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what are state verbs?

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'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.