Stative Verbs in English
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Stative Verbs in English
The importance of knowing the verbs in English is CRUCIAL. Perhaps you remember that in the post of the verb tenses in English we commented on several occasions that there was not everything. We wanted to make a slightly less data heavy posts, to focus only on the foundations of verb tenses. In today’s post we are going to talk about one of the branches that come out of the verb tenses and that you should know: the static verbs in English or ‘Stative verbs’.
What are ‘Stative Verbs’?
They are verbs that CANNOT be used continuously , that is, in those verbs that must be conjugated continuously, they will NOT be formulated like this. Statives Verbs are verbs that describe states, conditions, and situations.
For example: remember –
remembering; want – wanting…
Verbs that CAN be formulated continuously are called Dynamic Verbs, for example: work – working.
What categories do ‘Stative Verbs’ have?
They can be grouped into several, such as:
- State verbs: They express opinion.
- agree, think, believe, disagree, feel, doubt, depend, understand, know, mean, remember, seem, look (= seem), mind, suppose, guess, appear, matter, concern, realize
2. Verbs about likes
- like, dislike, prefer, love, hate.
3. Verbs about possession
- have, possess, belong, own, owe, lack, include, involve
4. Verbs that express characteristics of something
- weigh, measure, consist, contain
5. Verbs that express need
- need, want, wish, deserve …
6. Verbs related to perception
- sound, hear, taste, see, smell, imagine, recognize, satisfy
Are there any exceptions to ‘Stative Verbs’?
Yes, they are the so-called Mixed Verbs . They are verbs that can be formulated as Stative Verbs but also as Dynamic Verbs. They are also verbs that include under themselves, different meanings, and are:
- be, have, think, see, taste (smell), and mind.
Let’s see one by one why they can be static or dynamic.
The verb to be’
She is friendly —> Ella es amable.
Here we find the static form of the verb, because it is a characteristic of that person
She is being friendly —> Ella está siendo amable
Here the verb becomes dynamic, because in reality, it is not usually friendly; but at that moment it is. It is not an innate characteristic of that person.
The verb ‘to have’
I have a job —> Tengo un trabajo
We find in this example, one of the forms of static verbs, when they refer to possession
Are you having a good time? —> ¿Lo estás pasando bien?
The verb ‘to think’
I think it is wrong to smoke —> Pienso que está mal fumar
Here the verb think is in opinion mode, so it should be treated as a static verb
I’m thinking about buying a new car —> Estoy pensando en comprarme un coche nuevo
In this sentence it reflects a thought, an idea, simply.
The verb ‘to see’ :
This verb is very particular, because it can have different meanings. If it is in static mode, it can mean seeing or understanding ; but, if it is switched to dynamic mode, it has two other different meanings which are meeting someone or having a relationship.
I see what you mean—> Entiendo lo que quieres decir
I see you now, you are in front of the bookshop —> Ahora te veo, estás delante de la librería
Two clear examples of the verb To See in static mode, with their two corresponding meanings
I´m seeing Mary this afternoon —> Voy a ver a Mary esta tarde
I´ve been seeing my girlfriend since last August —> He estado viendo a mi novia desde agosto del año pasado
The verb becomes dynamic when it refers to the verbs to meet someone or have a relationship.
The food tastes good —> La comida sabe bien
Static form, is giving an opinion
The cook is tasting the food —> El cocinero está probando la comida
Dynamic way, the cook is performing an action.
The verb to mind
I don’t mind if we watch a movie tonight —> No me molesta si vemos una película esta noche
The verb mind, reflects a state of mind, becomes static.
I’m minding my own business —> Me estoy ocupando de mi negocio
The verb becomes dynamic as it represents an action that the speaker is performing.
Finally, we want to leave you this table with the different static verbs that exist.
|agree||She didn’t agree with us||She wasn’t agreeing with us|
|appear||It appears to be raining||It is appearing to be raining|
|believe||I don’t believe the news||I am not believing the news|
|belong||This book belonged to my grandfather||This book was belonging to my grandfather|
|concern||This concerns you||This is concerning you|
|consist||Bread consists of flour, water and yeast||Bread is consisting of flour, water and yeast|
|contain||This box contains a cake||This box is containing a cake|
|depend||It depends on the weather||It’s depending on the weather|
|deserve||He deserves to pass the exam||He is deserving to pass the exam|
|disagree||I disagree with you||I am disagreeing with you|
|dislike||I have disliked mushrooms for years||I have been disliking mushrooms for years|
|doubt||I doubt what you are saying||I am doubting what you are saying|
|feel (= have an opinion)||I don’t feel that this is a good idea||I am not feeling that this is a good idea|
|fit||This shirt fits me well||This shirt is fitting me well|
|hate||Julie’s always hated dogs||Julie’s always been hating dogs|
|hear||Do you hear music?||Are you hearing music?|
|imagine||I imagine you must be tired||I am imagining you must be tired|
|impress||He impressed me with his story||He was impressing me with his story|
|include||This cookbook includes a recipe for bread||This cookbook is including a recipe for bread|
|involve||The job involves a lot of traveling||The job is involving a lot of traveling|
|know||I’ve known Julie for ten years||I’ve been knowing Julie for ten years|
|like||I like reading detective stories||I am liking reading detective stories|
|sees it||I love chocolate||I’m loving chocolate|
|matter||It doesn’t matter||It isn’t mattering|
|mean||‘Enormous’ means ‘very big’||‘Enormous’ is meaning ‘very big’|
|measure (= be long)||This window measures 150cm||This window is measuring 150cm|
|mind||She doesn’t mind the noise||She isn’t minding the noise|
|need||At three o’clock yesterday I needed a taxi||At three o’clock yesterday I was needing a taxi|
|owe||I owe you £ 20||I am owing you £ 20 owe|
|own||She owns two cars||She is owning two cars|
|prefer||I prefer chocolate ice cream||I am preferring chocolate ice cream|
|promise||I promise to help you tomorrow||I am promising to help you tomorrow|
|realized||I didn’t realize the problem||I wasn’t realizing the problem|
|recognize||I didn’t recognize my old friend||I wasn’t recognizing my old friend|
|remember||He didn’t remember my name||He wasn’t remembering my name|
|seem||The weather seems to be improving||The weather is seeming to be improving|
|sound||Your idea sounds great||Your idea is sounding great|
|suppose||I suppose John will be late||I’m supposing John will be late|
|surprise||The noise surprised me||The noise was surprising me|
|understand||I don’t understand this question||I’m not understanding this question|
|want||I want to go to the cinema tonight||I am wanting to go to the cinema tonight|
|weigh (= have weight)||This cake weighs 450g||This cake is weighing 450g|
|wish||I wish I had studied more||I am wishing I had studied more|
This was one of the topics we wanted to talk about when formulating verb tenses, in this case, the continuous ones. But still there are more “branches” to deal with this great topic, which we will explain little by little on the blog.
We hope it has been of help to you and has clarified doubts if you have them. And if you have any questions related to the next calls for any official English exam, here are the closest ones. 🙂