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ENGLISH GRAMMAR

STATIVE VERBS
Verbs that express a state rather than an action.



Verbs in English can be either dynamic or stative.

Dynamic verbs describe action. Examples are walk, work, play, eat, or drink. These are the most common type of verb and can be used in all tenses.

Stative verbs describe states or conditions. There is no action or activity.
Examples are love, prefer, believe, know, or understand.
These verbs often describe states that last for some time or are unlikely to change, for example: “I love chocolat.”

They can be used in simple and perfect tenses but they are not normally used in the continuous or progressive forms.
  • I love chocolate but I hate spinach.  (Not: I am loving chocolate but I am hating spinach)
  • We know the owner of the new restaurant.  (Not: We are knowing the owner ...)
  • I believe the boy. He's telling the truth.  (Not: I am believing the boy.)
  • I hear a strange noise. (Not: I am hearing...)
  • I think that's a good idea. (Not: I am thinking...)
  • They have a red car. (They own it).
Some state verbs can be used in the continuous form if they refer to a temporary action or state of mind, or when the verb can be used both as a state verb and as a dynamic verb.
  • She is not feeling well at the moment.
  • He is thinking about buying a new car. ('think' here is used dynamically, not to give an opinion)
  • The children are having a good time at the beach today. ('have' here does not refer to possession).
  • John is seeing his lawyer tomorrow. ('see' here is used dynamically: they are going to meet and talk.)
Examples of common stative and dynamic verbs:
Stative verbs Feelings and Emotions:  like, love, hate, detest, want, wish, adore, prefer, need
Possession and measurement: own, belong, have (meaning 'own'), possess, weigh, measure, contain
Sense and Perception:  see, hear, feel, taste, appear, resemble, seem, recognize, sound
Thoughts:  think (have an opinion), know, believe, deny, guess, imagine, remember, understand
Dynamic verbs eat, drink, walk, run, play, listen, speak, watch, read, write, talk, sing, work, sleep

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