Verbs in English can be classified as stative (state) and dynamic (sometimes also called "action") verbs. Generally, the stative verbs refer to existence, senses, appearance, feelings and emotions, mental processes, and possession.
|:: Existence||be, exist|
|:: Senses||see, hear, taste, smell, sound|
|:: Appearance||seem, appear, look|
|:: Feelings and Emotions||love, hate, like, dislike, fear, wish, want, adore, care, desire, mind, appreciate (=value), need, doubt|
|:: Mental processes||know, believe, prefer, agree, feel (=think), realise, forget, remember, recognize, see (=understand), recall, mean, deserve, perceive, understand, think (=have an opinion), suppose|
|:: Possession||have, belong, own, posses, owe|
Other state verbs: depend on, measure, weigh, cost, consist of, contain, matter
Stative (state) verbs are not normally used in the continuous (progressive) form.
|For example we say: "I like apples." |
"I'm liking apples."
Ben has a green car. (possession)
"Ben is having a green car."
They have three cute Persian kittens.
"They are having three cute Persian kittens."
Taylor owns a small ranch in California. (possession)
"Ben is owning a small ranch in California."
Their baby has beautiful blue eyes.
"Their baby is having beautiful blue eyes."
I think he should study harder. (opinion)
"I'm thinking he should study harder."
The pasta tastes so good.
"The pasta is tasting so good."
Dynamic verbs describe things we do or things that happen. There are many more action verbs than state verbs. Here is a small list:
Some of stative verbs can be also used as dynamic verbs:
:: with different meanings (1), (2), (3), (4), (5)
:: when we talk about a short period of time/something temporary (6), (7), (8), (9)
:: to express an activity or prosess (10), (11), (12)
:: to express the beginning of something (13)
:: to emphasise something (14)
1. Tom is having dinner with his girlfriend tonight. (to have dinner=to eat dinner)
2. She is having a shower. (to have a shower=to take a shower)
3. He is thinking about buying a new car. (to think about=to consider)
4. I'm seeing James. (to see=to date)
5. I'm seeing my doctor next week. (to see=to have an appointment with)
6. Diana is being very tired this evening. ("to be" is used as dynamic verb expressing something temporary)
7. The boy is being bad. (=he is behaving badly/he is acting badly at the moment)
8. Peter is not feeling (he doesn't feel) very well today. ("to feel" is used as dynamic verb)
9. He's looking awful these days. (compared to his normal looks)
10. My little daughter is smelling the flowers. (activity)
11. I'm tasting the meal. (activity)
12. Robert was thinking about his vacation last summer when his mother entered the room. (prosess)
13. I'm remembering what he said. (= I'm slowly beginning/I'm trying to remember)
14. I'm loving it! = I'm (really) enjoying it. (emphasis)