Is to hope a non-continuous verb? I think so, but I am not quite sure.

On the internet I found this explanation: non-continuous verbs are usually things you cannot see somebody doing. These verbs are rarely used in continuous tenses.

They include:

Abstract Verbs

to be, to want, to cost, to seem, to need, to care, to contain, to owe, to exist...

Possession Verbs

to possess, to own, to belong...

Emotion Verbs

to like, to love, to hate, to dislike, to fear, to envy, to mind...


1 Answer 1


With respect to the question, E.V., I believe that hope is either a normal verb or a non-continuous "emotion" verb that is an exception to the normal rules (of which English is notorious). To prove this, we can apply the same rules that your source (which I found at EnglishPage) does. Those rules are:

  1. You can't see someone doing the action the verb describes.
  2. Using them in a progressive tense would sound wrong.
  3. They don't have a different meaning when used in the progressive tense (that would instead make them a Mixed Verb).
  4. They can't be used in all tenses (like a Normal Verb).

So let's start with the first point. Can you see someone hope? I believe the answer to this is yes. Like prayer, hope can take place completely mentally, but it may be accompanied by outwardly visible action; the person who crosses their fingers and keeps chanting "keep it up" as they watch a race occur or an athlete perform, for example.

Second point, can you use it in the progressive tense? "I am hoping my friend gets high marks on her gymnastic routine," is as grammatically valid as, "I hope my friend gets high marks on her gymnastic routine." And that brings us to the third point; does using the progressive tense change the meaning of the two examples we just used? No, I don't believe it does.

Finally, to our fourth point. Can it be used in all tenses? I'd say so.

  • I (had) hoped to make the team before I broke my leg. (past)
  • I hope to make the team. (present)
  • I am hoping to make to make the team. (present progressive)
  • I (am going to / shall) hope to make the team once I'm healthy enough. (future)
  • You wouldn't usually use hope in the future. This would imply that you're planning to hope something, but that you don't currently hope it. This is certainly rare, although I can imagine it ... "Right now, I hope the Mets win, but I'm moving to LA in January, so I will hope that the Dodgers win next year." Oct 28, 2015 at 23:06

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