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what are state verbs?

Average: 3.8 (199 votes)

'They love it' or 'They are loving it'?

When a verb describes a state and not an action  we do not use the continuous tense. For example, 'play' is an action so we can say 'playing' whereas 'be' is a fixed state which does not change: 'To be, or not to be'.

Grammatically it is not correct to say "Im loving it" even though McDonald's have made this expression famous. 'Love' is a state verb and so we should say "I love it".

State verbs generally fall into 4 groups:

Emotion: love, hate, want, need

Possession: have, own, want, belong

Sense: see, hear, smell, seem

Thought: know, believe, remember

Here are some more examples of state verbs:

State Verbs
doubt dislike understand suspect
loathe own belong know
like need want seem
mean believe forget remember
prefer hate love see

some verbs can be both state and action verbs

Some words can be state verbs and action verbs. The meaning of these verbs is then different. Take a look at these:

'I have a car.'state verb showing possession

'I am having a bath.'action verb which, in this case, means 'taking'.

'I think you are cool.'state verb meaning 'in my opinion'.

'I am thinking about buying a motorbike.'action verb meaning 'considering'.

Link: How to use 'if' in conditional sentences

Link: More help with State Verbs

  • I am disliking garlic.

  • I prefer winter to summer.

  • She is reading a good book.

  • I thinking about work.

  • Please don't forgetting me.

  • He is knowing him for a long time.

  • I am hate school.

  • You seem tired.

  • She own a cat.

  • They belong to the music club.

  • Do you believing me?

  • They need you.


Thanks, Chris

I've never realised that there exist such verbs that cannot be used in Continious Tenses. After your explanations I've done an exercise quite easily.

She own a cat ?

please check answer, isn't it state verbs?, if so, i guess she own a cat is right. please explain.

It doesn't follow the rule

yes, you're right that "own" is a state verb but the thing is it doesn't follow the subject-verb agreement. It must be "She ownS a cat" not "She own a cat"....

She owns a cat. Present

She owns a cat. Present Simple, She - third person singular, that's why Owns

What about :She owns a car..

What about :She owns a car..Smile

(No subject)


I am too happy. i made no mistake
Muhammad umar Khan


COLLO: I appriciate learning english with you guys.

What's wrong

I think "I prefer winter than summer."is correct. What's your comment?

The correct answer is: I

The correct answer is: I prefer summer to winter..Smile


collo: the matter to consider here is about preposition.



3 or 4

"State verbs generally fall into 3 groups:"
you write 3 but underneath there are 4 groups


collo: I only know 3

Always use to

Always use to with junior, senior, prefer not than

hi all

state verbs is agood lesson, im really happy, all my tanks to chris, he has made a great effort to build this site

yah. Hi all

collo. Lets all appreciate what chris has done

yah. Hi all

collo. Lets all appreciate what chris has done

yah. Hi all


hi, i like this subject, it

hi, i like this subject, it is interesting

hi, i like this subject, it

hi, i like this subject, it is interesting

i have one mistake, not well

i have one mistake, not well

very interesting and useful

very interesting and useful lesson

I own my own pets too

Thank you for the lesson and exercise. Kiss

One mistake - You seem tired

One mistake - You seem tired

very great , I only had tow

very great , I only had tow mistakes , with "tha cat owner" , ohh that was so stupid incorrect answer, I mean that was clear, any way , it's good sometimes to do miskaes, or how are we goning to learn ?! Wink

state verb

Hi Chris,
What about other verbs, such as "admire"?

definitely good

i think it is a good lesson.
thank you

only one mistake but I don't

only one mistake but I don't know why it is wrong.
ok. Tomorrow I will send about it to EC school for explaining

very interesting, bravo


thanks you Smile

When love means enjoy you

When love means enjoy you can use it in the continuous tenses, so the Mc Donalds sloggans is correct.

i have 1 mistake

i have 1 mistake Sad

what are state verbs?

Missed question I. Is I am disliking garlic a good english? please explain.

dislike is a state verb

The correct sentence is "I dislike garlic" because dislike is a state verb and does not take -ing.



state verb or action verb


word "enjoy" include to state verb or action verb??

is it right if i say "i am enjoying this class". or i shoud say "i enjoy this class"


How about the verb "become" and "feel"

Thanks for the lesson.
Could you please explain me about the verb "become", is it a state verb? and which group we should put this verb into?
I also have another question, is that: "feel" is a state verb, all state verbs aren't allowed to use in continuous form, is it right?
What is different between linking verb and state verb?
Thanks in advance!

To own

I had "She own a cat." wrong. I'm surprised as it is used for the Present Conjunctive. Was this exercise meant to be conjugated at Present?

State verbs

Very good lesson.Thank you.

very useful lesson, i did

very useful lesson, i did all correct.

State verb


I am very confused with state verb "to be". Please correct me if i am wrong...For example, We say "The winners have been college students" and we don't say "The winners have being college students" because "have" is a state verb and it already shows continuity? What are the differences between "be", "being" and "been"?

Thanks in advance!