Comparing Action Verbs vs. Stative Verbs

Verbs can be classified as either an action verb or…

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!

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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!

Frequently asked questions

Do stative verbs take objects?

Verbs without objects are static.

Can stative verbs be in past tense?

Stative verbs can be present, past, or future tense, however, since they describe static conditions, they are usually unable to progress through time, which makes them not suitable for developing continuous or progressive verb tenses.

Is work a stative verb?

Basically, verbs consist of two types: action verbs and state verbs. A verb refers to an action. As an example, write, work, break, kick, cook, take, etc. Defining a state by state verbs or stative verbs is a phrase.

How do you explain stative verbs?

A stative verb is a verb used in English grammar primarily to describe a state of being (I am) or situation (I have). It’s how something looks, feels, or appears. These verbs do not represent physical action (I run) or processes (It prints).

Is thinking a stative verb?

Asative verbs refer to: agree, believe, doubt, guess, imagine, know, mean, recognise, remember, suspect, think, understand. Feelings and feelings: dislike, hate, like, love, prefer, want, wish. Visual perceptions are appearing, being, feeling, hearing, looking, seeing, appearing, smelling, and tasting.

Is cry a stative verb?

Basically, dynamic verbs describe an event or something that is taking place (play, take, cry, run, etc.), while modal verbs explain an impressive range of ways to express hypothetical meaning, possibility, ability, etce.

What are the 5 types of stative verbs?

  • Senses (perception)
  • Emotion stative verbs
  • Item(s)
  • Verbs that are mental or cognitive in nature.
  • Possession stative verbs

How do you know if a verb is stative?

Test your verb’s state of feeling something, thinking about something, or having an opinion to determine if it is literal or not. “understand,” “believe”, “like”, and “prefer” are some common verbs used. E.g. I prefer to wake up early.

Why is it important to understand action words?

When you are delivering information to another reader, action verbs can help create an impression. Action verbs help readers understand what is happening.

What is an example of a stative verb?

  • appear. She appears lost.
  • Thank you – I appreciate your understanding.
  • – Who are you supposed to be?
  • astonished – The magician stunned the crowd.
  • Misty mornings are my favourite season.
  • Totally agree with her thoughts on the novel.
  • – Do you believe in life after love?

What is the difference between action verb and action words?

Non-action verbs are words that describe actions while action verbs refer to a state of being, a need, an opinion, or a sense of being. You can look at some examples of these two types of verbs.

Can a verb be both action and stative?

Orientation can be used to classify the verb as dynamic, static, or both. An action is described as dynamic; a condition is described using a static verb.

Why are stative verbs not continuous?

Non-continuous Verbs. Non-continuous verbs are verbs normally used for continuous tenses. The “stative” verbs are about state, not action, and their purpose cannot be continuous or progressive.

What is the difference between action verbs and stative verbs?

Typically, dynamic verbs (sometimes referred to as “action verbs”) describe actions we can take or things that happen; static verbs usually refer to a state or condition that is not changing or likely to change.

How do you identify an action verb?

If a word is an action verb, look at the sentence and ask yourself if it indicates something someone can do or something someone is or feels. If it is something they can do, it is an action verb (though if it is a verb they can be or feel, it can be a non-action verb or stative verb).

Comparing Action Verbs vs. Stative 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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