What are stative verbs?
Dynamic, stative or both?
Exercise 1 - Use your instinct and what you already know. Try these verbs in a continuous tense and see if they sound OK. If so, they are probably dynamic (action) verbs. If not, they're likely to be stative verbs. But see if you can also see which could be both (there are eight of them here).
Verbs which can be both stative and dynamic
Exercise 2 - Use your instinct. Tick (check) the sentences which look OK. For those that don't, leave the boxes empty.
|1.||He's being very naughty today.|
|2.||She's being very tired at the moment.|
|3.||I'm seeing him at the weekend.|
|4.||I'm seeing someone coming to the front door.|
|5.||This soup is tasting good.|
|6.||She's tasting the soup to make sure it's ready.|
|7.||He's feeling a bit hungover today.|
|8.||This material is feeling like silk.|
|9.||I'm thinking we should go somewhere different this year.|
|10.||He's probably thinking about his next holiday.|
|11.||He's wishing he hadn't said that.|
|12.||We're wishing for good weather for our holiday.|
|13.||She's having a great time in Turkey.|
|14.||She's having her own blog.|
|15.||He's seeming very nice.|
- stative - states
- She's an engineer
- I was really tired
- dynamic - behaviour
- Now you're just being stupid
- He was being so badly-behaved
- stative - possession
- She has a new house and a new job.
- They have three children.
- He always has great ideas.
- dynamic - actions
- She's having lunch with her mother.
- They're having a party at the weekend.
- She's having a baby soon.
- stative - have an opinion or intention
- He thinks it's going to rain
- I think I'll go to bed
- dynamic - the process of thinking, considering
- He's thinking about the weather.
- Don't interrupt me! I'm thinking.
- stative - have an opinion, have a texture or other quality
- He feels that we should work harder.
- It feels so soft.
- dynamic - emotions, touching
- He's feeling a bit under the weather today.
- Stop feeling that bruise, you'll make it worse.
- stative - vision and opinion
- I see a boat on the horizon
- I don't know what she sees in him.
- dynamic - meet somebody, have a relationship, have a mental problem
- I'll be seeing her tomorrow. Shall I give her a message?
- They've been seeing each other for about a year now.
- Pink elephants? You must be seeing things!
- stative - want something
- I wish it was the weekend
- dynamic - make a wish
- Blow all the candles out. What are you wishing for?
Verbs of the senses and appearance
Exercise 3 - use one verb for each group of two or three sentences. Use a suitable simple or continuous tense. In each group there is at least one in a simple tense and at least one in a continuous tense. For this exercise, don't use contractions.
|1||a||She different perfumes as I walked into the cosmetics department.|
|b||These roses wonderful. Did you grow them yourself?|
|2||a||I that there is too big a gap between the rich and the poor.|
|b||She says she really good at the moment.|
|3||a||Listen! They the gong for lunch. We'd better hurry.|
|b||I have to say, your plan very interesting.|
|c||That like Peter now.|
|4||a||I you're getting married.|
|b||I thought I somebody at the door, but I must have things.|
|5||a||She wines all yesterday afternoon.|
|b||This soup delicious.|
|6||a||I will him later today. Do you want me to give him a message?|
|b||We will if we've got time later on.|
|c||Ah! I her now; she's over there by the fountain.|
|7||a||Currently she at the Strand Theatre in a play by Strindberg.|
|b||He to be asleep.|
|8||a||I at the newspaper when I came across this article.|
|b||Let's see it. Oh yes, it rather interesting.|
Can and keep with verbs of the senses
- I could hear somebody singing next door. NOT I was hearing ...
- I can understand how you feel. NOT I am understanding ...
- I keep seeing this strange bird in the garden.
- I keep remembering what she said.
Verbs after used to and would
- In the past, I didn't use to have a car. (state)
- I used to walk to work every day. (habit)
- She always used to bring us presents. (habit)
- In the past, I wouldn't have a car. (state)
- I would walk to work every day. (habit / repeated action)
- She would always bring us presents. (habit / repeated action)
- I used to live quite near my office, so every day I would walk to work.
Two special verbs - live and work
- I used to live in a small town. (state)
- Every day I would walk to work. (habit)
- She used to work in a factory. (state)
- Every day she would take a packed lunch to work with her. (habit)
- He lives in Manchester. He's lived there all his life. (a permanent state)
- She's living with her parents until she can find a new flat. (temporary situation)
- He works as an engineer. (permanent state)
- I don't think he's working today. (action now)
- He used to live in Cardiff, but now he lives in Bristol.
- He would live in Cardiff, but now he lives in Bristol.
- She used to work in an office, but now she works from home.
- She would work in an office, but now she works from home.
live and work in the present perfect
- I've thought that for a long time.
- Have you been there long.
- I've seen this film before.
- She's lived here / been living here all her life.
- He's worked / been working there for twenty years.
Stand, sit, lie
- He's standing over there.
The house stands in its own parkland
- She was sitting reading when the doorbell rang.
The village sits in a valley at the foot of the mountains.
- I think he's lying down at the moment.
The pass lies between two high mountains.
I'm lovin' it
- to be very strongly attracted to someone in an emotional and sexual way
- to care very much about someone, especially members of your family or close friends
- to like or enjoy something very much
- I've been retired for a year now and I'm loving every minute of it.
- How are you liking your new job?
- I've been wanting to do that for ages.
- You must have been hearing things.
- I've been noticing lately how more and more people are cycling to work.
Exercise 4 - Use one verb for each pair of sentences, once in a simple tense, once in a continous tense.
|1||a||I hope you about the party tonight.|
|b||It's a long time since we last met. I hope she me.|
|2||a||She every minute of her new job.|
|b||She playing golf at the weekend.|
|3||a||I see you with me yet again just for the hell of it.|
|b||They on so many things, yet they get along really well.|
|4||a||It a lot of money to travel by train nowadays.|
|b||This transport strike the company a lot of money.|
|5||a||More and more people the importance of the environment.|
|b||He her immediately, even though he hadn't seen her for ages.|
|6||a||We moving out to the country.|
|b||He shaving a waste of time.|
|7||a||Where are our potatoes? The shop assistant them.|
|b||This shopping a ton. Can you help me with it?|
|8||a||If you that I'm going to tidy up all this mess, you're mistaken, young lady!|
|b||If you a tropical island with lots of palm trees; that's what it's like.|
|9||a||Was there anything else you ?|
|b||As a child he always to be an engineer when he grew up.|
|10||a||He's the room for a new carpet.|
|b||The room three metres by four.|
Where there is ittle difference between simple and continuous
- My back aches / My back's really aching
- How do you feel today? / How are you feeling today?
- She looks really good in that dress / She's looking really good today
A note on performative verbs
Afterthought - another edgy advertising campaign
- Winston tastes good like a cigarette should