progressives are rarely one-time events. If this is an unusual event, you might say "I heard dripping." However, if the speaker is about to switch into a direct, informal narrative in the historical present, it could sound perfectly natural, if informal, like this "One night, in the middle of the night, I'm hearing this dripping, so I get out of and look at the bathroom sink, and guess what I find there..." But in standard usage, I think "I heard" is preferable, because "One night" expects a past tense sentence.

  3. 09. Tim, are you wanting any fruit?
  4. "Do you want" or "Would you like" would sound much more natural to me.
  • Example 6 is taken from a grammar and it comments on the sentence that it's something like a dramatic effect. So I understand emphasis would be put on the process of sounds coming through the ear. Would you elaborate on this? The book says 'see' is the same kind of verb and can be used in the progressive to the same effect. And about Example 9, yes it's taken as an informal, or spoken, one. So I'm not going to use it in writing. Anyway, what do you think of my original sentence, "I'm finding more and more that..."? Is it acceptable to you? I think it's the point.
    – daemang
    Aug 6, 2014 at 20:00
  • I think the book meant by "emphasis" the same thing that I mean by "informal narrative." Sometimes, when telling stories in the past, we use the present tense, even though the past tense is really called for. Example "I was driving the other day, and this guy pulls out in front of me, and he's doing like 50..." Aug 6, 2014 at 20:17
  • 2
    Regarding your main question, I would use "I'm having to" instead of "I have to" in two situations: Either when it's going on right now ("I'm having to go through my laptop and find all these old files...") or when there's a change in how often it happens ("More and more often, I'm having manually fix errors I thought spell check was supposed to catch"). Does that make sense? Aug 6, 2014 at 20:19
  • Thanks for your answers. :) Now I think Im coming closer to the difference between "have to" and "having to". And what I wanted you to tell me about is the verb "find" in the progressive with a that clause. I used "Im finding more and more that (...)" in the original question and do you think it`s natural in the context?
    – daemang
    Aug 6, 2014 at 20:29
  • 1
    I think that "I'm finding more and more that..." sounds perfectly natural. It's like the second example in my comment about "having to" vs. "have to." Aug 6, 2014 at 20:35

2 & 6 do not sound like American English to me. 7-11 sound marginal and I would reword them; they appear to be someone trying to sound British.

  • 7 sounds exactly like someone being British. Mar 24, 2018 at 11:54

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