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Stative (State) Verbs

A stative verb is one which asserts that one of its arguments has a particular property (possibly in relation to its other arguments). Statives differ from other aspectual classes of verbs in that they are static; they have no duration and no distinguished endpoint. Verbs which are not stative are often called dynamic verbs. (Wikipedia)

There are plenty of articles on stative verbs on the Internet. I want to summarise a few articles.

At first, take a look at the video from on stative verbs.

Original: English Grammar – Stative Verbs

This video by Ronnie is extremely enjoyable! I love it. Do you?

Secondly, check out the following video which I found on the Internet.

Original: Stative Verbs

To be honest, the second video is extremely boring! But anyway the article is very useful. That’s why I recommend that you look at the original post.


Some English verbs, which we call state, non-continuous, or stative verbs, aren’t normally used in continuous tenses (like the present continuous, or the future continuous). The most common ones:

like    love    hate    want    need    prefer

know    realise   suppose   mean   understand   believe  remember

belong    fit    contain    consist    seem    look (=seem)

Download PDF with the list of stative verbs and examples.

A verb which isn’t stative is called a dynamic verb, and is usually an action.

Some verbs can be either stative or dynamic depending on the situation.

To Be

be is usually a stative verb, but when it is used in the continuous it means ‘behaving’ or ‘acting’

  • you are stupid = it’s part of your personality
  • you are being stupid = only now, not usually

To Think

think (stative) = have an opinion

  • I think that coffee is great

think (dynamic) = consider, have in my head

  • what are you thinking about? I’m thinking about my next holiday

To Have

have (stative) = own

  • I have a car

have (dynamic) = part of an expression

  • I’m having a party / a picnic / a bath / a good time / a break

To See

see (stative) = see with your eyes / understand

  • I see what you mean
  • I see her now, she’s just coming along the road

see (dynamic) = meet / have a relationship with

  • I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for three years
  • I’m seeing Robert tomorrow

To Taste

taste (stative) = has a certain taste

  • This soup tastes great
  • The coffee tastes really bitter

taste (dynamic) = the action of tasting

  • The chef is tasting the soup
    (‘taste’ is the same as other similar verbs such as ‘smell’)

I hope this lesson on stative verbs is very useful. Thank you for visiting. Good luck with your English!

English Tek