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Stative verbs ( or State Verbs)

Stative verbs usually describe states (not actions) that last for some time. (Example: like, appear, believe, hate, belong) A state continues over a period of time and has no immediate beginning and the end is unknown. Whereas an action has a definite beginning and a definite end.

For that reason the action is described by action verbs that describe things that happen within a limited time. In this case you use the -ing form. (Example: buying, learning)

Stative verbs are not used in the progressive form. (-ing form) But there are exceptions as usual. The progressive form is a verb tense used to show an ongoing action with a beginning an end and uses a form of "to be" + the present participle. (Examples: is cooking, is running) But you cannot use this form with stative verbs because they describe conditions which have no definite beginning and no definite end.

A verb which isn't stative is an action (dynamic) verb.

Stative Verbs - Examples

  • I've always liked chess.
    WRONG I've always been LIKING chess.
  • I believe in god.
    WRONG I am BELIEVING in god.
  • I understand you.
    WRONG I'm understanding you.

  • Stative Verbs List

    agree appear astonish be
    believe belong concern consist
    contain costdeny depend
    deserve detestdisagreedislike
    doubtequal fit feel (have an opinion)
    impress include involve know
    lack like look love
    matter mean measure (length etc) mind
    need oweown please
    possess preferpromise realise
    recogniseremembersatisfy see
    seemsmell soundsuppose
    surprise tastethink (have an opinion)understand

    Stative Verbs


    You can use some stative verbs in the progressive form (-ing form) when they describe something with a definite beginning and end.


    Below you see some common stative verbs which have a stative aspect and an active (dynamic, temporary) aspect.


    My boss "is" a big man. (stative)
    She is "being" very angry about this. (active, temporary - to be angry has a begining and an end)


    I "have" long hair. (stative)
    The students are "having" a meeting. (active, temporary - the meeting has a begining and an end)


    The policeman "saw" that something was wrong. (stative)
    He is "seeing" the man tomorrow in his office. (active, temporary)


    The man "felt" that he was not the right person for this job. (stative)
    Are you "feeling" well today? (active, temporary)

    Stative verbs usually describe Emotions, Possession, Senses and Thoughts

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