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STATIVE vs. DYNAMIC VERBS

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

“Dynamic″ is an adjective which means something is moving or changing. It describes an action rather than a state. These verbs are sometimes called “action verbs. “ For example: I am thinking about you. “Stative″ is an adjective which describes states.


They are also known as "state verbs. " For example: I understand you. Examples of dynamic verbs:

eat grow sleep walk talk write learn run read become study go ... ... ...


All dynamic verbs can be used in the progressive form (=with -ing)

Examples:

A: What are you doing? B: I am learning Maths.

A: Why are you breathing so heavily? B: A dog has been chasing me.

The prices are still growing. I have no idea how long this can be happening.


Here is a list of some of the stative verbs. Some of these describe relationships between things or people (for example, own), some describe emotions or a state or condition which is quite static or unchanging.


Examples of stative verbs:

love own mind (care about) detest

hate understand think (have an opinion) entail

like believe have (own) contain

prefer (dis)agree mean hope

doubt adore realize belong to

seem wish want

know cost remember


However, there are some verbs that can be either dynamic or stative, depending on their meaning and context in the sentence.

Examples of verbs that can be either dynamic or stative:

More: doubt, guess, hear, imagine, remember, decide


To talk about things that we see, hear, taste, smell, remember, or understand, we use 'can' or 'could'.

I can see a lot of people outside.

She can smell some citrusy perfume.


To talk about repeated events, we can use keep + verb + -ing

I keep hearing things.

Our grandma keeps remembering her schoolmates.


Stative verbs can sometimes appear with -ing ending as a gerund.

I am not good at remembering people's names.

Both places are worth seeing.

Knowing things is powerful.


I'M LOVIN' IT

Is Macdonald's advertising slogan 'I'm lovin' it' gramatically correct?

The verb 'love' is a stative verb and isn't usually used in a continuous tense. However, one of the uses of this verb is 'to enjoy or like very much', which can be found in a dictionary.

Look at this example:

I have been living in Bali for two months and I am loving every single minute of it.


LIKING & WANTING?

A very similar use is connected to these two stative verbs 'like' and 'want'.

They can be occasionally used in continuous form when we are talking about experiences which last a limited period of time, especially in present and present perfect. They often express the idea of change, development or enjoyment. These forms are rare though.


I've been wanting to tell you that I love you.

How are you liking your position?


MEANING?

You can also see the form 'meaning' in a very characteristic phrase, which means that we want to tell somebody something that has occurred in our mind for a quite long time and plan to tell them right now.

I've been meaning to say it to you personally.


Practice:

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