Comparing Action Verbs vs. Stative Verbs

Verbs can be classified as either an action verb or a stative verb, also known as a state of being verb. It’s essential to understand the difference between action verb vs State of being verb. This is because you can use each of them for different purposes in sentences. If you’re confused about which verb to use, you can use this article as your guide.

Today we’re going to talk about what action and stative verbs are. We’ll be looking at examples to help you understand the difference. And as the photo below says: Let’s get started!

A page inside a notebook with a text that says
Photo by David Iskander on Unsplash

What is a Verb?

Verbs are words that indicate an event or action that has occurred, is occurring or will occur. For example, the verb run indicates an event or activity where a person or an animal is running. Verbs can also be used to express a subject’s State of being. It can describe actions, thoughts, perceptions, and other developments.

Action Verb Vs State of Being Verb: What’s the Difference?

To help draw the line between an action verb and a state of being verb, let’s first look at their respective definitions.

Action Verb

The action verb is also known as the dynamic verb. It is a verb that describes the action that a subject is doing. This action can either be physical or mental.

These verbs are help present a picture of an action or condition that the subject is doing. Some examples of action verbs are: play, jog, and swim.

State of Being Verb

As mentioned earlier, this type of verb is also known as your stative verb. This type of verb expresses a state rather than an action. These words typically relate to thoughts, emotions, relationships, senses, states of being, and measurements.

In progressive tenses, -ING is not often applicable for stative verbs. They are usually in simple tenses. Examples of stative verbs are: believe, know, fear, and have.

Main Differences Between Action and State of Being Verbs

Now that you know what action and State of being verbs are let’s get into the nitty-gritty. What are the main differences between an action verb and a state of being verb? Well, it’s simple:

  • Action Verbs describe a subject’s action, while State of being verbs describe the State of the subject.
  • State of being verbs are not usually in progressive tenses, while action verbs can be used in any tense.

Sample Sentences using Action and State of Being Verbs

Action Verbs

  • ate an apple yesterday.
  • She usually swims every Tuesday.
  • The band is playing a love song.
  • Clouds in the sky were pouring rain this morning.
  • My sister was crying all night long.
  • She screamed when she hit her big toe.
  • He helped me with my project.
  • We stayed at the hotel for three days.
  • Don’t talk back to your teacher.
  • Close the door!

State of Being Verbs

  • She considered my proposal.
  • love fresh flowers.
  • My mom supports my culinary adventure.
  • think highly of hardworking people.
  • She is very introverted.
  • The crowd wants free refills.
  • I don’t understand the subject.
  • We have a summer home in Saint-Tropez.
  • Amy appears to be tired.
  • have a lot of problems right now.

Sentence Exercises

What better way to review what you’ve learned than with a quick exercise? Try determining whether the bolded verb in the sentence is an action or State of being verb.

  • She seems excited.
  • My mom is a good cook.
  • We ate at a fancy restaurant last night.
  • wish for a new bicycle.
  • Dad takes a walk every morning.
  • We love chocolate ice cream.
  • What do you think of the movie?
  • He sang his heart out.
  • Throw the trash outside.
  • weigh 150 pounds.

To Wrap Up

Now you know the difference between an action verb vs State of being verbUnderstanding these two main verb forms is fairly simple. You can use either of them in your writing, depending on your needs. Each one will help you form a clear and concise sentence.

Remember the distinction between the two to build your vocabulary and express complex ideas appropriately. Also, try to practice your mastery by writing different sentences using action and State of being verbs!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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