Whys & Wherefores

Highlights

Dynamic or action verbs describe things that happen within a limited time, things which have a definite beginning and end. Come, bring, buy, get, learn, listen and watch would all be examples of dynamic verbs.

Sir, what are Stative verbs and Dynamic verbs?
Dear Sruthi, Stative verbs describe states or conditions which continue over a period of time, so like, love, hate, want, need, hear and see would all be examples of stative verbs. These verbs are not normally used in the progressive form. Thus, we would say 'I've always liked tennis' and not 'I've always been liking tennis'. Dynamic or action verbs describe things that happen within a limited time, things which have a definite beginning and end. Come, bring, buy, get, learn, listen and watch would all be examples of dynamic verbs. These verbs may be used in both progressive and simple forms

N I shall be bringing Ravi with me when I visit you on Friday, if that's all right.
N I shall bring Ravi with me when I visit you on Friday, if that's all right.
N I learnt how to swim when I was in my village.
N I was learning how to swim when I heard that you were coming.

However, some stative verbs are occasionally used in the progressive form when they describe something with a definite beginning and end. Let us have a look at a few examples of some of the most common stative verbs. In each of these examples, the stative aspect is listed first and the progressive form, to describe something that is temporary, is listed second. be

N My friend is a doctor and he's extremely nice.
N There's no point losing your temper. You're being very silly about this. Just calm down! have
N He has sparkling blue eyes and curly hair.
N Where is that noise coming from? ~ It's our neighbours. They're having a party. think
N I'm thinking of going to Paris for my next holiday. smell
N His aftershave smells of orange blossom. Such a celestial smell! see/know
N He was looking at me in a strange way and I saw/knew at once that something was wrong.
N I'm seeing her tomorrow. Then we'll know whether she wants to work here or not. feel
N How are you feeling today? ~ I'm not feeling/I don't feel very well, actually. mean
N Veena tried to comfort me. "Your dad doesn't mean what he says," she said. forget
N Oh yes, I forgot, Rani's birthday is on Saturday.

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