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pash
10-28-2006, 12:41 PM
Sentential aspect

I've heard both these expressions in my years in Britain, but never really known why a speaker would choose one over the other in different contexts. What, IYO, could be the reasons for choosing one over the other?

I'm really loving this holiday.
I really love this holiday.

alleycat
10-28-2006, 03:42 PM
One thought, not as a grammarian, is that the first example would be used in the subjective sense, that the speaker is talking about himself loving his experiences during this particular holiday, while the second example is a statement in general about how he feels about the holiday (which, in some contexts, might also include the speaker's current experience).

That's kind of a clunky explanation; someone else can probably do a better job of it.

ac

Sandi LeFaucheur
10-28-2006, 03:49 PM
I'm really loving this holiday.

I hate this! It's the same as the McDonald's commercial "I'm loving it". I might have been walking around with my head in a sack, but I haven't heard this sort of phraseology (for which I'm not clever enough to know the correct term) so much until the last couple of years. To me, it sounds unnecessary. There's nothing wrong with "I love it."

So they say it in Britain, too, now? Sad. (I left in 2000.)

pash
10-28-2006, 04:10 PM
One thought, not as a grammarian, is that the first example would be used in the subjective sense, that the speaker is talking about himself loving his experiences during this particular holiday, while the second example is a statement in general about how he feels about the holiday (which, in some contexts, might also include the speaker's current experience).

That's kind of a clunky explanation; someone else can probably do a better job of it.

ac
No, it's a good explanation. I never thought about subjectivity being used there. Many thanks.

pash
10-28-2006, 04:12 PM
There's nothing wrong with "I love it."



Unless a certain speaker finds that "I love it" does not express exactly the idea he/she has.

Maryn
10-28-2006, 06:37 PM
Worth noting that anybody who writes a screenplay will cure himself of using progressive verb tenses in no time, except when required. Any reader who knows what he's doing will smack your knuckles for sentences like Jack is sitting in the car.

C'mon, maybe you'll get rich and/or meet a movie star.

Maryn, who'd enjoy the former

pash
10-29-2006, 08:03 PM
Is this incorrect in your variant?

"Are you wanting tea, or coffee ...?"

aghast
10-29-2006, 08:16 PM
i love this holiday is simply a statement but i am loving this holiday is an expression of an emotion as alleycat mentioned - i am loving it is a proclamation plus it also tells us that the person saying it is still on the holiday and still loving it and will still be loving it the next time you ask him

Sandi LeFaucheur
10-29-2006, 09:32 PM
Is this incorrect in your variant?

"Are you wanting tea, or coffee ...?"

I'd say "Would you like tea or coffee?" I'm afraid "are you wanting..." sounds impolite to these middle-aged ears.

And aghast: flaming heck don't you think a little punctuation and the odd capital letter makes your comment easier to read quite frankly my dear i am aghast that a writer would write in such a manner it is quite quite difficult to read sorry but that is how i feel

pash
10-30-2006, 12:12 AM
And aghast: flaming heck don't you think a little punctuation and the odd capital letter makes your comment easier to read quite frankly my dear i am aghast that a writer would write in such a manner it is quite quite difficult to read sorry but that is how i feel

Sorry? What are you referring to?

Sandi LeFaucheur
10-30-2006, 12:32 AM
Sorry? What are you referring to?

Sorry, Pash. The last part of my post was regarding "aghast's" lack of punctuation and caps. I guess I should have quoted the post to make it clearer! My apologies.

Medievalist
10-30-2006, 12:59 AM
The "are you wanting tea or coffee" is Irish English, and it's got the underlying verb pattern of Irish -- I've heard this sort of sentence from native speakers of Irish and Welsh (both of which use this kind of sentence) as well as from those who are only English speakers but in Wales or Ireland.

You'll also see the "will you be wanting . . ." and "Is it coffee or tea you want . . ."

