English Grammar Course Instructor: Anna Popova Stative and Dynamic Verbs Dynamic verbs are verbs which describe actions/ activities: go, ask, walk, explain, etc. Stative verbs (or state verbs) are verbs which do not describe actions, they describe feelings, thoughts, wishes, the senses and states of being: believe, belong, smell, want, etc. Appearance appear, resemble, seem Composition consist of, contain, have Connection come from, concern, cost, suit Existence be, exist Knowledge forget, know, realize, understand Likes and dislikes like, dislike, hate, love, prefer, enjoy, adore Needs and wants need, want, wish Opinion believe, doubt, imagine, suppose, think, agree, consider Possession belong to, have, own, owe, possess Senses feel, hear, notice, see, smell, sound, taste Stative verbs do not usually have a continuous form: He needs your help. That coat belongs to me. We may use present/ past/ future continuous with some stative verbs when we want to emphasize that a situation is temporary, just for a period of time around the present: I’ve been wanting one of those computers for ages. Some stative verbs have continuous forms but there is a difference in meaning: State Action (different active meaning) think I think (feel) he is rich. (= I believe) I’m thinking about your plan. (= I’m considering) consider I consider him to be very rich. (= my I’m considering taking early retirement. view) (= I’m thinking about it now) taste This milk tastes awful. He’s tasting the sauce; it might need some salt. (= it has a bad flavour) (= he is trying its flavour) have He has a car. (= he owns) He’s having dinner now. (= he’s eating now) feel The cloth feels like velvet. (= has the She’s feeling her way in the dark. texture) (= she’s finding her way) see I see a lot of people outside. (= perceive I’m seeing my lawyer tonight. (= I’m visiting) with my eyes) Are you seeing a lot of Marry these days? I see you are in trouble. (= I You are seeing things – there’s nobody at the window. (= understand) imagine) smell The kitchen smells of burnt meat. (= Why are you smelling your food? (= trying the smell of the has the smell) food) come He comes from Spain. (= he was born He is coming from Spain. (= he’s travelling from Spain) in Spain) love I love holidays. (= in general) I’m loving this holiday. (= I’m enjoying; specific holiday) The children love having Jean stay with The children are loving having Jean stay with us. us. (=they love when she stays) (= Jean is staying with us now and children are loving it) look Your hair looks great. (= it appears) She is looking at some old photographs. weigh The baby weighs 5 kilos. (= it is) I’m weighing myself on my new scales. (= I’m finding out my weight) be Jack is very noisy. (usually) Alice is being very kind to me these days. (= but usually she is not kind to me at all) He is being noisy today. (temporary behaviour) But we can’t use in the same way the following adjectives: old, angry, beautiful, handsome, happy, healthy, hungry, lucky, nervous, sick, tall, thirsty, young. depend It depends what you mean. I'm depending on you to keep your promise. (= rely) hope I hope to see you this weekend. I’m hoping to see you this weekend. (quite a common use, (expresses a wish) hope becomes more of a deliberate action now in progress) fit This dress fits you perfectly. (= it is the They are fitting new locks. (= are putting in) right size) appear He appears to be nervous. (= seems) He is appearing in a new play. (= is taking part) enjoy I enjoy going to parties. (in general) I am enjoying this party. (specific preference) mean The sign means “slow down”. You’re always meaning to call us, but you never do. (= are intending) There is a little difference: ache He looks awful. He is looking awful. feel I feel tired/ sick. I’m feeling exhausted. hurt My feet ache. My feet are aching. look My leg hurts. My leg is hurting.