indefinite or continuous?

Their future looks uncertain.

Is it better to use the continuous tense here?


I believe the ‘look’ is a linking verb there, like in ‘That sausage looks good.‘ That is, you can’t say it in continuous as there is no action really. If ‘look’ was used to describe an action, you could well go for continuous:” I`m looking out for another job”, “He’s looking at you” etc.

You could be on the right track.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Hello, E2e4:

As I understand it, some so-called stative verbs may used in the present progressive if they refer to the idea of “more and more.”

You have probably heard of McDonald’s slogan: “I’m lovin’ it.”
That is, I am starting to love McDonald’s more each time that I go there.

So I think that a sentence like the following is idiomatic (the way natives speak):

“The future of that country is looking more and more uncertain every day.”

That is, every day the news tells us something bad that is happening in that country. The situation is changing daily – for the worse.


Student: When I first started your class, I did not like you.
Teacher: Why?
Student: I can’t explain. There was something about you.
Teacher: And now?
Student: I find that I’m liking you a lot. (= With each passing day, as I get to know you better, I am starting to actually like you.)

Hello, James,
Very helpful reply really.
Still the original phrase and your version are poles apart in meaning, don’t you think?
As we see it at the moment, their future looks uncertain. That’s how things stand.
Saying “Their future is looking uncertain” (=is bound to get worse) you kind of perform as a oracle able to see things others can’t see.
To say that, you must have known the story of their past in order to predict their decline that accurately. No context simply doesn’t provide enough data for such a pessimistic prediction.
Don’t you agree?

Their future looks uncertain
sounds more natural to me than
Their future is looking uncertain.

Hello, Eugene and Beeesneees:

I hope that others will contribute their thoughts to this discussion.

In a context like the one hypothesized by James, I suppose, the progressive form is possible. Take another example: We can sense the fragrance, for the flower is still smelling sweet.