Find or Finding

Please tell me which sentence is correct. When do we use “find” and when do use “finding”?

  1. I am finding it hard to understand this book.

  2. I find it hard to understand this book.

If both are correct, is there any difference in their meaning or connotation?

I think the first one is correct.


  1. I am finding it hard to understand this book.

After reading the particular Book thoroughly one finding it it may be correct.

  1. I find it hard to understand this book.
    The second one is certainly wrong.

Hi chocolatee

In my opinion, both sentences are absolutely correct, but there is a difference in connotation. I’ll start with the second sentence.

  1. I find it hard to understand this book.
    For me, this is a general statement of fact or opinion, with no feeling of time involved. (e.g. I think it is hard to understand this book. No matter how many times I look at it, it’s always hard to understand.)

But, you could also use this sentence to talk about a current (first time) reading of the book. The verb ‘find’ can indicate an opinion. Verbs of “opinion” often/usually are not used in the continuous form at all. For example, you should not say “I am thinking this is an interesting book.” You should say “I think this is an interesting book” — even if you’re currently in the middle of reading the book for the first time.

So, I find your second sentence to be pretty standard. :smiley:

  1. I am finding it hard to understand this book.
    This sentence clearly refers only to a current, on-going situation and emphasizes that. For me, it indicates that your difficulties in understanding have just recently begun (because you’ve just recently started reading the book). Possibly you also want to imply or emphasize that the difficulties are “currently in the process of growing or developing”.

That’s my gut feeling. Hope it helps.

Thank you for the explanation. It certainly made their connotations clearer to me. I guess the two forms have different usage then.


Sorry for bringing up confusion again! :frowning:

Looking into my Grammar Book I found an explanation concerning this theme. It describes that you can use the progressive verb form for activity verbs only. Further there are three kinds of state verbs. One of them is the verb of meaning, knowing and guessing. State verbs can be used in the simple form only.

Now I wonder whether the verb ?find? in that sentence is an activity verb or a state verb? :?

Really confused


Hi Michael,

It is confsing as you say:

There is always a danger of saying that you can’t do something in English and then someone comes along with an exception. Perhaps it’s better to say that there is a difference in meaning and usage between stative and dynamic (activity) verbs although generally stative verbs are syntactically used in the simple form. Let me give you an example. You would say Charlie loves Mary and not usually Charlie is loving Mary. Some verbs can in fact be both stative and dynamic as in: Fred has a big nose and Fred is having problems with his nose. Again Charlie loves Mary and now they are both on holiday and just loving every moment.

I hope this explains what I mean by meaning and usage. The same applies to the verb find - If you find (discover) the answer, tell me. Again If you are finding (experiencing) the exercise difficult, tell me.


Hi Alan!

Thank you for your explanation! Reading your reply and having a new look into my Grammar Book I think I understand. ?To find? is a verb of perception and not meaning and can be used both way (stative or dynamik) in this senence. So the possibilities are:

I (generally) find it hard to understand the book. My intelligence will never reach the neccessary level to understand it.
I?m (actually) finding it hard to understand the book. After improving my skills I?ll be able to understand it.

similar to Fred?s nose:

Fred has (generally) a big nose! Compared to other noses Fred?s nose is big!
Fred is having (Fred?s actually personal opinion) problems with his nose. He not neccessary intrinsic has a big nose!

Is that correct Alan?