and Stative Verbs
Examples and Exercises
vs. stative verbs
cause confusion among students.
English Modal Verbs: check out our new series of illustrated workbooks!
But really they aren't as difficult or as complicated as you may think.
The most important reason you need to know about these is because
stative verbs can't usually be used in the progressive form. But more
about that later!
do the words "dynamic" and "stative" mean?
They aren't very common words in everyday English, but they are grammar
terms you will need to know to understand this subject.
"Dynamic" is an adjective which means something is moving or changing.
In English grammar a "dynamic verb" means that the verb describes an action
than a state. Dynamic verbs are sometimes known as "action
"Joe is chasing
"Stative" is an adjective which describes something as having a state,
or existing (this is a very uncommon adjective).
In English grammar a "stative verb" means that the verb describes a state
rather than an action.
Stative verbs are sometimes known as "state verbs."
So now you know the meaning of the terms, let's look at some examples
First, here is a list of some dynamic verbs. You can see that they are
all used to describe an action, change, or process. Most of them are
used to describe an activity which has a start and an end.
These words can all be used in the progressive form.
sentences with dynamic verbs:
- "I can't talk right now, I'm eating dinner."
Present progressive used to describe an action happening now.
- "Sorry, I'm out of breath because I've been
Present perfect progressive used to describe an action that started in
the past, continued for some time and has results now.
- "I didn't steal the necklace! I was sleeping
when someone broke into the shop!"
Past progressive used to talk about an action that was happening at a
particular time in the past.
Here is a list of some of the stative verbs. Some of these describe
relationships between things or people (for example, own) and some
describe emotions or states of mind.
Here are some examples, showing that these words cannot be used in the
"I like chocolate, but I prefer cake."
"I'm liking chocolate but I'm preferring cake."
"I don't understand you when you speak quickly."
"I'm not understanding you when you speak quickly."
There are also some verbs that can be either dynamic or stative,
depending on their meaning and context in the sentence. I'm sure you
know by now that there are many words in English that can have more
than one meaning!
verbs that can be either dynamic or stative:
Let's look at some examples of how these verbs are used differently.
- "I think
it is wrong to hit children."
is a stative verb. It means "to have an opinion" and it cannot be used
in the progressive form in this case.
about buying a new car."
is describing a process, or an action. This is something that is happening,
rather than simply being. So here we can use the progressive form.
- "I don't
mind if we watch a movie tonight."
means "be bothered by", which is a state of mind, not an action. Therefore,
it is stative.
"I'm not being nosy. I'm
minding my own business!"
means "looking after" and is therefore a process and a dynamic verb.
- "I have
here talks about the family relationship the speaker has with her brothers and is therefore stative.
a bad day today. I'll call you when things are better."
in this sentence means the speaker is going through the process of a
bad day. It is therefore dynamic.
All this may seem complicated, but if you read and listen to as much
English as you can, you will soon start to know which verbs sound right
in the progressive. If you keep the basic idea of dynamic verbs vs.
static verbs in the back of your mind, it will help you greatly.
Now, let's practice!
Dynamic verbs and stative verbs exercises
Dynamic verbs and stative verbs exercise 01
Dynamic verbs and stative verbs exercise 02
Dynamic verbs and stative verbs exercise 03
Dynamic verbs and stative verbs exercise 04
Dynamic verbs and stative verbs exercise 05
(Special exercise with verbs that have both dynamic and stative meanings)