There are verbs that are not normally used in the Continuous Aspect because of their lexical meaning. These include:
- verbs denoting instant actions: Jackson kicks the ball and scores the final goal.
- verbs denoting universal truths and permanent characteristics: Fish swim.
- verbs of inert perception: The flower smells nice.
- verbs of mental activity: I remember what he said.
- verbs of feeling: I don’t like lazy people.
- verbs denoting relation: This book belongs to his brother.
These verbs are commonly used in the Simple Aspect. Using them in the Continuous Aspect implies a voluntary action:
a) we can replace them with synonyms:
ex: I hear something. versus I am listening to music.
b) we can use verbs denoting permanent states as verbs denoting activities:
ex: The cake tastes good versus I am tasting the cake.
I think you are right versus He is thinking of his future.
c) we can use them with other meanings:
ex: I am seeing my doctor tomorrow (meet)
He is having a party. (throw a party)
d) we can use them to express an exception, a temporary situation:
ex: He is kind versus He is being kind today.
e) we can use them in the Continuous Aspect to denote a gradual intensification of the action: Peter is resembling his father more and more.