I do wonder if it isn't an example of the VSO pattern asserting itself in the dialect.

Medievalist
10-30-2006, 01:01 AM
I am loving this holiday is interesting to an American because I suspect "holiday" here is being used where we would use "vacation."

One might say "I am loving this holiday/vacation" during the holiday, as a statement about an action that occurs in the present but is continued (the holiday isn't yet over . . .)

ComicBent
10-30-2006, 01:08 AM
*I'm really loving this holiday* vs. *I really love this holiday.*

*Are you wanting tea or coffee?* vs. *Do you want tea or coffee?*

Well, there are subtle differences between the progressive and nonprogressive forms.

In the "holiday" example, the implication is that the speaker is emphasizing the continuous nature of the experience. He acknowledges that the holiday is currently still taking place. However, it is not necessary to use the progressive.

In the "coffee/tea" example, the progressive is a bit odd, but could be used if there has been some kind of confusion about the request for tea/coffee, and now the person pins it down with a question in the progressive (which acknowledges that the subject is already in play and being discussed). Again, though, you do not have to use the progressive.

These are very fine distinctions that make sense to a native speaker who is very conscious of language.

pash
10-30-2006, 11:20 AM
Sorry, Pash. The last part of my post was regarding "aghast's" lack of punctuation and caps. I guess I should have quoted the post to make it clearer! My apologies.

No problem. It was the "Aghast" that threw we. I hadn't realised it was someone's name.

Back to the topic at hand.

Would you use such as this?

Little Donny is resembling his grandfather more and more these days.

pash
10-30-2006, 11:23 AM
I do wonder if it isn't an example of the VSO pattern asserting itself in the dialect.

Whatever it is, the use of the progressive where once was the simple form seems to be spreading:



The progressive, stative verbs, and change in Canadian English

Growing use of progressive forms with stative verbs, bolded in (1), where previously only simple

tenses (ST), underlined in (1), were allowed, is an oft-cited example of change in contemporary

English (Aitchison 1991; Jespersen 1933; Potter 1975, among others). This putative

encroachment of the progressive on the domain of ST should presumably result in the

restructuring of the stative paradigm, with the progressive either taking over some of ST’s

functions or developing new ones of its own.

(1) I know what I’m thinking and they’re all thinking the same thing. (QEC/QC/021/163)

http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/NWAV/Abstracts/Papr179.pdf

pash
10-30-2006, 11:26 AM
<In the "holiday" example, the implication is that the speaker is emphasizing the continuous nature of the experience. He acknowledges that the holiday is currently still taking place. However, it is not necessary to use the progressive.>

Why is it not necessary if you admit that there are subtle differences?

<These are very fine distinctions that make sense to a native speaker who is very conscious of language.>

And don't you think that can also make sense to us, non-natives, if we are told how to use each form?

pash
10-30-2006, 12:17 PM
<The "are you wanting tea or coffee" is Irish English, and it's got the underlying verb pattern of Irish -- I've heard this sort of sentence from native speakers of Irish and Welsh (both of which use this kind of sentence) as well as from those who are only English speakers but in Wales or Ireland.>

Would you say that these example are also Irish English?

Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be? (Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?) by L. May Wheeler

Women have husbands, they are protected
Women have sons by whom they're directed
Women have fathers, they're not neglected
Why are they wanting to vote?

...............

Here, a combination of both forms are being used:

Businesses-
Individual staff members that need support and/or are ready to make positive changes.

Are they wanting to make a significant shift in direction but are unclear what this is and/or how to do this?
Are they wanting to reduce the stress in their life?
Do they want a greater sense of well-being and enjoyment?
Are they wanting to achieve goals more easily?

http://www.realisepotential.co.nz/programme.html

..........

Are You Wanting a Quick Home Sale?

http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/rts/224412271.html

..........

