Reply to "is wanting"

apple posted:

At the 2019 Wimbledon men's singles final match between Federer and Djocovic, one of the two commentators said "seems like Federer is wanting to finish more and more points at the net".

Hi, Apple,

The usage of the progressive with "want" ("is wanting to") is indeed abnormal. However, it does sometimes occur in conversational discourse, including between commentators in news broadcasts.

The effect of using "is wanting" here is that it makes the statement informal, tentative, and confined to the ongoing present. It suggests temporariness. Compare: "I am loving the class" (temporary) vs. "I love the class" (fixed state).

I would never teach this usage of "is wanting" to nonnative speakers. At the same time, I would not want a nonnative speaker to assume that she had heard a grammatical error if she heard a native speaker use "is wanting" in this way.

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