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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  

verbs that express a state rather than an action.

Verbs in English can be either dynamic or stative.
Dynamic verbs describe action. Examples are walk, work, play, eat, or drink. These are the most common type of verb and can be used in all tenses.

Stative verbs describe states or conditions. Examples are love, prefer, believe, know, or understand.

These verbs often describe states that last for some time or are unlikely to change, for example: “I love chocolat.”

They can be used in simple and perfect tenses but they are not normally used in the continuous or progressive forms.
  • I love chocolate but I hate spinach.
  • I am loving chocolate but I am hating spinach
Some state verbs can be used in the continuous form if they refer to a temporary action or state of mind.
  • He is thinking about buying a new car.
  • The children are having a good time at the beach today.
Common stative and dynamic verbs
Stative verbs Emotion:  like, love, hate, adore, prefer, need
Possession: own, belong, have (meaning 'own')
Sense:  see, hear, feel, taste
Thought:  think (have an opinion), know, believe, remember, understand
Dynamic verbs eat, drink, walk, run, play, listen, speak, watch, read, write, talk, sing, work, sleep

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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