No normal person in the world hasn’t seen or heard Mcdonald’s slogan “I’m lovin’ it.” It’s everywhere on TV, the radio, newspapers, and billboards.
It has also been translated into so many different languages all over the world. For instance,
Korean: 나는 그것을 사랑 해요!
Korean: 나는 그것을 사랑 해요!
Russian: вот что я люблю!
German: Ich liebe es!
French: C’est tout ce que j’aime!
Spanish: Me encanta!
But today we’re here to answer the question in everyone’s mind, whether the world-famous slogan “I’m lovin’ it” is in fact grammatically right.
Stative Verbs and Action Verbs
If you haven't learned it yet, you should. There is actually another kind of Verb different from Action Verbs, and they are called Stative Verbs.
What the hell are Stative Verbs?
Stative Verbs, true to their name, mean conditions and states; not actions. They usually talk about mental, emotional, and other states.
Here are some examples of Stative Verbs:
know, believe, understand, like, love, hate, want, need, prefer, realize, suppose, mean, remember, belong, fit, contain, consist, seem etc.
Why Are Stative Verbs Important?
Stative Verbs are very important to know because, as a matter of fact, we usually don’t use them in V+ing form (!), unlike the Action Verbs.
Take a look:
1. I’m believing my girlfriend.
2. I’m understanding your situation.
3. I have been knowing my best friend for a long time.
4. I have been liking hip hop music since I was young.
As you can feel, the examples above sound strange. That’s because, like I told you, we don’t usually use Stative Verbs (believe, understand, know, and like) in V+ing form.
All our sentences above should be changed to:
1. I believe my girlfriend. = Ok
2. I understand your situation. = Ok
3. I have known my best friend for a long time. = Ok
4. I have liked hip hop music since I was young. = Ok
How about “I’m Lovin’ It”?
The word “Love” is considered a Stative Verb. But aside from Mcdonald's slogan, there have been some other instances when it acted like an Action Verb.
The most notable examples are:
1. The Scorpions, a German rock band, made a song titled “Still Loving You” in the 1980s.
2. People in the fashion industry started using the expression “I’m loving (this style or that style).”
According to the original rule on Stative Verbs, the word “Love” shouldn’t be used in V+ing. But nothing stops people from using the language in a special way.
This means that people have a kind of creative license to change parts of the language. They’re free to break away from what’s common, to express more of what they feel when it’s appropriate in the situation.
For example, Mcdonalds benefited from this “ungrammatical” slogan because they were able to catch the attention of many people, and they deeply imprinted this in the memory of their customers. This would have been less possible if they had stuck with the normal and standard.
On the other hand, learners and non-native speakers should still be careful not to change any part of the language by themselves. Of course, abusing freedom in the different use of a language will be considered strange and wrong.
Especially if you're still not familiar with how to use Stative Verbs in general, it’s a whole lot better for you to follow what’s standard.
In the end, the English language is very much alive and changing day by day. Some other Stative Verbs are starting to blur the border to becoming an Action Verb as well, and if more and more people accept it, in the end, a word will make a new part of the English language.
If so, “Loving” is first in line.