Are you wanting to find out more about the "heart 'n' soul" of our ministry and whether you "connect" with my message? Go to my About Our Ministry page.

http://www.homeschooloasis.com/how_to_make_the_most_of_visit.htm

pash
10-30-2006, 12:21 PM
It looks like the use is more widespread that the Irish/Welsh English usage mentioned by Medieval.

"English as a Second Language textbooks and grammar references proscribe the use of stative verbs in the BE + ing progressive form. They often claim that utterances such as 'I'm not understanding this' or 'Are you wanting tea, or coffee ... ?' are unacceptable in standard American English, yet these utterances are frequently used by educated, native speakers in formal and informal discourse, in public and in private."

http://digitalcommons.libraries.columbia.edu/dissertations/AAI9839066/

pash
10-30-2006, 01:34 PM
I hate this! It's the same as the McDonald's commercial "I'm loving it". (I left in 2000.)

Would you use such as this?

Little Donny is resembling his grandfather more and more these days.

----------

How about...

Dolly:It (the cake) looks done.
Dan:You're telling me! It's been looking done for the last five minutes.

Some linguists would say that such uses are marked rather than ungrammatical. Would you agree?

K1P1
10-30-2006, 03:54 PM
Pash, I'm not a linguist so can't answer you on that basis. I am, however, a native English speaker (of American English). I do not believe that one form is correct while the other is not. There are several reasons to choose one over the other.

1) One of your examples is a poem or song. Use of the present participle form (ending in -ing) makes a difference in the meter, so a poet or lyricist would choose it if an additional syllable or a shift in meter is required. It could also be chosen for stylistic reasons in prose.

2) In all of the cases you've given (I believe, I may have missed one or two that are formal), the use of the "progressive stative" is colloquial rather than formal. It is perfectly correct in spoken English and in informal written English. It would probably be less correct, however, in formal writing (government documents, academic papers, letters to someone you would address formally). The example in your last post falls into this category. "You're telling me!" is a colloquial expression that was frequently used by American speakers of English (although it's beginning to sound a bit dated and it may be regional).

3) The "progressive stative" indicates something that is currently happening and will continue to happen for an indefinite period in the future. This does make it subtly different than the simple present tense of the verb which carries no indication of the action continuing into the future.

I hope this clarifies a bit. The question of "wrong" or "right" doesn't really apply, in my opinion (which is NOT that of a linguist or grammarian, but of an editor); the question of more or less correct in a given context is what's important.

poetinahat
10-30-2006, 04:10 PM
Is this incorrect in your variant?

"Are you wanting tea, or coffee ...?"
I'd call it incorrect.

Without knowing the technical basis for my reason, I'd say this construction sounds "foreign" - the sort of thing one would say if English weren't one's first language.

The original example -- "I'm really loving this holiday" -- I think is just in vogue right now (as also evidenced by the McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" example Sandi mentioned earlier).

"I'm enjoying this holiday," however, is correct.

pash
10-30-2006, 04:15 PM
>Without knowing the technical basis for my reason, I'd say this construction sounds "foreign" - the sort of thing one would say if English weren't one's first language.>


Yet Medieval has said that it used in Irish English, to mention one variant. I understand that you see it as incorrect in your variant, and thank you for answering my main question, but are you familar with other variants?

pash
10-30-2006, 04:16 PM
<I hope this clarifies a bit. The question of "wrong" or "right" doesn't really apply, in my opinion (which is NOT that of a linguist or grammarian, but of an editor); the question of more or less correct in a given context is what's important.>

It clarifies a lot. Many thanks.

poetinahat
10-30-2006, 04:25 PM
Medievalist knows her stuff, and she's excellent about sharing her knowledge.

I told you what I know from my own experience, which is as an American. Perhaps my unilateral answer is a result of not being a linguist, and neglecting to acknowledge that I don't know all variants.

You asked for reasons for choosing one over the other. I gave my answer; you questioned the extent of my knowledge. I'll not trouble you any more.