Verbs in English can be either active or stative:


Activity Verbs
•        Activities
•        They are actions we can see or hear
•        These verbs can be used in all English tenses

Example: Play, jump, talk, smile.


State Verbs
•        States or feelings
•        They are not actions we can see or hear
•        Not used in continuous tenses












The main thing to consider is these words
can't be used in
continuous tenses.

INCORRECT Examples:

  • I am loving baseball.                                
  • I was wanting pizza for dinner.
  • I am needing ten dollars.

Some stative verbs can be used actively in special situations:

Be
  • You are annoying.
  • You are being annoying.

Think
  • I think studying history is important.
  • I am thinking about my girlfriend.

Have
  • I have a dog.
  • I am having a  party.
  • I am having a good time.

Feel
  • I am not feeling well.
  • I feel that the test is difficult.


Senses

Ears
Listen
is active and hear is stative.

  • I am listening to the radio.        
  • I am hearing the radio.  (Incorrect)        

Eyes
Watch
and look are active and see is stative

  • I am watching television.
  • I am looking at the news paper.
  • I am seeing the bird. (Incorrect)

Watch is used for things that move or show actions.  
(Television, sports, etc.)

Look is for things that do not move.
(Art, Books, etc.)


Nose    

Smell can be active or stative depending on the situation.

  • I am smelling
This describes the action of smelling.        

  • I smell something burning.
This is more common and is used to describe what
you smell.        

Mouth        

Taste can also be active or stative.

  • I am tasting the soup.
This describes the action you are doing.

However, it is better to say “I am trying the soup.”        

  • I taste salt in this soup.
This describes what you taste.  


Practice
Stative & Dynamic Verbs with this test:

Stative & Dynamic Verbs Test
admit
adore
agree
appear
belive
belong
care
contain
deny
depend
desire
dislike
doubt
exist
feel
hate
have
hear
hope
imagine
include
involve
know
like
look like
love
mean
need
own
prefer
realize
recogmize
recognize
remember
resemble
see
smell
sound
suppose
taste
think
understand
want
wish
       

Stative and Dynamic Verbs

Business English