4

I've heard native speakers saying things like:

I've been liking her/loving her/wanting to be with her for a long time now.

They are having a bath.

I'm wanting to go on vacation, but I don't have free time.

I've been liking these south swells lately!

I'm hoping to pass the exam next year.

Is it grammatically correct to use stative verbs in the progressive tense when talking about relatively long-lasting or enduring situations, as in the aforementioned examples?

Can we use these progressive forms in formal documents?

Can we say that it has become "correct" to use stative verbs in the progressive tense, at least colloquially?

2

I don't think your question can be answered with simple rules. It seems to be a matter of experience.

I've been liking her for a long time now.
I've been wanting to be with her for a long time now.
I've been liking these south swells lately!
I'm wanting to go on vacation, but I don't have free time.

These are correct but awkward because of their cadence, or perhaps simply because they don't have much precedent. Sometimes speakers use this construction to sound deliberately colloquial. I would say these sentences don't work formally because they aren't conservative enough.

I've been loving her for a long time now.

This is another awkward construction. This use of "loving" can sometimes be vernacular for "being a lover of".

They are having a bath.

This is formally correct but archaic. We say "taking a bath" now.

I'm hoping to pass the exam next year.

I believe this is formally correct due to precedent.

  • The baby is having a bath. The dog is being given a bath. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 2 '15 at 19:19
  • Right, missed those. Point taken. – MackTuesday Nov 2 '15 at 22:29
  • "having a bath" is idiomatic British English – Some_Guy Dec 16 '18 at 13:43

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