Use of stative verbs or progressive imperfect tense.


In one area, servers ask, "how's everything tasting"? This bothers me, as I think they should not use that verb in that way. Please help!

asked Sep 06 '13 at 17:34 Karen Kramberg New member

3 answers


I can see what you mean, but I don't think it's worth getting bothered about. "How does everything taste?" might be more correct, but it loses some of the friendliness.

link answered Sep 06 '13 at 21:06 Actually Holly Expert

Thanks, Holly, but friendly or not, I would like the complete grammar explanation or where to find it. I took advanced grammar in college, but cannot find my usage book, and thought that grammarly would be faster. Is it the difference between a verb of action or a verb of state? Is it the use (incorrect or correct) of the progressive tense, e.g. an action still taking place? Inquiring minds want to know, or want to find out without having to call Edwin Newman in a séance!

Karen KrambergSep 07 '13 at 19:13

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Allow me to answer your wonderful question with my USUAL VERVE.


Your concern about "using that verb that way" is actually an inaccurate observation since "tasting" is no longer a verb.



"is" is your verb

"everything" is your complement



"How is everything?" is a complete sentence


"tasting" is actually a present participle being used as an adjective to modify the indefinite pronoun "everything"



Because it is an INDEFINITE pronoun and the adjective "tasting" gives DEFINITENESS to "everything"


There are a billion trillion million participles you could have used (HYPERBOLE!) and, no, there is nothing wrong with "tasting" clarifying 'everything'.


"How is everything going?"

"How is everyone doing?"

"How is everything hanging?" Say it to dudes, brah.  Socially inappropriate for girls, brah.


And so on


Do you love me answering your question like a ticked off teenager?


"It is good to be king."  ~The Burger King

link edited Sep 10 '13 at 00:05 Aaron Prejean Expert

GeorgeOct 21 '16 at 00:58

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The answer is that is an incorrect use of a non-action verb, which should be used in the present perfect form, not the present progressive form with an -ing. 

link answered Sep 07 '13 at 19:21 Karen Kramberg New member


Aaron PrejeanSep 10 '13 at 00:04

Well, I do see your point, but I did consult someone before posting about this particular sentence, which is used everywhere by everyone (I can use hyperbole, too, and, by the way, the "ridiculous" word was hyperbole as well). Even though I do like your analysis, the sentence "How does everything taste"? is, to me (and my English Professor consultant) more correct. All the verbs you used above, hanging, etc. ARE action verbs when used as verbs, so I think that this particular turn of phrase will still bug me. It is an area colloquialism, but I just can't swallow it. . . Thanks for being my new best friend!

Karen KrambergSep 12 '13 at 15:21

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