Pic of someone diving into a pool ESL "I Know,"
Blues "I am knowing"

With certain verbs like "I know," "I understand," and "I own," we don't use the progressive form ("I am --- ing") when we are talking about what is happening right now.

Common Error: Now I am understanding.

These verbs are not action verbs. They often express a person's state of mind. The following list indicates those verbs where one rarely, if ever, uses the progressive form.
(Asterisks indicate that some of the verbs have different meanings where the progressive form can be used. A couple of examples follow.)
beNow I am a little tired.
believeI believe God exists.
belongThat is mine. It belongs to me.
existMany people believe God exists.
forget--"What's her name?" --"I forget."
hateI hate this show. Let's leave.
have*She has a beautiful family.
hearOk. Now I hear it. It's not very loud.
knowNow I know the answer. I'm glad.
like (dislike)I like Susan but I dislike her husband.
look likeThere are a lot of clouds. It looks like rain.
loveI love the show. Let's stay until the end.
mean"Exhausted" means "extremely tired."
mind*I have to leave. I hope you don't mind.
needPlease come! I need your help.
oweYou paid the bill, so I owe you at least $20.
ownThis is not my book. I don't know who owns it.
preferI like tea but I prefer coffee.
realizeNow I realize the problem. I don't study enough.
rememberNow I remember where I left my keys.
see*I see the sign but I can't read it. It's in Spanish.
seemBill seems to be depressed. Let's talk to him.
supposeI don't want to go but I suppose I should.
think* (= believe)I think (believe) that he is wrong and you are right.
understandNow I understand the rule.
wantLinda called. She wants to come with us to the party.

* These verbs have other meanings, and you must use the progressive form ("I am ---- ing") if you are talking about what is happening now.

Have can also mean take (ex: a shower), eat, drink, experience (ex: problems).

Think can also mean have ideas in one's mind, plan.

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