Is the word "think" stative or dynamic?


When can I use present continuous for think?


Posted 2013-02-27T12:05:17.580

Reputation: 283



When you have a opinion, the word "think" is stative, for example:

I think that coffee is great

But when you want to use it for considering or to express what you have in your head, it's dynamic, for example:

What are you thinking about? I'm thinking about my next holiday.


Posted 2013-02-27T12:05:17.580

Reputation: 900

1I think you're mostly right, but I want to point out that there's a long-term trend toward using so-called "stative verbs" with the progressive aspect, and it's difficult to pin down when exactly it's natural to do so. See for example the McDonald's slogan "I'm lovin' it". – snailplane – 2013-02-27T12:44:40.030

7Excellent point; but @omid and other Learners should also know that this is not Standard English and should not be employed in any but casual use. The slogan is only effective because it violates ordinary expectations. I think, moreover, that what we are seeing here is less a 'trend' than invention of new uses for old words, which happens continually - as in my use of are seeing, which represents a common extension of see to mean observe. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2013-02-27T13:23:52.460

3I agree with StoneyB, and tend to resist the trend snailplane noted, especially the McDonald's slogan. Using love and think (the latter in the sense of believe) in present continuous tense is only acceptable IMHO to describe a temporary stance - I am loving the novel so far, but I haven't finished reading it yet; I am thinking that she may be the right woman for me, but I may change my mind. Even in such temporary contexts, the simple present tense would be preferred for standard, correct grammaticality. – Shawn Mooney – 2013-02-27T14:14:21.903