ReadingESL stories and readings in English for ESL learners



Stative Verbs

In English, verbs are words that show action or show a state of being.

Action words such as run, jump or listen are also called dynamic verbs.

Verbs that show a state of being include words like hear, be and have. These are stative verbs.


Examples of stative verbs:

In general, stative verbs into one of these categories:

category example   other verbs
senses I hear you.
Can you hear me?
a man's ear smell

feelings I like bagels for breakfast.
Annie hates bagels.  She has cereal for breakfast.
Alberto loves to eat bagels in the morning.

five bagels concern
possession I own two boats.
I have a sailboat and a canoe.
sailboats on a beach have
wants and preferences Anton needs to fix the light on his car.
He wants to fix it, but he doesn't know how.
a car with it's headlight partly off need
being, or seeming to be The tires on the car are black.
There appears to be snow on the ground.
The snow on the tire seems to be dirty.
a car tire in the snow appear
thinking and believing People like to imagine what dragons look like.
They don't know what a real dragon looks like.
a decorative dragon hanging from the ceiling deny


Warning!  Some verbs have more than one meaning.  Some verbs can be stative or dynamic depending on the mean being used. Example:



List of Stative Verbs:

agree She said yes.  She agreed to help him with his homework.
appear He appeared calm and relaxed even though he had a job interview in an hour.
astonish Carlos's mother was astonished when he passed his exam.  She knew that he hadn't studied.
be Lisa and Miranda are best friends. 
believe Do you believe everything you read online?
belong Banana peels belong in the garbage.
concern Elena was concerned about her cousin because he was very sick.
consist Brass consists of copper and zinc. or The alphabet consists of 27 letters.
contain This box contains two pair of shoes and an old pair of boots.
deny He denied stealing the money.  He said that he didn't do it.
depend Children depend on their parents for food and shelter.
deserve That film was very good.  It deserves to win an Oscar.
disagree Juan and his girlfriend disagree on so many things.  They are always arguing.

I'll try, but I doubt that I can finish this work before five o'clock.

envy He envied his wealthier cousins.  He wanted to have as much money as they had.
exist Dinosaurs do not exist anymore.
fit That new dress fits you very well. 
forget Ned forgot his umbrella.  When it started to rain, Ned got wet.
hate Don't buy that pink scarf for Mei.   She hates the colour pink.  Buy the yellow scarf instead.
have Nicole has the flu.  She has a fever.  She feels awful.
hear Please speak louder.  I can't hear you.
imagine At night, Riku imagines that there are ghosts under her bed.  She gets scared.
impress Nadia's boss was impressed by her hard work.
include The cost of the hotel room includes breakfast in the morning.
involve Maggie's job involves a lot of meetings and presentations.
know My little brother knows how to tie his shoe laces.
like He likes mustard on his hamburgers.
love Lee and Min love to play soccer.  They play as often as they can.
matter Joel doesn't think that it's important but it matters to me.
mean A red light means stop.
mind Do you mind if I sit beside you?
need There's a hole in my shoe.  I need new shoes.
owe Roger still owes Edward twenty dollars.
own Henri and Marie own their home.  They bought it about five years ago.
please Luke is free to come and go as he pleases.  He can leave if he wants to.
possess You did what? What possessed you to do that?
prefer I don't like coffee.  I prefer to drink tea.
promise My sister promised to write to me every week.
reach They argued for a long time but eventually they reached an agreement.
realize (realise) I failed my English test.  I didn't realize how difficult is was going to be.
recognize (recognise) Hey, you've had your hair cut. I didn't recognize you!
remember My mother always remembers my birthday
satisfy That apple didn't satisfy my hunger.  I'm still hungry.
see When I look out my window I see many tall buildings.
seem Where are we?  We seem to be lost.
smell Is there a fire somewhere?  I smell smoke.
sound Chandi told me about her new job.  It sounds very interesting.
suppose It is supposed to rain tomorrow, at least that's what the weather man said.
surprise I didn't tell her that I was coming home early.  I thought that I would surprise her.
suspect He doesn't know for sure but he suspects that his girlfriend is cheating on him. 
taste Broccoli tastes awful but chocolate tastes great!
understand I keep studying because I want to understand English grammar.
want Jack wants a new bicycle for his birthday.
wish I wish that it would stop raining.