Actions and States for intermediate learners

'I'm loving it!' or 'I love it!' Do you want to know which one of these famous advertisement mottos are correct? You got to learn about state and action verbs!

"Actions and States" in English Grammar

What Are State Verbs?

State verbs (also called stative verbs) usually refer to a permanent state or one that is unlikely to change.
We can categorize them into many groups:

  1. Verbs of thought and opinion
  2. Verbs of possession
  3. Verbs of sense and emotion
  4. Verbs of cognition

What Are Action Verbs?

Action verbs (also called active verbs) usually refer to actions we do (physically or mentally), things that happen, or processes. Most of them refer to activities or events which can begin and finish.

Kids were playing and chasing each other.

They traveled 200 miles on the first day.

Is There a Difference?

We cannot normally use state verbs in continuous forms.

Verbs That Can Be Both

Some verbs can be either active or stative depending on the context. The meaning of these verbs is then different. For example:

I have two sisters.

Someone had been having a cigarette in the toilet.

Mm! Something smells good!

I'm smelling the flowers!


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Verbs are one of the most necessary elements to make a sentence. In fact, without a verb, we cannot have a meaningful sentence.

Regular and Irregular Verbs

Based on how we conjugate verbs in the past simple and the past participle, they can be divided into two types: Regular verbs and Irregular verbs.

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs help the main verb to express tense or voice or help make questions and negative sentences. That's why they're also called 'helping verbs'.

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are used very commonly in English, even more so in informal situations. Phrasal verbs consist of a verb and a preposition or a particle.

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

'She smiled beautifully'. 'She started a rumor'. One of these sentences has an intransitive verb and one has a transitive one. Want to know the difference?

Ditransitive Verbs

Ditransitive verbs are transitive verbs that take two objects. A direct object and an indirect object. Follow the article to read more about them.

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