Stative Verbs in English. Stative verbs (or State verbs) refer to verbs that describe a state, not an action. These are verbs that we rarely use in the Present Continuous form since they do not show actions. Having said that, this is changing, as languages often do. Below you can learn about how to use Stative Verbs and how to use some verbs as Stative and Dynamic (verbs that show action).
Remember that a Stative verb means that there is not an action happening. It is only a ‘state’.
- In the context of the examples to the right, we would not be able to use the Present Continuous because the verbs represent a state, not an action.
List of Stative verbs
There are 4 general categories of Stative Verbs but remember that some of these verbs can be used in both Stative and Dynamic form. What makes them stative is that they are explaining a state, not an action.
VERBS THAT ARE STATIVE AND DYNAMIC
So, now we know that Stative verbs only show a ‘state’, so Dynamic verbs show ‘action’. Some examples of Dynamic verbs are: run, dance, shower, play, etc. We can see the action occuring. Some verbs can be used both as a state and as an action. Here are some examples.
- Think as a stative mental state
- I think she is right.
- He thinks the meeting is on Monday. I think it’s on Tuesday.
- Think as an action in progress with Present Continuous
- Please turn down the music. I’m thinking.
- He’s thinking of having the meeting on Monday.
- to be as a state of someone’s personality
- Jim is such a nice guy
- She’s always fair.
- to be as a temporary action that is happening right now
- He‘s not being very friendly at all today.
- I don’t think she’s being very fair to you.
- to have as a state of posession
- We have a house in Malaga
- She has a lot of friends.
- to have as an activity that is taking place now or soon.
- I’m having a party this weekend.
- She’s having some friends over tonight to watch a movie.
OTHER VERBS THAT CAN BE BOTH STATIVE AND DYNAMIC
- Remember that when you want to use a verb in a Stative form it is a ‘state’
- The dinner tastes great!
- But when it is in a dynamic state, there is action.
- We are tasting each wine.
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