Stative verbs

State verbs, or stative verbs, are actually a very interesting kind of verb with many rules associated with their use. 

So, let's start with the fact that the category of state verbs has collected those verbs that are able to express our feelings, mental activity or other ways of perceiving the world around us. Their role in the grammar of the English language cannot be overestimated, since this topic is one of the most important foundations for learning. 

First of all, let's consider what state verbs are and what groups they are divided into. 

Verb types 

1. Verbs of physical perception 

feel 

hear 

look 

observe 

recognize 

see 

seem 

smell 

sound 

taste 

distinguish 

2. Verbs of mental state 

know 

believe 

notice 

realize 

forget 

remember 

recognize 

think 

expect 

understand 

see (understand) 

seem 

mean 

3. Verbs of emotional state or desire 

like 

dislike 

love 

hate 

care 

hope 

wish 

want 

need 

prefer 

mind 

4. Verbs of possession 

be 

belong 

own 

have 

contain 

cost 

seem 

need 

depend on 

come from 

resemble 

Possess 

 

State and action, what's the difference? 

As their name implies, these verbs express the state of a person or environment. A feature of these verbs is that they are not used with the -ing suffix. However, if these verbs express action, then the rule changes. 

The topic of the difference between the use of the same verb in the form of action or state refers to an increased level of complexity in language learning. 

The -Ing form of verbs, which is also the form of the present continuous tense, according to the rules of grammar, is not used with state verbs, which can be called verbs of mental and sensory perception, in order to remember them easier. Here the simple present will be used instead of the long tense. 

There is, however, a number of verbs that are used in a long tense, but in a different form. So, for example, when we express our opinion, we will say: 

I think this food tastes a little too salty 

At the same time, we can use this verb literally to express an action that is happening at the moment. 

Go out! I'm thinking! 

 

Dual verbs include the following: 

(verb - action, state) 

Think 

  • He is thinking of going abroad this summer  
  • I think this dress doesn’t suit you 

See 

  • They are seeing their grandparents today 
  • I see you are very happy 

Feel 

  • We were feeling our way out of that dark house 
  • It feels very soft  

Have 

  • He is having a shower right now  
  • Do you have any eggs in your fridge? 

Taste 

  • I am tasting this watermelon because I always wanted to try it 
  • It tastes very sweet to be honest  

  

Be 

  • You are being very naughty  
  • I am 

Smell 

  • She is smelling those beautiful flowers in the garden 
  • They smell very sweet 

Appear 

  • He is appearing on the meeting tonight  
  • That house appears to be small but it is very big in real life  

Look 

  • I’ve been looking at this picture for two hours already  
  • It looks very familiar but I can’t remember it 

Enjoy/Love  

  • She was enjoying every moment of the concert 
  • I love this song 

Fit 

  • He is fitting this sink in the kitchen 
  • This shirt fits him very much  

Weigh 

  • The seller was weighting some apples for us  
  • They weigh about a kilo  

 

In fact, the practice of speaking can shock you if you are guided only by the grammar you have learned. This can happen in part because native speakers often disregard the rules and use verbs and tenses the way they want, and not the way it would seem to be correct. This suggests that the learning process must be approached from all sides, not getting hung up on the rules alone.