Stative Verbs List
Stative verbs describe a state rather than an action. They aren’t usually used in the present continuous form. Stative Verbs List
I don’t know the answer.
I’m not knowing the answer. Stative Verbs List
She really likes you.
She’s really liking you. Stative Verbs List
He seems happy at the moment.
He’s seeming happy at the moment.
Stative verbs often relate to:
- thoughts and opinions: agree, believe, doubt, guess, imagine, know, mean, recognize, remember, suspect, think, understand
- feelings and emotions: dislike, hate, like, love, prefer, want, wish
- senses and perceptions: appear, be, feel, hear, look, see, seem, smell, taste
- possession and measurement: belong, have, measure, own, possess, weigh.
Verbs that are sometimes stative
A number of verbs can refer to states or actions, depending on the context.
I think it’s a good idea.
Wait a moment! I’m thinking.
The first sentence expresses an opinion. It is a mental state, so we use present simple. In the second example the speaker is actively processing thoughts about something. It is an action in progress, so we use present continuous.
Here is a list of Stative Verbs
|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
|This book was belonging to my
|concern||This concerns you.||This is concerning you.|
|consist||Bread consists of flour, water
|Bread is consisting of flour, water
|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
|I have been disliking mushrooms
|doubt||I doubt what you are saying.||I am doubting what you are
|I don’t feel that this is a good
|I am not feeling that this is a good
|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
|include||This cookbook includes a recipe
|This cookbook is including a
recipe for bread.
|involve||The job involves a lot of
|The job is involving a lot of
|know||I’ve known Julie for ten years.||I’ve been knowing Julie for ten
|like||I like reading detective stories.||I am liking reading detective
|love||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’.|
|This window measures 150cm.|| This window is measuring
|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.|
|own||She owns two cars.||She is owning two cars.|
|prefer||I prefer chocolate ice cream.||I am preferring chocolate ice
|promise||I promise to help you tomorrow.||I am promising to help you
|realise||I didn’t realise the problem.||I wasn’t realising the problem.|
|recognise||I didn’t recognise my old friend.||I wasn’t recognising my old
|remember||He didn’t remember my name.||He wasn’t remembering my name.|
|seem||The weather seems to be
|The weather is seeming to be
|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
|want||I want to go to the cinema
|I am wanting to go to the cinema
|This cake weighs 450g.||This cake is weighing 450g.|
|wish||I wish I had studied more.||I am wishing I had studied more.|
Some verbs can be both stative and dynamic:
|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
|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
|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
|taste (also: smell, feel, look)||taste (stative) = has a certain taste This soup tastes great
taste (dynamic) = the action of tasting
The chef is tasting the soup
|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