She is smelling a black rose. (Progressive verb)

She is looking at the sky. (Temporary activity)

We say that first sentence is a progressive verb but second is a temporary activity. I believe both are temporary and progressive. Suggestions please.

  • 1
    Who says that the first excludes the second? I concur with your view. Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 13:57
  • @CopperKettle I am not saying it. It is given in a grammar book. Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 16:58
  • Then I wonder what is the name of the book, and what is the topic discussed in the chapter.. Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 17:03
  • 3
    I would say overexplanation of language or splitting hairs. There are no progressive verbs. A verb can have simple or progressive form. And both sentences mean "She is in the act of smelling a rose or looking at the sky".
    – rogermue
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


I have considered from lot of books and all I could find is that progressive verb and temporary activity is same there is no distinction between them. there are certain verbs which specifies the ongoing process on their own like seems, hear, see, tastes these verbs are known as non progressive verbs.


I am owning a house (there is nothing like owning)

I own a house.

These type of verbs use with indefinite and perfect tenses in order to specify their meaning but on the contrary these non progressive verbs when use with verb in like(swimming, dancing,singing) form specify some temporary action like in above question both smelling and looking are non progressive verb but can specify temporary action for a that point of time

"She is smelling a black rose."

  • means girl is inhaling odour from black rose progressive action.

"She is looking at the sky."

  • means girl looking towards sky not often not regularly just for now.

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