From the movie Misery:

— You're being taken seriously.
— I'm delighted the critics are liking it.

Is the use of like correct in its continuous form?
I know that state verbs are not normally used on continuous tenses, but is this exception correct here?

  • 1
    Yes, it is. Another option would be "enjoying it."
    – Alex K
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 2:18
  • 1
    "I'm delighted the critics like it" would almost mean the same. The difference is very slight.
    – rogermue
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 5:28
  • @AlexK I've seen that one often used than liking. Is it enjoying more used?
    – Schwale
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 12:52

2 Answers 2


Many Americans and some British English speakers find the use of liking here acceptable. This is presumably due to high levels of immigration into the USA and the difficulty immigrants have learning to contrast simple and continuous tenses. This tense 'misuse' is then spread to other countries such as the UK through TV and films. There are times when the grammar 'error' can be used very effectively to add a dimension of meaning.

However, if you take an American exam such as TOEFL such uses will be marked incorrect.


In your example, liking is used correctly and goes beyond just being synonymous with approving or accepting for which

I'm delighted the critics like it

would suffice. Using liking indicates the critics not only like it but enjoy it (per @AlexK) and find multiple aspects appealing.

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